A Blog Around The Clock

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A number of sessions at the Conference are looking at sociological aspects of the Web and science. I have already pointed, in quite a lot of detail, to the session on civility and politeness, as well as several other sessions that touch on the topics of language and trust. Let’s look at several others that approach the social aspects of science online (and offline) from different angles:

Casting a wider net: Promoting gender and ethnic diversity in STEM – D.N.Lee and Anne Jefferson

Description: We will introduce programs that attract wider audiences to science, math, and engineering at various institutions/education levels, programs that mentor students (high school, undergrad & grad students) in research and education excellence. How Social Media tools can be used to raise the profile of and build support networks for under-represented scientists and engineers. Discuss here

The Importance of Meatspace: Science Motels, science freelancing and science coworking – Brian Russell and Paweł Szczęsny

Description: Science careers and science workplaces are undergoing dramatic change, driven by internal shifts in the practice of science and external shifts in labor markets and workplace design and management. This session will be split into two sections. The first half will explore the shift from freelance scientists to virtual contract research organization, and explore alternative models for R&D;. The second half will explore possible models for science motels and science coworking, building on the “research cloud” scenario presented in the Institute for the Future’s “Future Knowledge Ecosystems” report, released in 2009 as part of the Research Triangle Park’s 50th anniversary. We will use a group brainstorming process to develop a map of ideas about how freelancer scientists, virtual CROs and flexible lab/workspaces may co-evolve in over the coming decade. Discuss here

Privacy, ethics, and disasters: how being online as a doctor changes everything – Pal MD and Val Jones.

Description: We all know that there are potential pitfalls to having a prominent online presence, but for physicians, the implications affect more than just themselves. How should doctors and similar professionals manage their online life? What are the ethical and legal implications? Discuss here.

Legal Aspects of publishing, sharing and blogging science – Victoria Stodden

Description: Not giving legal advice, but discussion of CC-licences, copyright, Fair Use, libel laws, etc. Discuss here.

Citizen Science – Darlene Cavalier, Scott Baker and Ben MacNeill

Description: Not so long ago, “citizen scientist” would have seemed to be a contradiction in terms. Science is traditionally something done by people in lab coats who hold PhDs. As with classical music or acting, amateurs might be able to appreciate science, but they could not contribute to it. Today, however, enabled by technology and empowered by social change, science-interested laypeople are transforming the way science gets done. Through a myriad of different projects, citizen scientists are collaborating with professionals, conducting field studies, and adding valuable local detail to research. Discuss here.

An Open History of Science – John McKay and Eric Michael Johnson

Description: We will be talking about how the history of science and the history of the open-access movement have intersected. Steven Johnson touches on this theme in his latest book, The Invention of Air, in that 18th century British polymath Joseph Priestley was a strong advocate of publishing scientific data widely in order to create a greater dialogue between scientists. While Johnson only mentions this briefly in the case of Priestley, this theme runs strongly through the history of science and is what makes the debate over the patenting of genes or the availability of open-access journals such important topics today. Discuss here.

Web Science: An examination of the World Wide Web and how it is transforming our society – Arikia Millikan and Nate Silver

Description: Web Science is an emerging field that attempts to study how people use the Web and communicate with each other through what is considered the “largest human information construct in history”. In this session we will discuss what exactly the Web is, how it is evolving based on user behavior, and how things like search engines, blogs, and social networking tools are shaping the society in which we live. We will also explore how to analyze the Web, and what we can do to actively take part in its construction to ensure that it continues to benefit society. Discuss here.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Session: Engaging underrepresented groups in online science media – David Kroll and Damond Nollan

Description: The conference timing may keep some attendees away in their hometowns participating in local MLK activities. Therefore, we are introducing a session to promote the principles of Dr King in the context of online science communication: promoting social justice and eliminating racism in areas ranging from healthcare to scientific career paths. We plan to take a different angle from the blogging about gender/race session: how do we cultivate emerging science writers from underrepresented groups to promote science, for example, in areas of health disparities (i.e., diabetes, substance abuse, prostate cancer) and in providing opportunities to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. Locally in Durham, North Carolina, efforts are underway through the non-profit Kramden Institute to start by making newly-refurbished computers available to honors students in underserved school districts as a model for what can be done nationally. We’ll also be represented by local IT and social media folks who are setting up the infrastructure to make internet access more affordable and accessible. Any advice, comments or ideas are welcome from attendees, especially if you engage with underrepresented groups in your respective line of online or offline work. Discuss here.