Does Facebook Drive Medical Research?

An interesting article about the growing power of social media in affecting patient behavior, driving medical research, swaying journalists, etc. David Zax in Fast Company:

Scientists are often loathe to communicate their work; there is an inherent assumption that the truth will win out, and will have enough weight to eventually sway converts. (If only pure evidence were enough to win over the Obama “birthers.”) In fact, though, it’s time for scientists, researchers, and doctors, to fight PR with PR. Truth needs a media-relations team, too, especially in the current environment. “When patient groups are using social media to advocate and mobilize, scientists must employ similarly effective tools to communicate,” conclude the study authors, pointing out that today’s public is “no longer deferential to experts.”

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