- by Kevin Zelnio
Science is being revolutionized by the internet. More and more scientists are blogging, using wiki’s, special search engines, social networking sites and other online technologies to communicate with a broader audience or to enhance communication within their discipline or a small group of colleagues. Open access to information and source code for software is increasing. Much is being discussed about the future of science and the communication of science. It is very fascinating times we live in right now. More and more media sites, such as our Discovery Channel overlords, are recognizing the value in utilizing the communication experience, knowledge and enthusiasm of internet-savvy working scientists. This is a good thing.
For the last 2 years there has been a North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. I had the extremely good fortune of organizing and co-moderating a session called "Real-time blogging in the marine sciences" with Peter and my fantastic colleagues Rick, Jason and Karen. It was a great time and I also participated in a session on student blogging and open access in the developing world. I emphasize participated because these conferences followed an "unconference" format. This is a brilliant concept for conferences where sessions are moderated and discussion between everyone in the room is encouraged. This is in contrast to the traditional conference where a speaker gives a presentation to an audience, which is otherwise disengaged from the material being presented. In an unconference you walk away with the feeling that you were an important component of the discussion, and indeed, the second you raised your hand you were.
For the next Science Blogging Conference, there is a slightly new emphasis, reflecting its growth and the growth of interest in the role online technologies play in promoting, communicating, and enhancing science. This conference, and subsequent ones will be called ScienceOnline!
ScienceOnline’09 is the third annual science blogging
conference, to be held Jan. 16-18, 2009 at the Sigma Xi Center in
Research Triangle Park, NC.
Please join us for this free three-day event to explore science on the Web. Our goal is to bring together scientists, bloggers, educators,
students, journalists and others to discuss, demonstrate and debate
online strategies and tools for promoting the public understanding of
I will be there, and hopefully as a presenter, but more importantly as a participant. If you are interested in the future of science, I encourage you register for this memorable and exhilarating conference. You can also see who else will be attending. There will also be four main conference tracks: Science blogging, Science communication and education, Doing and publishing science, and Show-and-tell quick sessions. Each
track will have sessions targeting different audiences (e.g., beginner
bloggers, experienced bloggers, scientists, students, teachers, etc.). Keep posted to Bora’s blog for updates
Additionally, if you are a person that wants to reach out to a few hundred scientists, communicators, media personnel, bloggers, writers, educators and internet-influential types, get in contact with the conference organizers or myself to showcase you organization’s mission, goals, products, samples, media, software, etc. Each conference participant will get a grab bag with you swag in it. Judging from mine last year, it was an AWESOME haul that kept me entertained for months afterwards.
Hope to see you there in January!