Scientific presentations have long been semi-private displays of new data and speculative findings. The nondescript conference room, the slide or PowerPoint presentation, and the somnolent audience — all trademarks of the live meeting event, and all part of why these presentations are viewed as comporting with embargo policies, scientific discourse and free exchange of information, and the like. These in-person meetings aren’t widely broadcast or notorious. Now, there is evidence that even these sessions are moving online via Twitter.

The Mark Zuckerberg interview is worth reading about, I think, because I can imagine in a few months or years a similar Twitter line being generated from a particularly hot or controversial scientific presentation.

What might this do to embargoes? Novelty? Reporting of conferences?

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


1 Thought on "Does Twitter Change the Conference?"

I just learned of the scholarly kitchen today via an SSP email and like what I see. Thanks for starting this blog. Several points I would like to make about the Twitter example. One, it illustrates that technology, the Internet, and social networking will continue to weaken the physical walls of conferences and meetings. Two, the interest in and ability to communicate during and after an “event” continues to grow. Three, it illustrates how important conferences are in not only providing a forum for interviews of innovators and business leaders but in communicating new knowledge and facilitating collaboration. I would welcome an opportunity to have dialogue with those in the scholarly publishing community on capturing and disseminating meeting and conference knowledge and how new technologies are increasing its impact on scientific communication and collaboration. I would also welcome a discussion on how journals in some ways impede the pace of scientific communication and collaboration because of not having published policies on presenting at conferences and prior publication status (a notable exception being NEJM!).

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