February 03, 2009


... is a conference I wish I could have attended. The third annual science blogging conference took place Jan. 16-18, 2009 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The wiki states that the "goal [was] to bring together scientists, bloggers, educators, students, journalists and others [i.e. librarians!] to discuss, demonstrate and debate online strategies and tools for promoting the public understanding of science."

There were four tracks: science blogging; science communication and education; doing and publishing science; and show-and-tell quick sessions. If I had gone, I would have attended these sessions:
  • "You are a science blogger but you want to publish a pop-sci book?" moderated by Tom Levenson and Dave Munger (discussion page)
  • "Science online – middle/high school perspective (or: 'how the Facebook generation does it'?)" moderated by Stacey Baker and her students (discussion page)
  • "Teaching College Science: Blogs and Beyond" moderated by Andrea Novicki and Brian Switek (discussion page)
  • "Race in science – online and offline" moderated by Danielle Lee (discussion page)
  • and, of course, "How to search scientific literature" moderated by science librarians Christina Pikas and John Dupuis (discussion page)
There were many more sessions I'd like to have attended.

If you're interested in this conference, I highly recommend this interview with Bora Zivkovic, one of the conference organizers, on Minnesota Atheist Radio. Interviewer / conference attendee Stephanie Zvan talks to Bora about the conference, its origins, and his goals for the 2009 conference.

What appeals to me about the conference is the inclusive nature of the attendees and topics. There were high school science students & bloggers in attendance (and presenting!), as well as people of all genders and races and scientific interests. I am a big fan of science, but I'm no scientist (maybe I would have been, had conferences & teachers like this been around when I was in high school) ... and I feel like I would have been welcomed. And welcomed not only to attend, but to participate, to ask questions, to provide my perspective on science. As a science librarian and a future journalism librarian, I definitely have some thoughts about science and its promotion -- and I'd love to be part of this conversation.

Next year, I will be.

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1 comment:

coturnix said...

Oh yes, you will be!