April 5, 2012
AACR & Other Conversations on Twitter This Week

We are continually amazed by the rising power of Twitter in our industry.  Growth of Twitter in the life science/biotech/pharma arena has been recently documented (articles by Luke Timmerman, Steve Dickman, and Silja Chouquet are a few examples), and it’s clear that there are valuable industry-relevant discussions happening.  That said, we’ve been pretty frustrated by how hard it can be to get a complete picture of these conversations by following traditional Twitter feeds (as those in-the-know will know, Twitter “conversations” are often disconnected, shortened, and missing valuable context). 

We’ve been prototyping and playing with a tool to give us a more complete and intuitive snapshot of what’s being talked about in the Life Science Network, even for those of us who don’t use Twitter at all.  We thought the AACR meeting would be an interesting test case this week, since we did not attend.  As you’ll see below, we were able to look into many interesting conversations (as they happened).  We’ll summarize a few here:

Highlights from a few interesting conversations (screenshots from our prototype tool)

Example 1: Debate between academic and pharma approaches sparked by Janet Woodcock panel

Example 2: Technical exchange on available mechanistic data in breast cancer pathway

AACR was a specific event that was neat to look into, but we’ve also been using this as a way to check out what’s going on or what we’ve missed in the biotech network generally:

Example 3: One of the many engaging discussions on Vogelstein’s controversial paper this week

(Interesting note: there were even more conversations around @erika_check’s write-up on Vogelstein’s methodological limitations.)

We’re also able to get a few other cool pieces of data about the network in a given period of time, such as the major discussion-drivers, hot topics, and relevant tags.  From our analysis, the top few of each of those are below:

People: @MatthewHerper, @adamfeuerstein, @maverickny, @edyong209, @David_Dobbs and @johncfierce

Tags: This week, #AACR rose above old-reliables like #pharma, #biotech, and #hcsm.  Within AACR, some notable prevalent hashtags included #prostatecancer,  #genetictesting, #breastcancer

Topics: Notable topics this week included:

  • "Cancer stem cell vaccine in development"
  • "Fake avastins"
  • "Supreme court on individual mandate"
  • "Study finds breast cancer overdiagnosed"

This has been a fun internal experiment thus far, and we are now nearing a closed beta test version.  If you’d like to be involved in testing it out, don’t hesitate to contact us at: pmurray@puretechventures.com.

-Eddie Martucci, Phil Murray, and the PureTech team

Blog comments powered by Disqus