Novel strategies in science communication: Fiction or future?

Guest blogger, Tjitske van Engelen (details below) writes…

It is Friday night eight ‘o clock. Everybody tunes in via online podcasts, live feed webpages or plain old television. And there he is; the man of the hour. Respected by fellow man for his charismatic behavior and loved by women for his enchanting smiles. The well-known jingle introduces the vibrant young show host whilst he enters the stage. Tonight will be a night to remember. It is one of these shows that everybody will talk about during the Monday morning coffee break. No way you are not watching. It is the quarter-finals: ‘thrombosis in neonates’ versus ‘fluid resuscitation in the critically ill’. A Norwegian versus a South-African researcher. The jury consists of one hundred participants with no prior knowledge of the fields of research. The contestants are scored as usual based on the three pillars of the show. First, did I learn something new? Secondly, can I repeat what I have learned? And thirdly, does it make me want to learn more? In the beginning, many contestants made a rookie mistake: too much information squeezed in the set three-minute-pitch. It was rather funny, to hear them stumble over their difficult words. Who has ever heard of macrophages before? Well, only two of the jury members, as it turned out. However, after last week’s show (‘antibiotic resistance’ versus ‘genetics and infection’) the number of Google hits for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were sky high, adding to the third pillar of the show. Apparently people wanted to learn more after the engaging talk of the young scientist who explained her strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics. She has won an additional 30 seconds of pitch time for her semi-finals, kindly donated by Google. Fiction or future?

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Blog-ception: An article on a blog about an article about blogs

Racheal Troughton (bio below) reports on a fascinating study…As readers of this post are no doubt aware, the community of researchers and clinicians working in infectious diseases are increasingly using social media as a resource, and a platform for scientific discourse. But there is little discussion on precisely how it is being used. Back in 2015, we began a study to analyse the content and culture surrounding blogs in the field of infectious diseases – the “blogosphere”. Continue reading

Reflections from Infection Prevention 2016

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As is now becoming traditional, I thought I’d share a few reflections from the recent IPS conference in Harrogate. Fantastic to see the submitted abstract published, full and free, in a Journal of Infection Prevention supplement.

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Reflections from ECCMID: the pink, the blue, and the new

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I’ve recently returned from an enjoyable few days in Amsterdam for ECCMID. I’ve not been to a conference of this scale for a few years; there was a lot of good stuff to choose from so I’ve tried to stick to key updates for the purposes of this reflection!

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Social media survey for healthcare professionls: the results

I gave a presentation at ECCMID today on social media use by healthcare professionals (you can download my slides here). Since there isn’t a great deal of data around social media use by healthcare professionals, I thought I’d generate some! I put out this survey a few weeks ago. I was delighted that 749 healthcare professionals took the survey; thanks to everybody who took part.

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Survey of social media use by healthcare professionals

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I have been asked by ECCMID to do a talk on ‘Selling your colleagues and society: how to use social media.’ While there is some good data on social media use by scientists, I was struggling to find specific data on social media use by healthcare professionals. So I thought I’d generate some (and in doing so, generate the power of social media!). So, I have put together a short, simple survey that I hope you will have time to complete here.

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