This was a busy, crazy week.
On Monday and Tuesday I was in Boston. You may remember I went to Boston last year as well and for the same reason - spending a day at the WGNH studios, helping with the World Science project that combines radio, podcasts and online forums. You have probably noticed I have posted announcements of these throughout the year.
A short story airs on the radio show The World, about some science-related topic with a global angle. The same scientist (or physician, or science journalist) who is interviewed for a couple of minutes on air is also interviewed for 20 minutes for the podcast, and then keeps coming back for another week, responding to the questions on the online forum. Last year, that was just an idea we helped turn into reality - the website went live about a month or so later.
This year, we had something to look at and analyze - how did it go, where the traffic came from, etc, and could make suggestions for improvements for the next year. I hope that the insights from us, the outside consultants, is useful to the crew there. I personally felt that this year's meeting was better and more productive - perhaps because we had the website and the statistics already in front of us, instead of just visualizing in our minds how this should look like.
The composition of outside consultants also changed over the year. Only Rekha Murthy and I were there from the last year's lineup (see the first two links in this post for last year's list). The new folks in the room were C.C.Chapman, Andy Brack and Adnaan Wasey and we quickly 'clicked' with each other and with the World/SigmaXi/Nova/PRI people so the business of the day was pleasant and productive.
I will keep pointing out the new podcasts/forums over the year here (and on Twitter/FriendFeed/Facebook) and I hope you give them a listen/read. And I hope I get invited to Boston again next year. I really like this project and think it can become big and popular over time. You can follow World-Science on Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook and download their podcasts on iTunes.
Unfortunately, unlike last year, I was staying in Boston only one night and did not have time for a meetup/dinner with friends, bloggers and twitterers. If only I knew I'd spend six hours at Logan airport waiting for my flight home, I could have organized one. Eh, perhaps next year....
You already know I spent some time struggling with my laptop. I am also in the middle of teaching my BIO101 course, lectures on Wednesday nights, labs on Saturday mornings.
And yesterday, for the third year in a row, Abel Pharmboy and I went to Misha Angrist's class to talk about science blogging, social networks and media. Last two years, Sheril was the third part of the trio, but as she just moved to Texas, we went without her. We'll need a replacement for her next year, I guess. This is always a fun thing to do - Misha always has interesting, engaged students.