When I saw the #WhyWeDoResearch campaign on Twitter back in 2016 it looked like a really interesting initiative. So, I was quick to drop the lead Claire Whitehouse (ClaireW_UK) an email and volunteer to take part in and host a Tweetchat. The campaign uses social media (specifically Twitter) to raise awareness, understanding and opportunities about research.
After the very first message, I knew that this was going to be the start of something wonderful. Claire was so engaging, supportive and just down right awesome! I hosted my first Tweet chat on translational research co-hosted with Lily Trials. It was the most incredible experience. Before I knew it there were hundreds of people joining in an contributing to the discussions. It was terrifyingly awesome. Since first taking part I have now learnt that the campaign regularly ‘breaks Twitter’ because so many people take part in the discussions, so this gave me an idea… we should look to publish the campaign to get the message out there!
I dropped Claire and Hazel (@smithhazelann, the Irish lead) a message about preparing a publication and almost before I knew it we had a first draft. The lovely Kay came on board to give us a patient and service user perspective and after a few emails and drafts we were ready to submit our article to Research for All, the journal for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).
It was an absolute JOY to write this publication and I am delighted to say that you can view our publication here!
I am thrilled to be the Welsh lead for the campaign. Planning for the 2019 Tweetfest is well underway, keep your eyes peeled as it will be happening in May…. so watch this space!