Category Archives: Science2.0/Health2.0

“Smoking & Health” Turns 50 — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of February 24, 2014)

PT's Half-RezDay Party: Rezday Boy

It’s pretty interesting that there have been so many different reports from the Surgeon General’s Office, but if people simply say, “the Surgeon General’s report” they mean the first one, from 1964, on Smoking and Health. I’m glad to see that the SGO is taking advantage of the 50th anniversary to release a new and updated report as well as sponsoring several events. Of course, there is a hashtag — #SGR50.

First posted at THL BLog:

Emerging Technologies in Healthcare: Different Points of View

Emerging Technologies in Healthcare: Different Points of View:

For a staff presentation, reviewing two recent events on the topic of emerging technologies. More detailed information available in these Storify links:

1) Emerging Medicine, Friend or Foe

2) #MedLibs Look at the Horizon Report

I loved the talk by Dr. Alex Djuricich for the way in which he both engaged the audience and made a range of new and not so new technologies accessible and relevant for health care providers and students. Of particular interest to me was that Indiana University has been having their folk livetweet Grand Rounds for two years, creating data and analytics for engagement, topics, and more.

The medical librarians conversation really made me proud. They didn’t just sit back and listen to the gurus about tech, but asked hard questions, considered strategies and policies, taking nothing for granted. I was surprised to find how much engagement there was on topics that inspired them, many of which were not included in the actual Horizon Report which we were officially discussing.

What if your patient is a self-tracker? — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of February 17, 2014)

Quantified Self

There were many Twitter tags and events last week that I really wanted to profile (and I hope there is time in the future to come back to some of the others!). The reason this topic won out over the others is because I participated in TWO events that focused on this question! One was the University of Michigan Pediatric Grand Rounds (#umpedsgr), with guest speaker Alex Djuricich, MD.

You can see a Storify of the complete Twitter stream from the talk here: Emerging Technology in Medicine: Friend or Foe?.

Alex launched his presentation with a case study of a young man with high blood pressure who comes to the clinic with his iPhone and app, wanting to share his data on his blood pressure trends.

Alex also got most of the audience livetweeting, which turns out to be what he’s used to at Indiana University, where they’ve livetweeted grand rounds for the past two years at #iupedsgrrounds.

He started with that case, branched out to include some discussion of types of tech that track or capture data about patients, and then swung back to the original case. Here are a few tweets from that talk.

I was absolutely blown away when the same idea came up last night at the weekly #HCSM chat.

This conversation was incredibly powerful. Clinicians and patients going back and forth, examples of data and tools, best practices, and more. These are just a very few of the tweets, with more archived in Symplur.

The conversation continued far past these thoughts, including challenges integrating data into electronic health records, balance between access to data points and ease of use for clinicians, training issues, how to integrate n=1 “trials” with population-based data, and much more. Truly a chat worth reading through in its entirely.

First posted at THL Blog:

Tough Topics on Twitter — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of February 10, 2014)

Second Life: Red Curtain: View thru the Curtain

Tough topics come up all the time on Twitter, and many of the Twitter chats explicitly present challenging concepts. Sometimes it works better than others. In general, people tend to think that Twitter won’t lend itself to this, because of the forced brevity of tweets, but sometimes it works surprisingly well. Last week, there were two Twitter chats that used Twitter exceptionally well to make a difference in clinical practice and real world interventions on topics as tough as domestic violence and suicide.

The first one was the #bioethx chat on ethical challenges in providing care to victims of domestic violence. For this chat they presented challenging questions derived from real case studies, such as what if the victim protects their abuser, what if known victim suddenly stops showing up for appointments, what if victim can’t afford (or access funds) to pay for medical treatment, what are the ethics of discharging (or not) a victim back into the abusive situation.

What happened was really interesting. Clinicians tended to respond with their sense of what should happen, and then domestic violence survivors jumped in and said, “That isn’t realistic, and this is why.” That conversation was so powerful, complex, and intricate, especially the parts related to informed consent and coercion, I’m not going to try to replicate the conversation in this blogpost, but only share the links and resources that were recommended as a mini-tutorial at the close of the session. You might want to skim the actual transcript for the full conversation.

The second challenging Twitter chat was last night, the Suicide Prevention and Social Media (#SPSM) chat, where they interviewed a team of volunteers who have developed strategies for using Twitter to identify possible suicide attempts, and to intervene. Yes, really. Here’s a Storify version of that chat, for which again, I will share highlights only.



First posted at THL Blog:

#AccessToResearch & More! — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of February 3, 2014)


I was pretty excited to see the announcement of the UK Access to Research initiative, a partnership of publishers and libraries across the United Kingdom, which will hopefully extend open access research in ways that may serve as a model for other countries. They made some interesting choices, including requiring people to visit their local library in order to get access.


First posted at the THL Blog:

Candy Chang! Candy Chang! “Liveblogged”

Candy Chang

Last night I went to see Candy Chang’s presentation at the Michigan Theater. I wanted to tweet & Storify, but the network connection was hideous, so instead I took notes. It’s too much work to rewrite them (remember? bum arm?), so instead I’m just pasting them in here as if I’d liveblogged.

Penny Stamps Lecture
Winter 2014

Candy Chang
Transforming our Cities
UM alum

February 18 is close of newest Stamps Exhibits

Candy’s new book in lobby
free stickers

Candy Chang


Dylan Box
Wedge Detroit
world’s longest hopscotch course
Nature of social conversation
shallow vs “safety of our neighborhood”
what inspires rich conversations?
easy to be apathetic
how to create meaningful interactions?
Part Streek art
before I die murals
senior TED fellow
art, conversation, design brought to the masses

Candy Chang


got arrested for graffiti in ann Arbor

“please disturb”
before I died
looking for love again
a confession

“I am a shy introvert, actually”
the voice of the community turns out to be the loudest person
how to include the shy and excluded

Joseph Campbell
the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are

jealous of people who felt certain of their path
“i liked a lot of different things, afraid I’d be mediocre at them all”

reading Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
story of bigger things, where good ideas come from

man named Joseph Paxton in England
giant water lily
special structure, cross ridged
lilypad holds five kids
made crystal palace for 1851
Joseph the gardner became Joseph the architect

Waterlily with Child, by PaxtonCrystal.Palace.Paxton.Plan

make our own disciplines out of the bits and pieces we are interested in
child artwork of book covers
as a child, I wanted to be an artist
“doesn’t scream stability”

started out as premed, with a D+ (encouraging a change of plan)
architecture as a creative compromise
doubled with graphic design
then later added urban planning

living in NYC near major street art nexus formed my feeling of how to engage in streetart

Sidewalk Psychiatry


sidewalk psychiatry “do you think that went well?”
Kierkegaard “above all do not lose your desire to walk”
temporary spray chalk
“does she know how you feel?”

NYTimes, Robert Moses
Jane Jacobs
“if this highway happened” lost Soho, Chinatown, etc.

Vendor Power!
street vendor guide PDF
ctr for urban pedagogy
Charles & Ray Eames

10K street vendors in NYC
vendors fined thousands for minor bioloations
design barriers to understanding (literacy)
Candy’s design solution

Downtown Vancouver, drug addicts

chalkboards in Johannesburg
diepsloot community news
“the value of being scrappy”
working with what you have

lampposts as unofficial billboards for community news

document fliers around new york
compare to online forums

“internet as public space” information commons

post-it-notes for neighbors
“I’ve lived”

Nokia in Helsinki Finland

translate needs & behaviors into services & resources (?)

Candy Chang


TED fellowship
New Orleans
criminal justice
shotgun houses so cute I want to pet them
hybrid businesses (Balcony Guest House)
underutilized spaces in our cities

what do we really want?
“I wish this was” free stickers to put on abandoned buildings
post on flickr
tag them
stickers went MIA
posted blank stickers on vacant buildings

“trying to figure out a buildings identity”

I use cheap tools because I wanted to use what I had
other benefits
reveal personality that gets lost with digital tools
better tools to come together to shape the development of our communities
prove customer base

new orleans neighborland online tool
what you want in your city

night market
petitions that change policy
gather feedback

strategic planning


“big white van”

Cosmos by Carl Sagan on Netflix
original EPCOT logo tattooed on her arm
public art
Two Guns right after route 66

“sweeping carnage of the US”
booms and busts

lots of abandoned buildings
accepted part of our landscape
“My memories of the Polaris Buildings”
“My hopes for the Polaris Building”
fresh produce
downtown development association
“I would have saved more of the budget for the aftermath”
keep people posted on the project and whats going on today
games, love, meaningful part of life

“there’s a lot more meaning we could share”

Candy Chang's "Before I Die" project


I lost someone who was like a mother to me

getting permission from
neighborhood association
city officials
“I’m not alone as I try to make sense of my life”
“people are around all the time, the block is safer now”

450 walls in over 60 countries stenciled in over 30 languages
Avant de mourir
bevor ich sterbe moche ich

open prompts
trust building
compassionate city
“death is something we don’t think about”

Carl Jung
it’s easier to go to mars than to penetrate ones own being
“the goal of life is individualtion, the process of coming to know, giving expression to, and harmonizing the various parts of the psyche. Each human being has a specific nature and calling”

Confessions-3-booths-Candy Chang


“what happens in vegas stays in vegas”
Shinto prayer walls
wooden plaque
post secret
confession bootsh

“when we feel anxiety or fear or confusion, we hide it “
“what if we could create more safe spaces to share”
“you’re not alone”

“some of the first gathering places were graves in sacred graves. we came together to grieve together”

“our public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be”

“the world becoems more rewarding when you let yourself look beyond what you’re searching for.”
“embrace serendipity”
curious, tried things out, kept an open mind



Facebook: candychangcandychang

“It Was a Momentary Mistake”: Suicide, Prevention, and Social Media #SPSM

The Sad Boy in the Fountain

It’s been just a little over a year since Aaron Schwartz committed suicide. A blogpost Monday looked at what has and hasn’t changed over the past year, relative to the issues Aaron was passionate about and fought for, as well as the triggers in his life that lent themselves to this sad and prominent story.

Jake New. How things have (or haven’t) changed in Aaron Swartz’s absence. January 27, 2014; 4:11pm.

But things have changed in social media and online environments with respect to the issue of suicide and suicide prevention. The big change I’m noticing has been in the attitude toward talking about suicide online. The following quotation is from a review published yesterday in JMIR, which cautiously describes the POSITIVE power of the Internet for suicide prevention.

“The Internet can be viewed as a double-edged tool. While it is accepted that the Internet may be used to trigger and encourage suicidal behavior, its potential as a tool for suicide prevention has been equally recognized.” MH Lai et al. Caught in the Web: A Review of Web-Based Suicide Prevention. J Med Internet Res 2014;16(1):e30 published 28.01.14.

This sense of potential and positive energy for preventing suicide through online spaces and social media has been embraced with the relatively new Twitter chat on suicide prevention, #SPSM, held every Sunday night at 10pm ET.

Part of what triggered this post is last week’s sad story reverberating through the gaming, manga, and anime communities, of the death of “JewWario”, a.k.a. Justin Carmical, a hugely popular gaming video blogger active in social media, including Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and niche communities. The title of this post comes from the Facebook posting by Justin’s wife of what her family chaplain told her, “it was a momentary mistake, hold on to the good memories.” For most of us outside of that community, this is one of those losses that will simply slide past, and not be noticed. For the community of his fans, followers, friends, partners, colleagues, and other loved ones, this loss is, of course, devastating, with impact of what feels right now like volcanic proportions.

My son has wept more than once in the past few days over the loss of Justin, and I have sat with him as he watched the many videos and read the blogposts that naturally occur when an online and social media community are grieving one of their own. Because of Justin’s powerful and active online life, that is where many of his friends are, and the community that has forged such a powerful online connection takes to the same space to honor and celebrate their losses. Most of the video postings and online conversations have included urgent and passionate messages of suicide prevention. I am including here two selected examples.

That Guy With the Glasses

Doug Walker (That Guy With The Glasses): In Loving Memory of Justin Carmical:

In Doug Walker’s memorial video, there is a three-part structure. First, Doug lays out the context. Next, he very quickly shifts into prevention information, with almost half the video devoted to why suicide should not be considered an option, what you can do, where to do for help, and similar information. The third and closing part of the video is a brilliantly crafted tribute montage of video and audio celebrating Justin’s life and joyful spirit. He specifically says he wants to focus on the positive, and wants people to go away from the video with a sense of happiness.

Angry Joe

The Angry Joe Show: In Memory of Justin “JewWario” Carmical 1971 – 2014

Angry Joe’s video closes with a brief and passionate plea to seek help if needed, and includes the following information in the “About” section.

“If you are in crisis, visit/call:
Please visit the Fundraiser for Justin’s Family:
Justin’s Original Channel on Blip:
Justin on Youtube:
Justin’s Facebook:

My heart & prayers go to his closest friends & family. We all love you, Justin.”

Almost anyone who is a survivor of a loved one who committed suicide will tell you the same: Don’t do it. The pain of surviving this type of loss is truly extraordinary, evidenced in small part by the thousands of suicide survivor support groups in existence.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Find a Support Group:

In Angry Joe’s video, most of the video was about his grief, the sense of loss, and the joy experienced through knowing Justin, with only the closing moments talking about suicide prevention.

When I first watched these videos I kept remembering all the many research articles I’ve read about copycat suicides deriving from the “media circus” approach to covering suicides of prominent public individuals. I was listening to all these grieving voices saying publicly, “Please, please, DON’T do this!” and feeling concern that even what they were saying might trigger exactly what they want to prevent. That’s part of the debate around online suicide prevention initiatives — talking about suicide can trigger it, talking about suicide can prevent it.

Then I tried to position all of this in what I know from personal experience about online communities and about suicide. I had a friend who committed suicide. I talked her out of it probably a dozen times, but at the end, she didn’t come ask for help, she just did it. I wondered why I bothered, all those other times. A part of me has never gotten past feeling angry and hurt. Seeing these videos about Justin has been very healing for me — seeing the joy he brought into the world, hearing the laughter coming through the tears of his friends who grieve his loss, reading the wise phrase “a momentary mistake.” Watching my son process all of this, I’m seeing that even at the distance of being a fan and not having ever met JewWario in person, this grief hurts him enough that I don’t think he would ever consider suicide. Seeing the pain of his idols shattered and weeping over this loss has, in a sense, inoculated him against the idea of taking the “easy out.”

At the same time, I considered, in a community forged and nourished in a public online space, how on earth could that community process loss and grief without doing so in a very public way? Saying, “Oh, don’t make a video, don’t talk about it where anyone might here” could be as damaging (if not more) than the reverse. Online communities change the game with how we hold these difficult conversations. Making the sorrow and grief transparent to the community can aid healing. I don’t want to be the person who goes out into an online community and tells them they are not allowed to grieve online, when they do almost everything else online. That isolation and the pain of grieving in isolation could easily trigger more damage than making sorrow visible.

I’m trying to think through what the difference is between the types of public displays and media coverage associated with the need to grieve and share that grieve when it arises in an online community, and the risks of triggering suicidal ideation in the vulnerable. I am no expert in this, and am not deeply familiar with the research in this area, so please, do not take me as any kind of expert. I am just sharing some thoughts and hoping others will also consider these issues. From my point of view, I’m thinking the difference might have to do with emotional distance. In reporting of suicides in the mainstream media, there is a sense of overwhelming attention combined with emotional distance. You see people weeping, but they aren’t people you know, you aren’t connected to their grief. With the grieving occurring for Justin in the online gaming community, people identify with these high profile vloggers. They meet them at conferences, they shake their hands. They wear their merchandise and get it signed. They comment on the posts, and engage in dialog. The community is not distant, but carries a kind of intimacy, allowing them to be touched on what feels like a personal level. I think that’s the difference — that online communities bring with them a very real intimacy. As Justin’s wife said, “He knew he was loved!”

So, how do we use social media for suicide prevention? By fostering intimacy and connection, by making the pain of loss visible and immediate, by celebrating the joy, and focusing on the positive. Maybe I’m wrong, but there are folk talking about this. Join them.

Here is one of the best examples I know of for using social media with a strong focus on the positive for suicide prevention.

Live Through This

Live Through This:

What are some other ways in which we could use social media to shape a POSITIVE conversation around suicide? How can we help others hear the message shared with Justin’s wife: “it was a momentary mistake, hold on to the good memories”?

Science Games on Twitter — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 27, 2014)

Games? On Twitter? Oh, my, yes. And the games, while quite entertaining, also foster serious purposes, from engagement in educational outcomes and flipping the classroom to efforts to reimagine the name of peer-review and professional publication. Here are a few examples (#GreenGlam, #SixWordPeerReview, and #PrincessBrideScience), showing beauty, humor, fun, wit, and some rather insightful thoughts.


I was struck by the creativity of the #GreenGlam project from the Jahren Lab at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. From what I’ve been able to piece together, it seems that #GreenGlam started life as a “gamification” of a learning exercise for the students there. Luckily for the rest of us, it didn’t stop there, but garnered views, pictures, tweets, and engagement from a broader community. I can easily imagine using this concept to assign med students to locate Creative Common pathology images to share meeting specific guidelines, for example. Or images to support health literacy or public health outreach. Best infographic on [X] topics. What do you imagine? Here are some lovely selections from the students in Hawai’i to counterbalance the extreme cold we have here this week.


While the complaints and humor about the idea of peer review remain fairly typical of similar hashtags in other years, I was impressed with how the conversations around #SixWordPeerReview eventually turned to discussions of how to improve the peer review process in general. Here are some of the humorous tweets as well as some of the more thoughtful ones.


Alright, this is an indulgence. I’ve always enjoyed the film Princess Bride, but it never entered my mind to adapt it to a conversation around … science? And science education? And scientific methods? I’m still shaking my head with incredulity and delight at some of the clever puns and offerings from the #PrincessBrideScience stream.

NOTE: The tweet immediately above is in reference to this week’s new scandal:

First posted at THL Blog:

#Kellergate — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 20, 2014)

The Beginning of Kellergate

If you were busy last week, you might have missed what has become known as “Kellergate.” It erupted with an article in the Guardian by Emma Gilbey Keller, which was shortly followed by a companion piece in the New York Times by her husband, Bill Keller. Both pieces were about about famed breast cancer blogger Lisa Adams.

Emma tweeted about her post right away, and Lisa replied quickly. As of today, there are 40 replies to that initial tweet, and it is enlightening to click through and read through the initial dialog.

Keller, Emma G. Forget funeral selfies. What are the ethics of tweeting a terminal illness? The Guardian Wednesday 8 January 2014 13.40 EST. Original link: Archive link:

Bill Keller also tweeted out when he published his piece on Lisa Adams, a tweet which has 39 replies at the time of writing this, again with many upset responses.

Keller, Bill. Heroic Measures. Op-Ed. New York Times JAN. 12, 2014.

What both Kellers seemed to not understand is the role of patient communities in social media, and that the breast cancer community is one of the largest, most active, and most passionate of Twitter patient communities. Both posts were perceived as an attack on Lisa (justifiably), and the community reacted. The authors, at least Emma, seemed genuinely surprised.

Now, you know something is really controversial when ‘comedians’ start to pick up on it. And then when people start to make parodies of other replies!

I’ve just come from a phenomenal presentation given by Phyllis Meadows for Martin Luther King Day celebrations here at the University of Michigan. Much of what she was saying reverberated in my head, echoing aspects of what I’ve been hearing in the many conversations about Kellergate. For starters, Phyllis Meadows (a researcher on public health in communities) said earlier today, “Sometimes our intent and our impact are very different.” Clearly, this is the case with Kellergate. I’d like to frame some of this post in the context of Dr. Meadows’ MLK Day presentation. [Please note, I am working from my notes of the presentation, not a transcription or recording, so may have inaccuracies in my quotations.]

The extremely abbreviated background on Kellergate is that two journalists wrote public pieces commenting on intimate details of the life of a cancer patient (Lisa) who has chosen to share much of her life online. The first journalist (Emma) has since admitted that the article included excerpts from content that was shared with her through private modes (direct messages and email) without either notifying Lisa nor requesting permission to share them. The second journalist (Bill) had several errors of fact in his piece resulting from inadequate research, including such easily discoverable bits as the number of Lisa’s children, which is stated on her homepage. The first was a clear breach of professional ethics, and the second creates questions about professional practice, but both have actually become almost a red herring in the larger context of the conversation, which focuses on community, context, communication, caring, compassion, and comprehension (ie. listening).

Dr. Meadows emphasized the role of elitism in creating health disparities and creating barriers to finding solutions relevant to the community.

“Who speaks.
Who listens.
Who is expected to listen.
Who is responsible.
Who is blamed.
Who makes decisions.”

Clearly, both of the journalists and their parent publications were expecting to speak, and be listened to, but were not expecting to have so very many people talk back. Commentary on the posts includes both those who criticize the Kellers and those who support them …

… , although the former seem to FAR outweigh the latter.

Kellergate Responses

The phrase / hashtag #Kellergate emerged after the second essay was published.

At this point in time, there are literally HUNDREDS of responses to Kellergate, both within the official media as well as in the blogosphere, and several thousands more if you count tweets. Phyllis Meadows, in the question and answer portion of her MLK Day talk, commented, “Most people don’t know how to talk to each other. Discourse begins by seeking clarity, asking WHY you ask that question, rather than answering based on assumptions from my mental model.”

The Keller pieces both struck a raw nerve. I don’t know if the New York Times or the Guardian are interested in healing the breach that this has created between them and the large breast cancer social media community, but if they are, perhaps they might want to create an open honest space for continued dialog around this topic. I am delighted to see the POWER of the #BCSM community, and delighted that the world can now witness that power, but I am hoping that the conversation doesn’t detour into blaming on both sides and a repetitive recreation of the injury, but rather serves as a springboard for healing. Let the journalists learn more about our communities and how to communicate with them. Let the questions they were trying to raise become a healthy honest part of the social media communities and their conversations.

First posted at the THL Blog:

Sharing Research on Twitter — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 13, 2014)

Altmetrics: Top Articles of 2013

Last week in the #medlibs chat on altmetrics, Donna Kafel shared an interesting article on how research articles are shared in social media.

Haustein S, Peters I, Sugimoto CR, Thelwall M, Larivière V. Tweeting biomedicine: An analysis of tweets and citations in the biomedical literature. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Article first published online: 26 NOV 2013. DOI: 10.1002/asi.23101

This is the newest study of how real life sciences research is being used in social media. They analyzed a sample of over a million articles from Pubmed to reveal patterns associated with heavily shared articles, then compiling a list of the most tweeted articles. (There will be a sequel to this post about them.)

Meanwhile, the Altmetrics web site has also released a year-end overview of the most influential research articles of 2013 according to the Altmetrics score. What is an Altmetrics score? In their words, “We’ve created and maintain a cluster of servers that watch social media sites, newspapers, government policy documents and other sources for mentions of scholarly articles. We bring all the attention together to compile article level metrics.”

Altmetrics: Top 100 Papers that Received the Most Attention Online:

Let’s take a little closer look. For a richer understanding of how Altmetrics looks at articles, here is a screenshot of the Altmetrics report for the top ranked medical article from 2013.

Atmetrics: Sample Article Report
Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet:

As you can easily see, although Altmetrics looks at many sources of information (Twitter, Facebook, F1000, news media, videos, blogs, Google+, Reddit,Mendeley, CiteULike), Twitter activity far outstrips activity for the other sources.

Now, usually the HOTW posts track a hashtag with health, life science, education, or research interest. This week, as a diversion from the usual, I wanted to see what articles are being shared and how best to discover them. I found that neither “research” nor “#research” were terrible effective, although both were interesting, they didn’t retrieve actual research articles but rather articles about research funding and process. What did work was searching the word “Pubmed.” Here are some of the most popular research articles (including mentions of UM researchers!) from the past week.

What an amazing collection, and great way to discover articles of interest that I might have missed otherwise!

First posted at THL Blog: