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Mr Epidemiology

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Month

January 2012

Jan 30/12, 2PM EST: CDC Chat about Cervical Cancer

I’ve made no efforts to hide my love for the CDC’s outreach efforts. Their YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages are a great resource for Epidemiologists and lay people alike, and their innovative methods of engaging the public have been absolutely spectacular (see their Zombie Preparedness Guide for example). They’ve been incredible at embracing social media and are really pioneers in this area, including making a toolkit for those interested in using social media in their own organizations (link is a pdf).

As part of their outreach, the CDC does Twitter chats. This month the CDC has decided to focus on cervical cancer, and has uploaded a podcast about the disease, as well as a short fact sheet to prepare readers.

On Monday, January 30th at 2pm EST, the CDC will be using the #CDCChat hashtag on Twitter to host a conversation with Dr Tom Frieden, the CDC Director and MPH graduate from Columbia

Following the discussion last week about Twitter and how it can be used by researchers, this is a great opportunity for those interested but not sure to try Twitter out. Think about it: How many times in your life will you get a chance to ask the Director of the CDC about cervical cancer? Or his views on decreasing screening rates for cervical cancer? Or whether he thinks Epidemiologists are most like Sherlock Holmes, Batman or Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys?

Let me know if you take part!

Interesting reads: January 22nd – 28th, 2012

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting. Click the pic for more info.

I like to tweet random things (follow me @MrEpid), and if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Twitter for Scientists Part 3: To boldly go where no lecturer has gone before

How are scholars using Twitter? Click to enlarge.

So far, I’ve talked about how Twitter can be used by scientists to help disseminate information, and acquire new information. I’m going to change gears in my final post and talk about how Twitter can be used in the classroom, and how it can be used by scientists moving forward.

If you missed them, click here for Part 1 and Part 2 in this series.

Continue reading “Twitter for Scientists Part 3: To boldly go where no lecturer has gone before”

Twitter for Scientists Part 2: Networking in 140 characters or less

This week, I'll be talking about Twitter (Pic via Tweepi)

On Monday I discussed some of the reasons why I think you should sign up for Twitter, and why it is a useful tool.

Encouraging scientists to use social media isn’t a new idea. In response to my last post, friend of the blog @muddybrown (you may remember him from the graduate school roundtable) pointed out a series by Scientific American writer Christie Wilcox (@nerdychristie). It’s a four part series, but definitely worth a read for another perspective on social media and science (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

Today, I’ll be continuing that discussion, but focusing on two other aspects of Twitter: How it can be used to get information that you wouldn’t otherwise, and how it can be used at conferences.

So let’s get started shall we?

Continue reading “Twitter for Scientists Part 2: Networking in 140 characters or less”

Twitter for Scientists Part 1: How a procrastination tool can be useful

This week, I'll be talking about Twitter

Twitter is a well known microblogging platform. People can post updates in the form of 140 character “tweets” that can be read by followers, who can “retweet,” i.e. repost that tweet to their own followers, or reply to the original post. I started using it about a year ago, and have found it to be equal parts whimsical and hilarious, along with useful and informative.

Several other authors have discussed reasons why scientists should be using Twitter, including this excellent post on Deep Sea News and this post through the American Geophysical Union. As I pointed out in my previous weekly roundup, Dr Jeremy Segrott gave his thoughts after he used Twitter for a three months. Scientists are realizing that social media is an important way to translate knowledge to the public when done well, and Twitter provides another avenue by which this can be accomplished.

What I will do is post 5 reasons why I think, as a scientist, you should be using Twitter, or, at the very least, be signed up for a Twitter account. Reasons 2 and 3 will be up on Wednesday, and reasons 4 and 5 will go up on Friday.

Continue reading “Twitter for Scientists Part 1: How a procrastination tool can be useful”

Interesting reads: January 15th – 21st, 2012

I like to tweet random things (follow me @MrEpid), and if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: January 8th – 14th, 2012

I like to tweet random things (follow me @MrEpid), and if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

History of Epidemiology: Patient Zero and Typhoid Mary

ResearchBlogging.orgBetter Know An Epidemiologist/History of Epidemiology is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to people and studies that have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here.

Gaetan Dugas, Air Canada flight attendant and one of the first diagnosed cases of HIV

EDIT 10/01/12: I had indicated (incorrectly) that Typhoid Fever was a viral disease. It is in fact due to a bacterium instead. Thanks to Mike the Mad Biologist for pointing that out!

EDIT 10/01/12: As Brett Keller points out in the comments, Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero for HIV. While he contributed to the spread of the virus, he wasn’t the first known case of it, and so the label of Patient Zero is unfairly applied to him.

Patient Zero is a common infectious disease epidemiology term. It refers to the first known case of the disease of interest, and is useful when tracking disease outbreaks. Knowing where the disease starts allows us to track not only the spread of the disease, but also how it spreads – through water, air, person-to-person contact etc.

I heard an absolutely phenomenal podcast through WNYC’s RadioLab podcast about Patient Zero, and that formed the inspiration for this post. I highly recommend listening to it when you have a chance – either through iTunes, on their website. They cover several different “Patient Zero’s,” including Typhoid Mary and Gaetan Dugas (pictured above).

Today, I’ll be talking about Typhoid Mary. To listen exclusively to the Typhoid Mary segment of the RadioLab podcast, click here.

Click the image to go to the RadioLab podcast about Patient Zero.

Continue reading “History of Epidemiology: Patient Zero and Typhoid Mary”

Interesting reads: January 1st – 7th, 2012

I’ll be back to regular posts next week, but for now, I’m going to start the year with a roundup of some interesting articles I’ve come across. I like to tweet random things (follow me @MrEpid), and if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

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