Christina's LIS Rant

4S Day One

It’s always strange to go to a conference outside of your own primary research area. This conference had a lot of historians and philosophers as well as social scientists in every other category including media studies and information science.  I was in a couple sessions in which the presenter read from a marked up paper, clutched in their hands in a bundle.  I understand that’s the norm in some fields, but there’s no way I’m going to waste my time listening to someone read aloud when I could read the article for myself in half the time.

There were some real highlights of the day.  A couple of these were in talks in my session.

First:  Distributing Science: Architecture, Participation, and Boundary Work in Online Citizen Science Projects, presented by Ayse G. Buyuktur, University of Michigan.  This was pretty neat. They are looking at Galaxy Zoo, a protein folding game, and a weather thing and how these projects train the participants to view things like a scientist and how the participants form a community in the forums.

Second: Scientific Communication Cultures in Chemistry, presented by Theresa Velden, Cornell University. This presentation just covered the first analysis of their data, but it was pretty interesting.  They have done a bunch of interviews and field work at some physical chemistry and chemical physics labs involved in clusters and (… forget the other stuff). It turns out that the PIs of the labs involved in the creation of new materials are instructing the lab members not to share *any* details of their work for fear of getting scooped. That’s not healthy.

My slides are below. I had some great comments from the audience.  This presentation is not my best work, but I’ve been a bit of a basket case in organizing any thoughts recently.

Siva Vaidhyanathan didn’t show up to give the talk on Google and privacy. Someone read his paper, but that was less than satisfying.

A final highlight was: Where Are the Missing Wikipedians? The Sociology of a Bot by R. Stuart Geiger, Georgetown. Geiger is a Wikipedian and he looks at the work of the editors and administrators as well as the bots that are used by editors or that are somewhat autonomous. It’s really pretty fascinating.

I’m going to show up way late this morning – it took me about an hour and a half to get there yesterday and then I was there from 8:20a-6:30p so I’m a bit tired. I’ll probably get there for the second set of talks. I hope.