A Blog Around The Clock

Various updates

Not everything gets posted on the blog (though people who follow me on Twitter, FriendFeed or Facebook may catch some of these blips), so here’s a quick summary of the past few weeks:

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Most important news first – there is a new kid on the block! Not exactly my block, but close enough – this is a small town! Welcome Oliver Anton Zuiker to the world! So, no surprise Anton’s been busy lately – for all the good reasons. Congratulations, my friend!

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These brief respites from what is usually deemed “work” do not stop us! We are – though in a slower, summer-style tempo – working on our various projects, including the organization of ScienceOnline2010. We have officially switched the Twitter hashtag from #scio10 to #scio11 (collected here) and will soon do the same with the official Twitter account, the Facebook page, the website, etc.

We are still looking for new sponsors. We need to know roughly what we can expect for the next meeting, money-wise, in order to see if we can afford a bigger venue, which would mean accepting more people, which means a richer program and a different daily schedule, etc. If you work at or know people in an organization or a company that would be interested in sponsoring the event, showing their stuff in a booth or in a Demo, or providing travel grants for a student or two (or bloggers who win contests etc.), let me know.

From various discussions with people who attended the last meeting, we are getting some vibes about the areas people want to see expanded and explored further. It seems that media, journalism, blogging, book-writing and entertainment, as well as education, Open-Access publishing and librarian/info-science communities are already large and self-sustaining and already thinking what to do next January. But other areas people feel require more attention. These include tech – people who are building new technologies, software, or web-based experiments used for doing, teaching or communicating science.

The other one is math – we are working with some people to bring a bunch of people involved in online math communities (from math bloggers to math teachers to math gamers to origami/topology geeks) to build an entire block of math sessions. Want to get involved? Let us know.

The other one is Web Science – study of the Web and how people behave online.

The next one is expansion of social science (history of science, philosophy of science, as well as application of social science to the study of online behavior – with connotations to online activism) and even humanities (science fiction as a vehicle for science) – interested? Drop us a note.

People are asking to see more coverage of virtual reality words, or using games and gaming in education, or about mobile technologies, or about the importance of meatspace and how online and offline can interact productively. Ideas? Want to lead such sessions or demo your work? Let us know.

And also – how do we get more non-blogging (and perhaps skeptical) upper-tier research scientists to come and see, perhaps for the first time in their careers, what the cutting edge use of the Web for science looks like? If you can come up with a scheme that may just work – share with us, please.

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The ScienceOnline2010 interviews are a big hit, apparently. People love them (and they are a great marketing tool for the next event). I have four new ones coming this week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at noon, and hopefully a few others I sent questions to will respond soon as well.

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Check out the new and improved homepage of Science In The Triangle. Apart from re-arranging the page, we added a news section called Inside RTP which will be mainly written by Sabine Vollmer. The blog continues (probably slower during the summer, getting back to full steam in Fall) with the core group of bloggers – Sabine Vollmer, DeLene Beeland, Cara Rousseau, Ross Maloney and myself – and additional people who, for now, will blog occasionally but may join the core later, e.g., Marla Broadfoot, Scott Huler, Ben Young Landis, Will Alexander and a few others who are still waiting for the green light to start posting. Also, don’t forget to check (and bookmark for later use) the Science In The Triangle event calendar so you don’t miss out on any events in the area. And we want feedback!

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We saw ‘Wicked’ at DPAC in Durham a couple of weeks ago and it was one of the best performances we have seen at the venue yet! I wish we could afford season’s tickets again like we did the past two years – the upcoming line-up looks amazing.

Last night I also went to my kids’ school where the high-schoolers performed their rendition of
A Very Potter Musical – that was fun.

Last week, we went to Carrboro ArtsCenter to see The Monti – with storytellers including Vanessa Woods (‘Bonobo Handshake’) and Elizabeth Edwards (whose part funny part poignant story had to be turned all political by the local media and their commenters, gah!). It was a great show and we are going again this Tuesday for the Story Slam (where instead of local celebrities people in the audience put their ideas in a hat and five names get drawn and those five people get on stage and tell their stories – true stories, no props, 12 minutes, on a common theme of the night).

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I’ll be in Philadelphia on June 14-16th, discussing blogs and social networks with scientists at a meeting. More information later, but if you live there and want to meet, let me know.