- Students as Messengers of Science: This discussion focused on how to engage high school and college students in science blogging. There are no easy solutions, but there were some tips to get them started. In particular, planning is key. What is the goal? Who are the potential readers?
- Why the Resistance to Science Blogging? This session was pretty much as advertised. Unfortunately, there was little new here - yes, there are downsides to putting yourself out there on a blog, but for the most part it seems like it will just take slow attrition of the skeptics to normalize blogging for non-blogging scientists. Same issues as in 2011, 2010, 2009. . .but little in the way of new solutions. One good piece of advice, though: should we put blogging activity on our CV, and if so how? In many cases, there are impactful ways to describe this activity - online outreach editor, web editor, etc. These or similar terms can be honest, accurate descriptors that are more positive for those who might be instinctively averse to the word "blog."
- Raising Money for Your Science and Journalism with Crowd Funding: This session filled in many of the details related to yesterday's demo - and was quite interesting. One clear worry is that crowd funding in science could be hijacked by "stodgy" forces that try to impose NSF-style limitations on the crowdfunding community (e.g., layers of vetting by experts, etc. - in fact, I think the odds are quite good that someone will un-ironically submit an NSF proposal in the near future to put together a service to validate and serve as a clearinghouse for crowdfunding science). This could have the chilling effect of squeezing out small players in favor of big institutions that are already comparatively well-funded. Vigilance is required - and the situation will doubtlessly change rapidly over the next few years. Either way, it has cool potential.
- CyberScreen Science Film Festival: Again, what the label says. I'm hoping to find a link to a list of the films - there were some really excellent ones.
- Closing Plenary Panel on Scientist/Journalist Relations: This isn't a new topic (see here for one recent post), and is getting a little tiresome for many. Lots of discussion, little movement from either side. My thought is that the real problem is not with the journalists or scientists at ScienceOnline, but the reporters who aren't science specialists, or who just copy press releases, or who throw stuff together without contacting relevant scientists.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
ScienceOnline2012 - Day 3
In Day 3 of ScienceOnline 2012 (my second day), we had a fun mix of split sessions and common gatherings. Areas of interest for me included: