Scientists take on Twitter

Social media comes into its own as a tool and a subject for study

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 13:25 PM December 29, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 7

You might say science “friended” social media this year. But like many friendships, this one has its ups and downs.

On the one hand, platforms such as Twitter proved useful tools for tracking particular events in real time. Scientists at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston found, for example, that tweets about the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti tracked closely with official health reports (SN: 2/25/12, p. 16). Twitter chatter about the flu also cl...

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