The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was set up in 2014 and was originally planned to run
locally, in Norfolk, at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
(JPUH) for 12 days in December. Within four days, the campaign was being utilized
nationally by other trusts and charities.
By the New Year of 2015 it became international and had reached Australia and Canada.
The intended audience for the campaign is broad and includes: patients, the general
public, all staff working in health care and/or research including (but not limited
to) National Health Service (NHS), commercial
companies, charities and schools. The campaign has become a community where patients,
staff and public alike can share their voices about health research on an equal playing
field. Each year, to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) on 20
May, a #WhyWeDoResearch 'Tweetfest'
is hosted. This includes a number of 'tweetchats' at set times throughout the Tweetfest.
Tweetchats are hosted by experts in particular diseases or other areas. Patients and
patient groups are included in this group of experts. This article uses the #WhyWeDoResearch
campaign annual Tweetfest
to demonstrate how social media can be utilized to raise awareness of health research
around the world.