Facebook fanpage, blogs and Twitter
In the accompanying Triple Helix Giles Cattermole explains these, and convincingly defends the reasons for CMF getting into social networking (though in a briefing paper for Senior Staff Team discussion he did use the subheading: 'Communication and collaboration or time-wasting triviality and retarded relationships?')
We are already doing much more with blogs and Twitter (see for example Vicky Lavy's blogs from the Developing Health course over the page), and there is lots of material on the new media centre featuring CMF staff and members on radio and TV. Some members are anxious to have audio material available in podcast form: 'I don't have time to read, and limited time to surf the web, but I do spend a lot of time in my car and like to listen to worthwhile material…' and we intend to get there soon.
Reaching out to the churches
In the first place we want to use these new media for the benefit of you the members, the profession at large, and those with a 'professional' interest, but we believe God is calling us increasingly to reach out more to the churches.
There are several reasons for this:
- All the not-yet-member Christian health professionals are in the churches
- Churches need our expert advice on some of their 'pastoral' needs
- We need the prayers and support of lay Christians in our ethics debates
New media 'producer' for the autumn
It is because of the growing convergence of these new media, the never-ending advance of technology, and this sense of call to reaching out more to churches that we are advertising soon for a 6-session media 'producer' to create and collect material. Keep an eye on the website if you think you might know someone suitable.
MA in Bioethics and Medical Law
Applications are invited for the 2010-11 MA at St Mary's University College, London, TW1. Course induction day is Saturday 18 September.
The course can be taken part or full time, on site or by e-learning. The programme is unique in being taught by a multidisciplinary team based at the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies within the University College.
The new programme director, Trevor Stammers, is a past chair of CMF and many members have now successfully completed the course and are involved in guest lecturing on it.
Full details and application forms at: www.smuc.ac.uk/postgraduate/bioethics/index.htm Applications are accepted until 10 September and should be sent to Dr Trevor Stammers at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Head of Communications for 2011
A new department Head will be needed from spring 2011 when I retire, and we will be posting an advert and details on the website shortly. After much deliberation, we feel it right to advertise for one single person to take on most of what I do, but should that not prove fruitful, we have back-up plans for job sharing.
We are now clearer about how all the components of the current job should be divided, and have agreed that a medically qualified person would certainly be required for the ethics and public policy aspect: 'The public face of CMF must be a doctor'. If you want to explore this possibility, please be in touch: email@example.com
Telling us what you want
We have now carried out the first phase of the CMF Communications Survey. Links to the survey were sent by email to all ~4,300 graduate and student members for whom we have email addresses. 1,100 completed it. This was roughly 50/50 male/female with the majority being either hospital doctors or GPs, in the 20-40 age group. We were sorry not to get more replies from students.
Overall, the results are encouraging and not too surprising. The answers about Triple Helix indicated that most people 'read some' of the content but few passed it on in either a medical or church context. 389 sent written comments which were generally very positive, but could perhaps be summed up by 'too busy' to read more, and 'relevance please'.
We still need to send paper copy of an amended survey to the 1,000 or so of you for whom we do not hold email addresses. While we may not gather information that is significantly different from what we already know, we owe you the chance to be listened to. If you really do not have email (as opposed to not having told us your address) then our paper mailings are all you will ever get and we'd like to know your views. So, when that survey arrives, please spend 5-10 minutes responding. We will then make detailed information available and tell everybody the highlights. Thanks!