When I saw Chris Mooney in NY this week, the first thing he did was throw a blow — he punched me in the shoulder. Oh, he said stuff like “hello” and “good to see you,” but I think that was just to throw me off my guard. And then we threatened to buy each other beer — in Mooney’s case, bad beer — so you know this is going to be a ferocious grudge match. You’ll want to be there. Here’s the announcement:

Speaking Science 2.0: New Directions in Science Communications
Friday, September 28, 2007
7:30 p.m.
Bell Museum Auditorium
$5 Suggested Donation

Seed magazine writers and influential science bloggers gather to discuss new directions in science communication. This lively panel discussion will cover a range of topics, including science and culture, public engagement with science, the role of scientists in the public discussion of science, and communication via the Internet, film, museums and other media. Author and journalist Chris Mooney, American University communications professor Matthew Nisbet, and University of Minnesota anthropologist Greg Laden will join moderator Jessica Marshall, a U of M science journalism professor. A reception in Dinkytown will follow the event. Co-sponsored by the Bell Museum of Natural History; Seed Magazine/ScienceBlogs; The Humphrey Institute’s Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy; and the Minnesota Journalism Center.

Shanai Matteson, the organizer, sent along some other useful information to go along with this announcement:

  • The Bell Museum is on the University of Minnesota campus at 17th and

  • You can take a #3, #6, #16, or #50 to get there…it’s very accessible by
    bike too!

  • There may or may not be a mud pit.

  • There WILL be a lot to talk about.

  • The reception will be at a place called Kafe 421, which is within walking
    distance of the museum and serves wine and beer and really great
    mediterranean appetizers.

  • You don’t need a ticket, but you can reserve a seat ahead of time by
    calling the Bell Museum registrations office at 612.624.9050

I don’t know about you, but I wish to hear more about this mud pit. I know Chris and Matt are very pretty, but I’m not going to wrassle anyone in a mud pit unless they are even prettier and don’t have that manly stubble Mooney always has.

Uh-oh. I just noticed what was up top on Mooney’s page. No! We are not going to resolve the conflicts this way.


  1. #1 matthew
    September 27, 2007

    Video, audio, transcripts???

  2. #2 Brownian
    September 27, 2007

    Am I the only one that read Kafe 420 at first and was worried that the discussion was going to consist of a lot of “Okay, so science should totally be communicated by, um, by, um, what were we talking about again?”

  3. #3 John McKay
    September 27, 2007

    We are not going to resolve the conflicts this way.

    Is that referring to sex in the inbox or to that thing in his logo that looks suspiciously like the constitution scrimshawed on an oosik?

  4. #4 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    September 27, 2007

    Yeah, this is a case where we should deplore the highly skewed gender balance up there on the stage, especially if it were a bonobo debate.

    Well I’m not so sure about bonobo style debate, but in terms of mixing things up with a woman in the ring, you know I’m game anytime! 😉

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    September 27, 2007

    Yes, I’m going to be up there. Greg Laden would kill me if I abandoned him.

  6. The text for the flyer is wrong. It should say “Seed magazine writers and SOME influential science bloggers” or “Seed magazine writers and all but the most influential science blogger”.

  7. #7 PZ Myers
    September 27, 2007

    No, Phil, I already explained that I am going to be there. I’m trying to think of any other sciblogger who could possibly compare, and I’m drawing a blank. Maybe you could mention a name or two…?

  8. #8 kellbelle1020
    September 27, 2007

    I second the request for video/audio/transcripts. I’m in the Cities now, and REALLY REALLY want to go, but can’t due to a prior engagement :(

  9. #9 John McKay
    September 27, 2007

    I think what Phil meant was “Seed magazine writers and all but the second most influential science blogger, as decided by a vote of the readers”.

  10. #10 JD
    September 27, 2007

    Why isn’t Phil on the panel or did Nesbit organize this event as well? :p

  11. #11 Greg Peterson
    September 28, 2007

    I saw PZ and Chris between the covers last night–the covers of Seed Magazine, that is. And they both had fantastic articles. The tide going out leaving consecutive lines on the beach was the perfect analogy to help me make sense of the biology, PZ, and Chris, I found your impassioned plea for science-guided government highly motivational. So please guys, don’t hurt each other on my account. There’s room for more than one approach to providing science communication to an interested general public. Those of us interest enough and smart enough to work through the science part are going to be interested and smart enough to unframe, deframe, reframe, or just plain frame the information ourselves, anyway. Making up stories, detecting patterns, providing contexts–it’s what we humans do. I’m not saying it’s a debate about nothing, but the conflict part is probably not as crucial as the shared objectives part, ultimately. Although I do loves me some good fisticuffs.

  12. #12 ngong
    September 28, 2007

    There’s room for more than one approach to providing science communication to an interested general public

    If you listen to Nisbet, there’s not. Purely indulgent guys like Dawkins and PZ are spoiling the broth for the truly concerned scientists, and need to be silenced (but Nisbet would never advocate censorship, blah, blah, blah).

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