People power: Social media can alter research priorities

Graduate Resources

Date: April 27, 2011

Source: St. Michael’s Hospital

Summary: Widespread demands in Canada for clinical trials for a controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis show the growing power of the Internet and social media to influence research priorities, according to a new article.

FULL STORY


Widespread demands in Canada for clinical trials for a controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis show the growing power of the Internet and social media to influence research priorities, according to a paper published April 27 in Nature.

Paulo Zamboni, an Italian surgeon, suggested in 2008 that MS was not an autoimmune disease but rather a vascular disease caused by blockages in the brain. He proposed unblocking the veins by mechanically widening them — what he calls the “liberation procedure.”

His hypothesis got little public attention, except in Canada, where more than 500 Facebook pages, groups or events devoted to the theory have been created with tens of thousands of followers. A poll shows more than half of Canadians are familiar with the theory. Stories about it have appeared in the media almost weekly since The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper, wrote about it in November 2009 and it was featured on the CTV public affairs program W5.

Researchers at Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto note the reports have sparked a national debate about whether publicly funded trials should be conducted and whether MS patients should have immediate, publicly funded access to the vein-widening treatment known as venoplasty.

This is despite the fact that virtually none of the country’s MS physicians and researchers, nor the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, have advocated either, and several studies have failed to replicate Zamboni’s original findings.

“Indeed, the case indicates the unprecedented pressures scientists, politicians and funders worldwide can now face to alter research priorities even in the absence of credible scientific evidence,” the authors wrote.

The paper’s lead author is Dr. Roger Chafe, director of the Janeway Pediatric Research Unit, which conducts clinical and applied health research within the Discipline of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. His co-authors include Dr. Arthur Slutsky, vice-president of research at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Dr. Andreas Laupacis, executive director of the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

The authors said that in this new social media environment, researchers and clinicians need to engage more actively with the public to articulate the importance of science in determining the benefits and harm of novel treatments — and to ensure that patients’ concerns and priorities are heard.

They said unconventional and unproven treatments have long been proposed and tried for many terrible diseases. “Now tools such as Facebook and YouTube make it considerably more likely that patients learn about such therapies, without necessarily learning about their potential limitations.”

The authors wrote that a clear lesson from the Zamboni example is that the traditional approaches for communicating scientific findings to the public and policy advisers such as reports, briefing notes, news releases and news conferences, are insufficient. “When patient groups are using social media to advocate and mobilize, scientists must employ similarly effective tools to communicate.”

More effort are needed to improving the scientific literary of the public, politicians and the media, the authors wrote, and to engaging a public that is no longer deferential to experts.

Story Source:

Materials provided by St. Michael’s HospitalNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roger Chafe, Karen B. Born, Arthur S. Slutsky, Andreas Laupacis. The rise of people powerNature, 2011; 472 (7344): 410 DOI: 10.1038/472410a

Cite This Page:

St. Michael’s Hospital. (2011, April 27). People power: Social media can alter research priorities. Graduate Research. Retrieved September 23, 2019 from https://graduateresearch.co.uk/resources/people-power-social-media-can-alter-research-priorities/

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on print

Click Below For More Great Resources

 Accounting Essay

 Anthropology Essay

 Architecture Essay

 Art Essay

 Biology Essay

 Botany Essay

 Brand Management Essay

 Business Communication Essay

 Business Development Essay

 Business Essay

 Business Plan

 Business Research Methods Essay

 Chemical Analysis Essay

 Chemistry Essay

 Civil Engineering Essay

 Communications Essay

 Comparative Literature Essay

 Construction Management Essay

 Consumer Behaviour Essay

 Copywriting Essay

 Criminology Essay

 Earth and Environmental Sciences Essay

 Econometrics Essay

 Education Essay

 Educational Research Essay

 English and Linguistics Essay

 English Language Essay

 English Literature Essay

 Environmental Sciences Essay

 Film Studies Essay

 Finance Essay

 Financial Accounting Essay

 Forensic Psychology Essay

 History Essay

 Human Resources Essay

 Human Rights Essay

 Humanities Essay

 Industrial Engineering Essay

 Information Technology Essay

 Integrated Marketing Communications Essay

 International Business Essay

 International Hospitality Management Essay

 International HRM Essay

 Internet Marketing Essay

 Introduction to Business Essay

 Law Essay

 Linguistics Essay

 Literature Essay

 Management Essay

 Management Information Systems Essay

 Market Research Essay

 Marketing Essay

 Marketing Management Essay

 Media Studies Essay

 Music Essay

 Nursing Essay

 Philosophy Essay

 Political Science Essay

 Project Management Essay

 Psycholinguistics Essay

 Psychology Essay

 Religion Essay

 Science Essay

 Social Sciences Essay

 Sociology Essay

 Strategic Management Essay

 Strategic Marketing Essay

 Technology Essay

 Training and Development Essay

 Travel and Tourism Essay

 University Application

 World Literature Essay

 Zoology Essay

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, just notifications about new products, updates and discounts.

Categories

Related Posts

How to Write a Statement of Purpose Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2013/04/statement-of-purpose.jpg” ] Students applying for a graduate and PhD program will more than likely have to know how to write

How to Write a Chemical Analysis Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2013/01/chemical_analysis.jpg” ]   To truly appreciate how to write a chemical analysis essay, students must first have a precise understanding

How to Write a Film Studies Essay

[imageeffect type=”frame” width=”250″ height=”188″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2013/07/How-to-Write-a-Film-Studies-Essay.jpg” ] Learning how to write a film studies essay does not have to be daunting.  In fact, a film

Managing Academic Reading

Graduate Research is dedicated to your academic success; therefore we continue to employ expert writers that are available to assist you with managing academic reading. 

Need Help?

Our Academic Writing Services can help with all question types and formats.

What you can expect:

  • 100% Custom writing answering your question, task or requirement
  • Critical argument and reasoning
  • Logically structured
  • Full and complete reference list
  • Free similarity check

Contact Us

Get in touch to discuss your requirements or use the online order form to place your order

Pay Securely

Pay with confidence and confidentiality using our secure online payment portal

Take Delivery

Download your completed project. Expertly researched and written to your instructions