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The Democratization of Scientific Conferences: Twitter in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

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Purpose of Review: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had profound impacts upon scientific discourse in our field, most prominently through the abrupt transition of malignant hematology conferences to all-digital formats. These virtual components will likely be incorporated into future iterations of these conferences even as in-person attendance is reincorporated. In this review, we discuss ways in which usage of the social networking platform Twitter has expanded in the past year during virtual conferences as a method to facilitate—and, in some ways, democratize—information flow and professional networking. Recent Findings: Emerging Twitter-based tools in malignant hematology include presenter-developed #tweetorials, conference-specific “poster walks,” and disease-specific online journal clubs. Twitter is also increasingly being used for networking across institutional and international lines, allowing for conversations to continue year-round as a first step toward multicenter collaborations as well as in-person #tweetups at subsequent meetings. Summary: The ability of Twitter to enable uninterrupted information exchange has reinforced its central role in medical and scientific communication in a way that will certainly outlive the COVID-19 pandemic.




Banerjee, R., Kelkar, A. H., Logan, A. C., Majhail, N. S., & Pemmaraju, N. (2021). The Democratization of Scientific Conferences: Twitter in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports. Springer.

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