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January 2017

The Democratization of Medical Research and Education Through Social Media: The Potential and the Peril

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(1):9-11. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4933

Crescat scientia; vita excolatur
Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched.

University of Chicago Motto

The internet has dramatically lowered the cost of sharing and storing information. It has also shifted from displaying static webpages with a one-way direction of information flow to participatory communities with bidirectional flow of information. This allows information to flow not from and to only those controlling content distribution (as was the case in a paper format), but instead allows it to flow to and from everyone on the internet in real time. The radical openness of the internet as a research and educational tool offers both promises and perils. To embrace this new world order, I sought input from my Twitter followers and staff at WikiDoc.org while preparing this article.

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