IDWeek 2013: Media, Social Media, and Open Access

One of the great things about sitting on the planning committee of a national meeting is the ability to put together sessions that are a bit "outside the box" if you will.  During the planning of IDWeek 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the ScienceOnline2013 Conference in Raleigh where I reconnected with Maryn McKenna and met Jonathan Eisen. I thought that many of the concepts that the science journalists (McKenna) and scientists (Eisen and Smith) discussed at ScienceOnline were directly applicable and perhaps urgently needed by the public health community that attends IDWeek. Specifically, I felt that public health was a little too heavy on the "health" and a little too light on the "public." So I worked with my colleagues on the planning committee, including Scott Fridkin and Dan Diekema, to craft a session that focused on three major methods for selling public health science to the public.

The first important topic was open-access publication. If the public and journalists don't have access to your science because it's buried behind a paywall, then it doesn't even exist.  The second topic was social media, which is a method by which scientists and public health practitioners can communicate their science or policies directly to the public including science journalists. Finally, we needed a speaker to help explain how best to interact with journalists to communicate our science and messages. So, we were very lucky to have Jonathan Eisen, Tara Smith and Maryn McKenna speak at our session at IDWeek earlier this month in San Francisco.

There are several sources available for those of you interested in the session's content:

Jonathan Eisen wrote a nice post describing the entire session and also created a Storify (a collection of live tweets associated with the session) covering all three talks, both of which you can read here at one of his blogs. He's also posted his slides on slideshare.

Tara Smith posted her slides on social media at Figshare. She also posted the slides from her excellent S. aureus in animals talk, which you can access through her blog.


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