A date for your diaries! The next #F1000talks
tweet chat will be on Wednesday, April 15 at 1PM EST/6PM GMT. We’ll be discussing how social media can benefit biomedical scientists and their industry. Our guests are Michael Eisen (@mbeisen)
, Erin McKiernan (@emckiernan13)
, Bethany Brookshire (@scicurious)
and Gary McDowell (@BiophysicalFrog)
The biomedical industry recognizes the importance of sharing knowledge and networking via social media. Communicating and connecting within and outside the field of biomedical science can bring forth new ideas, and increase efficiency (by fostering collaborations) and revenue (by raising awareness of a particular product or service).
Social media is available to everybody, from teens sharing cat memes (we all know cats rule the internet) to young scientists, seasoned researchers, and businessmen alike. It can be used to exchange ideas, discuss controversial topics, and perhaps even recruit the best and brightest minds.
In its most obvious role, social media delivers a wealth of new knowledge via tweets, blogs, Facebook posts, Youtube videos, Linkedin posts, etc. Beyond that, it’s a great networking tool that easily integrates researchers, clinicians, the public, and business people. Students who are savvy can leverage their social media skills to brand their research interests and career goals as they prepare to transition from school to the workplace. Recently, Thalyana Smith-Vikos transitioned from a graduate research position at Yale University to an editorial position at BioMed Central by showcasing her writing skills on Scizzle Blog. Her “Leafing through the Literature” blog posts highlighting recently published research kept her up-to-date with the literature and provided great practice for summarizing others’ research, which are key elements of an editor!
Furthermore, with ever dwindling NIH budgets and the advent of crowdfunding as a viable source of research funding, the proper use of social networks has become an important issue. “When I realized that the most successful science crowdfunding campaigns were essentially asking for seed/exploratory funding (along the lines of the well established NIH R03 mechanism), I thought a compelling-enough proposal could catch fire.” says Ethan Perlstein, who (along with his Crowd4Discovery collaborators Prof David Sulzer and Daniel Korostyshevsky) successfully raised $25,000 for a basic pharmacology project to study the cellular distribution of amphetamines, including methamphetamine. “It was a lot of work to run a social media campaign/offensive for two straight months. But we were rewarded with press coverage that stimulated almost half of our donations.”
While new apps and software tools are constantly developed for networking, the participation of the biomedical researchers may be limited by institutional regulations, ethical considerations, cultural barriers, and lack of time. However, while some scientists have yet to engage in a social media platform, most believe that social media channels “can strongly influence how the public thinks about science”, as seen in this F1000Research article examining scientists and social media.
We look forward to chatting with you on April 15 (1pm EST/6PM GMT) via @F1000 to further discuss how social media can benefit biomedical scientists. Follow the chat using the #F1000Talks hashtag! Our tweetchat will be composed of a 15-minute discussion between host and guests followed by a 10-minute Q&A between audience and guests. Please refer to our previous blog post and summary of a previous tweet chat for general information on participating.