We’d like to start with a quick story—a story about two scientists who ignored their parents’ warnings about talking to strangers on the internet and, as a result, ended up writing grants, organizing professional development workshops, and—eventually—working together on this Letters to Young Scientists column.
Neil and Jay “met” on Twitter when Neil was a graduate student and Jay was a faculty member. Neil engaged constructively with Jay’s tweets about research and its relevance to social issues, and they became “Twitter friends.” A few years later, when Neil became a faculty member and wanted to create an academic job market workshop in New York City, this friendship came in handy. Neil emailed Jay to ask whether he was willing to cohost the workshop at New York University, and Jay agreed. Via Twitter direct messages and email, they wrote a grant proposal for the workshop and then organized the entire thing, all before ever meeting “in real life.” Better yet, the workshop was a hit!
Great things can happen when scientists use social media effectively. And today, at least 45,000 scientists around the world use Twitter. But sometimes it can go bad—quickly.
Read the whole story: Science