Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Ethics and Politics (Week of February 11, 2013)

This week was packed with news stories and events that have implications for health care, research, funding, and science writing.  Tuesday sparked two major discussions on Twitter.  The first was regarding the speech given by Jonah Lehrer (former journalist at The New Yorker and science writer) at a media learning seminar for which he was paid $20,000 by the Knight Foundation.  As explained by Scientific American, this speech was expected to be a sincere apology and explanation of his actions after being caught plagiarizing and fabricating quotes in his writing both at The New Yorker and in his books.  Instead, the disgraced journalist proceeded to explain his actions in terms such as, “For some cognitive biases, being smart, having a high IQ, can make you more vulnerable to them.”  Understandably, science writers took umbrage and started the hashtag #worth20K to highlight science writing and journalistic efforts worthy of being paid $20,000.

This brought up questions of professional ethics, and another hashtag that comes up when science and health collide #bioethics.

The second major news event of Tuesday was the State of the Union (SOTU) Address.  The importance of funding science and research initiatives was highlighted in the President’s speech and Twitter took a closer look at those issues.  These tweets came from a variety of tags including #SOTU and #science.

Part of the conversation around SOTU focused on the Affordable Care Act and peeking out were some health and technology issues that showed up in #HealthIT.

On the topic of health and technology, is this weekend’s #TEDxManhattan.  TEDx are independently organized Technology, Education, and Design conferences based on the same format as the original TED conferences.  The topic for this particular conference is “Changing the Way We Eat.”  TEDxManhattan will be streamed via the internet, and live tweeted via the #TEDxManhattan and #TEDxMan hashtags.

And if you want to chat about sustainable foods a little closer to home:

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