Citizens Wat and Premji

Three years ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning to a flurry of Facebook messages all referring to something mysterious to me but obvious to others.  The most intriguing message asked, “Were you elected Prime Minister last night?”  The only hint I was given was to go buy a copy of The Ottawa Citizen, this city’s major newspaper.

So I met my cousin (who lived across the street) and we went to the local store to buy a newspaper.  There, I was shocked, horrified, and titillated to see my posing face on the front page, above the fold:

Front page of Ottawa Citizen, Dec 12 2010

Front page of Ottawa Citizen, Dec 12 2010

The story was based upon an interview I had done with reporter Sharon Kirkey. The story was then syndicated globally, and I enjoyed a brief spurt of international media attention and a flurry of subsequent interviews with reporters around the world.

These past few weeks, another study of mine, “Family Physicians’ Sharing of Personal Information on Facebook“, co-authored by Dr Kamila Premji, got some more media attention. First, I wrote about it for the website of the Knowledge Mobilization Institute. Then I wrote a similar piece for The Huffington Post.  Then, the Canadian Medical Association mentioned our study on their website, and tweeted about it.

Then this past week, Sharon Kirkey interviewed Kamila and I about the study, and about our current study which seeks to measure people’s expectations of their doctors on Facebook. (You can still be a part of that study by clicking on this link to take the online survey, if you’re 18 years of age or older.)

The very next day, Sharon’s article featuring our interview appeared in several syndicated papers: The Ottawa Citizen, The Star Phoenix, The Calgary Herald, The Montreal Gazette, The Leader-Post, The Vancouver Sun, and

The nice part about it all is that, once more, The Ottawa Citizen put our study on the front page of their Oct 30, 2013 issue:

Cover of Ottawa Citizen, Oct 30 2013

Cover of Ottawa Citizen, Oct 30 2013

A little bit of transient academic fame is nice. Now let’s see if it manifests as greater interest in the science!