Mathematical Oncology

Recap of 2023 and the importance of social media

Written by David Basanta - January 01, 2024

Happy 2024 everyone! With the coming of the new year it is time to do a recap of 2023. This is the 5th of these posts I get to write where I aim to balance the (usually mostly) positives that the year had to offer with the (if any) negatives of the year. This time I would like to start with something different … but also something that is intimately linked to the health of the blog and the way we run it.

In our first blog post, back in what now feels positively ancient pre-covid times of July 2019, we asked you to submit posts describing your latest work, ideas, projects, tools, experiences in conferences and meetings… anything you might want to see in this blog as long as we deemed it to be relevant to the MathOnco community. Realistically speaking, people are busy and often it was one of us in the blog team soliciting some of you to contribute and often, the inspiration for those posts came from posts from the social media I will forever call twitter. Whatever your thoughts on the current state of twitter, it used to be common for many of us to post rather elaborate twitter threads describing our latest paper with a series of premises, images, results and interesting observations. This is sadly the case no more, and at least in my experience, the number of mathonco twitter threads has fallen off a cliff. If the previously vibrant mathonco’s presence on twitter is moving to a different platform that remains unclear to me: I have ventured to Mastodon (, Bluesky ( and LinkedIn but so far have not found any evidence of that. The result is that this year we have found a LOT fewer people to ask for posts. In 2023 we got 9 posts for the entirety of the year compared to 16 in 2022 and 21 in both 2021 and 2020. Our intention was for the blog to be a space for community engagement, independent of the fluctuations of social media platforms and algorithms. Clearly this shows that we have work to do.

Thus I am going to issue a new appeal for people to use this blog to discuss their ideas, innovative tools and groundbreaking research and I will involve a paradigm known as POSSE (Post on your Own Site and Syndicate Everywhere). You can read about POSSE in a number of places like this or this but the general idea is that as a community we should own the site that host our posts while at the same time taking advantage of the various social networks to spread the reach as far as wide as we can. A fan of Meta’s new social network Threads and of LinkedIn? No worries, post here and share on threads and LinkedIn and engage with people wherever they are, including the comments section at the blog itself. You don’t care about the latest offering from Meta but still find twitter exciting? Same approach, POSSE it away!

Having said that, I would like to thank this year’s contributors. While we had fewer posts we had a good and diverse lot in 2023. We had quite a few posts with new bioinformatic resources, datasets and our dataset overview as well as posts on game theory, immunotherapy and chromosomal missegregation. May 2024 bring more mathematical oncology to these pages.

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