By Dr Man Xiao
On 24 Oct 2018, and aligning with the International Day of Climate Action, the Australia Rivers Institute at Griffith University hosted the first ever online cyanobacterial Twitter Conference (Twitter hashtag: #cyanoTC2018).
It was a success, with 22 presentations from all over the world covering: modelling, experimental and field studies, cyanotoxin measurement and production, impacts of eutrophication, stratification on cell physiology, water treatment and management.
There were over 1050 tweets from over 170 participants and had a potential reach of over 20,000 people. We are very proud that hot topics on cyanobacteria were freely accessible to algal lovers worldwide, without generating travel-associated carbon emissions!
The primary objectives of the Twitter conference were:
- to keep abreast of research developments and impact;
- strengthen our network using online platforms;
- identify new opportunities for collaboration; and
- provide outreach and engagement to a broad audience.
Do you feel left out and really wish you could go back in time to attend the conference? Well lucky you! The discussions based on all the talks are still online. Check it out #cyanoTC2018, and https://www.griffith.edu.au/australian-rivers-institute/news-and-events/2018-cyano-twitter-comp.
In comparison to traditional conferences, Twitter conferences allow participants to communicate more freely with one another. Further, all the responses are open to those who have access to Twitter!
Personally, thanks to this Twitter conference, I feel more confident to contact senior scientists who research cyanobacteria and engage with them in regards to their research which I am too shy to do in a traditional conference setting! I also enjoyed the wide range of presentation styles, which inspired me to summarise my own research in many different ways.
Below is a pictorial summary of some highlights from the 1st Twitter cyanobacteria Conference. ARI will be holding a 2nd Twitter Conference on cyanobacteria in the future, so watch this space!
Cover image available from: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-source-toxic-green-algal-blooms.html