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Conversation, Community, & Connections at the intersection of Science & the Web
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Wednesday, January 30
 

1:00pm

1:00pm

Sketchnoting/Scribing
Back by popular demand, this workshop is an introduction to visual note taking skills that can be used to augment and illuminate science stories.
will give you the basic tools you need to enhance your visual storytelling abilities. Science Scribe 2.0 at Scio12 was a huge hit. Workshop participants had a blast visually capturing the conference. Our sketchnotes, on display in the gallery and shared on Twitter, were a resounding success.

We will cover basic shapes, fonts, spacing and layout, and quick shortcuts for drawing characters. We will review current examples of visual representations of science, learn techniques and practices for creating Science Scribe sketchnotes, and look at samples from the sketchnotes masters for tips on simple, clean ways to enhance science presentations. You will leave armed with a notebook, pens, and a new set of skills and confidence for visualizing science.

Our goal for this year's conference is to crowd-source scribing: participants can volunteer to take sketchnotes for one or two presentations throughout the conference. We will then digitize these notes and feature them online as records of the conference and its contents.
Speakers
Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm
NRC

1:00pm

Stop Talking, Start Making: Rapid Media Prototyping
New digital storytelling experiences are being created all the time. The great thing is that there are no rules. The bad thing is that... there are no rules! How do you know if a storytelling idea you have will actually work, if you haven't tried it before? The answer is: make a thumbnail version, learn from it, and make it better. In other words -- prototype it. You don't have to be a coding genius, professional filmmaker, or world-class designer in order to do this. An array of tools and apps are available that are simple enough to let anyone with curiosity and creative will tinker around and see what happens. The best part: they're FAST. You can try something, see what happens, and make it better without your tools slowing you down.

This session will be part demo, part hackathon, part pep talk. In the first 15 minutes, we'll show brief examples of some of our own work that rapid media prototyping made possible (e.g. "The Monitor" and "Lego Antikythera Mechanism"), plus a handful of inspiring examples from within (and outside) science media. For 20 minutes after that, I'll briefly demo some easy-to-use tools that let you "sketch and doodle" in new media formats. Then we'll all pull out our laptops and spend the rest of the session messing around and making stuff -- either in small groups or on our own. Rose and I will float around the room asking/answering questions and swapping ideas with the attendees, to keep the creative juices flowing.

Important This is not a training session in these apps, meant to turn you from an amateur into an expert. This is a training session in *not waiting until you are an expert in something before starting to do it.* The goal is to encourage you to play around, see what happens, "move fast and break stuff" (to use a certain billionaire hacker's catchphrase). You don't have to leave this session with a finished "thing". But you should leave this session with a changed mind -- that you don't have to know exactly what you're doing before you, well, start doing!

What You Should Bring:


  • a laptop computer (Mac or PC) with an up-to-date web browser and any/all of the apps listed below

  • your smartphone if you have one -- one or two of the apps I'll be showing are for mobile devices -- but no worries if you don't have one



What You Shouldn't Bring:


  • sense of perfectionism

  • fear of "doing it wrong"



The Tools We'll Be Showing You (These are all free, free-to-try, i.e. a functional trial version, or browser-based. Pick the ones that seem cool to you and download them.)


  • Screenflow (Mac) or Camtasia (PC) -- to create screencasts and simple animations

  • Google SketchUP -- to create digital 3D models

  • Squarespace -- to create slick looking websites without design skills

  • Flixel (if you have an iPhone) or Fotodanz (if you have Android) -- to create animated GIFs and "cinemagraphs"

  • TimelineJS -- to create interactive timelines out of Google Spreadsheets or Storify streams

  • Hackasaurus -- mashup/modify any website without coding

Speakers

John Pavlus

Freelance Science Writer/Filmmaker | Small Mammal Studio | John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. He also creates original short films about science and technology for top media brands like Conde Nast, NPR, Slate, Nature Publishing Group, and The New York Times Magazine through his production company, Small Mammal. He...
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Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm
NRC

1:00pm

1:00pm

Designing Effective Visualizations with R
The right presentation of data can make even complex ideas simple to grasp. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to build up an effective visualization from the primitives of shape, size, and color. No prior programming experience is required. This workshop will teach you the essential data-wrangling skills you need to move beyond the spreadsheet and into more efficient data analysis and more beautiful information design. Everyone who attends will leave being able to scrape data from the web, load it into R, create a simple yet elegant visualization, then publish their work so that others can reproduce it. Essentials of data preparation and reproducible workflows will be emphasized and several real-world examples and case studies will be discussed.

So that we don't kill the wifi downloading everything all at once, participants should bring a laptop with RStudio installed.
Please also install the packages we'll use by executing the command: install.packages(c(”ggplot2”, “XML”,” tm", “RCurl“)) in RStudio

You may also want to download and install Google Refine

Topics:


  • Introduction to visualization techniques (why good presentation matters, how it can increase the impact of your work in research or scientific communication, basics of infographic design)

  • Introduction to R (why R and not a spreadsheet, reproducible workflows, getting familiar with the GUI, setting up the environment, loading data, understanding vectors, loading packages)

  • Learning the grammar of graphics (ggplot2, aesthetics, scatterplots, histograms)

  • Finding sources of data online (databases, APIs, data brokers, other resources)

  • Cleaning up data (data wrangler, Refine, Freebase)

  • Case studies(visual.ly, Guardian, NYT)

Speakers

William Gunn

Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley
Dr. William Gunn is the Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, a research management tool for collaboration and discovery. Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D in Biomedical Science from the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing mesenchymal stem cells, the body's own...
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Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 4:30pm
NRC

1:00pm

ePublishing with The Atavist
Now anyone can publish with The Atavist by using their easy-to-use platform. Atavist software enables you to quickly and easily tell your story through digital apps, ebooks, and magazines. It seamlessly integrates multimedia across mobile devices and the Web. Atavist lets you publish anything, everywhere.


Speakers

Olivia Koski

Story Enhancer, The Atavist
http://www.oliviakoski.com

Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 4:30pm
NRC

1:00pm

Special effects and visualization
Think you have to have illustration chops to make an effective animated cartoon? Think again. In this workshop, we'll lead you through the steps to create your own animated short. The secret lies in honing your idea. Come armed with a topic you'd like to explain and we'll walk you through the steps of creating a narrative, translating it into a series of visuals, editing it and animating it. Cartooning and general graphics tips will be covered. No dawing experience necessary.
Speakers

Henry Reich

Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science. Education. | | "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." | ~Albert Einstein

Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 4:30pm
NRC

1:00pm

Walking Tour of the Downtown Raleigh Stormwater Tunnels
Seriously. In the great Scio unConference tradition, this is something of an unTour. Combining two interests, I will take you around some of the nuttier elements of the Raleigh stormwater system -- and yes, that means underground ... ish. That is something I know a lot about -- my book, On the Grid, went into great detail about infrastructure, and Raleigh's infrastructure especially. The other interest is videography for reporters, which I'm learning more and more about. So I'll take up to ten(ish) people on a tour of the Raleigh storm drains that crawl around beneath the city, and then before the conference is over I'll finish a video of our tour. I'll encourage everyone on the tour to do the same, and we'll see what we come up with, and we'll discuss what worked and what didn't -- hardware, software, technique. Or, I don't know -- maybe we'll all collaborate on one video, using all our footage. Or maybe not. Whatever -- that's the un part of the thing.

You'll need to bring your own flashlight and a camera of one sort or another (if you like), and given that many of the places we'll be walking will have a couple inches of flowing water, you'll need to either put plastic grocery bags in a pair of hiking boots (my solution) or bring waterproof boots of one sort or another. Or just get wet feet, if you promise not to complain. Note -- this is NOT SEWAGE -- this is storm water. Which, what with the fertilizer and the brake dust and the pet waste and whatnot I wouldn't drink, but I wouldn't worry too much about splashing around in either.

You will be provided with your own souvenir hardhat!

Obviously, if the day is rainy, for safety purposes we'll have to stay away from underground and will satisfy ourselves looking at -- and shooting -- above-ground-but-still-cool elements of Raleigh's storm water channels.
Speakers

Scott Huler

Scientific American

Wednesday January 30, 2013 1:00pm - 4:30pm
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences: NRC

3:00pm

Maps for journalists, writers, and scientists

Maps can make excellent storytelling tools. In this workshop, we’ll start with a short talk detailing what software and services are out there, including many that are free. We’ll also cover where to find useful and free geographic data. After the introduction, you'll receive a series of tutorials. Tim and Andrew will act as roving instructors, answering questions and providing assistance. The workshop will have two tracks—beginner and advanced—covering different techniques and approaches for both desktop/laptop-based software and webGIS apps that can be integrated into stories, blog posts, and websites.

Attendees with no background in cartography or GIS can expect to learn to how create web-based maps complete with links, photos, and text that can be embedded in other websites. We will also cover the creation of static, image-based maps suitable for publication on the web and in magazines and newspapers. Those with some familiarity with GIS will learn how to use an advanced webGIS system for the storage, analysis, and display of geographic information.

Please come prepared with a laptop (Mac or PC) that already has the necessary data and software. Links to the software and data along with installation instructions can be found at http://www.de-chant.com/tim/scio13

Wednesday January 30, 2013 3:00pm - 6:30pm
NRC

6:00pm

Opening Event at NRC

We will open the conference with a Wed night event at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Research Center (http://naturalsciences.org/nature-research-center) in Raleigh (6-9 PM). It’s an amazing venue. The museum is a short walk from the Marriott/Sheraton.

We will start at 6pm. We will have light appetizers (cheese, fruit, vegetable crudités, finger sandwiches) and drinks (Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (http://www.kentuckyale.com/kentucky-bourbon-barrel-ale) and wine). Bora, Anton, and I will welcome you with a toast to the event and then encourage you to explore and start your conversations!

We encourage you to purchase some more substantial food in the Daily Planet Café (http://www.thedailyplanetcafe.com/) as you stay for the evening. Their entire menu (http://www.thedailyplanetcafe.com/menu/) will be available. At 7:45ish, our very own Brian Malow (http://www.sciencecomedian.com/) (the Science Comedian (http://www.sciencecomedian.com/) ) will entertain you from his home stage of theSECU Daily Planet (http://naturalsciences.org/nature-research-center/daily-planet) (a 3-story theatre inside the large globe you see outside the museum!), which is a focal point of the Nature Research Center.

Wednesday January 30, 2013 6:00pm - 9:00pm
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences: NRC
 
Thursday, January 31
 

9:00am

CONVERGE: Social Media is Out of This World
Speakers

Veronica McGregor

News & Social Media Mgr | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Veronica McGregor tweets to millions of people each day while channeling her inner robot. She manages the award-winning news and social media operations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, overseeing accounts and campaigns across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Ustream, Google+ and more. She currently tweets as @NASAJPL and @AsteroidWatch, and is part of the "hive mind" operating @MarsCuriosity.

Stephanie L. Smith

Social Media Specialist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Stephanie isn't a robot, but she plays one online. As a social media specialist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she's one-third of the JPL social media team, which holds conversations with the public and the media about the lab's 20+ flying space missions via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Ustream and Google+. She explains in plain English what's new in space science and engineering (and why it matters). | | When not tweeting on behalf of @MarsCuriosity or co-hosting NASASocial (nee...
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Thursday January 31, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Room 1c/d

9:00am

CONVERGE: Welcome & instructions for the day
Speakers

Karyn Traphagen

Executive Director, ScienceOnline
ScienceOnline Executive Director. Mortar for the Bricks. Science Communication, Physics, Photography, & Art. Ancient languages & writing systems. Addicted to learning. NASATweetup alum. Cultivating Curiosity.

Anton Zuiker

Co-founder and chairman of the board, ScienceOnline
Blogger, editor, organizer.

Thursday January 31, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Room 1c/d

10:00am

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:00am - 10:30am
Room 1 a/b

10:30am

Alternative Careers ARE the Mainstream! Taking Your Degree to a New Level

Description: Only 2-10% of PhD graduates in any given year will ultimately end up in the coveted, grail-like, tenure-track position. Only a smaller proportion still will actually receive tenure. Despite this, we keep training scientists from the start of their careers that this should be the aspiration. But should the tenured academic be the norm for a science career? Out in the wider world many science graduates are on the front lines where policies get shaped, public opinions get changed, pseudoscience gets debunked, and where we aide our academic colleagues in creating real hope and change. In addition to commercial science, many science graduates run non-profit conservation organizations, form patient and health advocacy groups, work to improve law, develop software and new analytical tools and advise movers and shakers in a wide variety of sectors. There's a veritable Nerd Army always looking for a few good Sci's. But how to get there, from the universities to these non-academic careers? This session will draw on the collective wisdom of those attending to provide ammo for those unsure of their place in this world. Scientists are more broadly trained than we often give ourselves credit for and can leverage many of scientific skills in other areas.

Questions:
- How do we make students aware that they most likely will not be a tenured academic?
- Where and how can students and early career people find emotional support for getting off the academic career meth? Need to move from personal stories (such as #IamScience) to practical paths.
- What are our transferable skills and how do we shift from our research focus to marketing our abilities and talents? Are there skills that should be taught during a graduate program that could enhance both the traditional path and the newer options?
- How do we teach students to think more entrepreneurially and highlight the wide variety of scientific careers that may be more readily accessible to them?
- What are the sectors that hire science graduates? Examples from industry, biotech/pharma, science writing/journalism, freelance/self-employment, non-profit and government.

Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 8

10:30am

Impressions Matter: Embracing art & design in research and science communication
Lets face it--according to stereotypes, scientists aren't known for their dress sense, sleek presentation style, or jargon-free articulation. Yet planning and executing small touches of design can make people take notice. In this session we'll discuss how incorporating art, music, and design can have transformative effects for research, outreach, and career prospects. From dress sense to website design, fostering a personal style can help you build a professional brand. Having a visible public profile (and making a unique impression) as a researcher or journalist can lead to myriad opportunities.This session will NOT discuss specific art/visualization methods as a tools for effective scientific outreach (e.g. comics, visual metaphors, etc), although it will touch on how failing to think about such concepts can impact career opportunities and your personal brand.

Questions:
-How important is personal branding, and in what ways can it impact career advancement?
-How do you tailor scientific presentations to different audiences (balancing style vs. substance)?
-What are some easy tips for incorporating touches of design into research/academic pursuits?
-How does a scientist's personal style affect the public's perception of their research?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7a

10:30am

Leading scientists towards openness
This session will discuss what open science means and how we can encourage it, if indeed we need to.

Questions:
- How do we define openness – Open Access, Open Data, Open Science?
- Are there obvious benefits to openness in science?
- If yes, what are the blocks towards openness? Tools, Systems, IP concerns, organizational support.
- Do scientists have to be fully open or is partial or part time open?
- What are incentives to move scientists towards openness
- Do journals, patents, IP all prevent openness?
- Do open journals promote open science or not?
- What projects can we launch at SciO13 and monitor/measure for impact of Open Science
- Which prominent open scientist can we invite to scio13?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7b

10:30am

Narrative: What is it? How science writers use it?
We writers like to toss around the term "narrative," but what we mean isn't always clear. Discourse theory tells us that narrative is one of four rhetorical modes, the others being exposition, argumentation, and description. Webster calls narrative "a representation … of an event or story" — which reflects common sense but passes the buck. For what is a story? Most would agree that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a story — two or three, in fact, woven into a single fine narrative. Yet we might argue over whether, say, Richard Dawkins' brilliant description of the rise of the "replicator" (the first gene) also constitutes a narrative; or whether a narrative requires people; or whether narrative can be driven mainly by ideas. In this session we hope to demystify what narrative is so we can better discuss how to create it. First we'll spend a few minutes trying to define narrative in a way that broadens but firms the concept into something actionable. Then we'll talk practice. Why or when should a writer/journalist use narrative? How does one transform a topic into a story? How do we conceive, report, structure, and write to enliven this story. How do we create a sense of movement through time, of tensions raised and (maybe) resolved? How must we do our reporting to turn an abstract idea into an earthy narrative? Drawing on a few prime examples and the experience and perspectives of the moderators and audience, we'll aim to firm up a working definition of narrative and send everyone out with a list of practices and skills needed to create one. Hashtag: #ScioStory. Freelancer T. Delene Beeland took the narrative challenge in first book, The Secret World of Red Wolves, to be published in spring 2013. David Dobbs tilts narrative in his pieces for the New York Times, National Geographic, and other magazines, and in his book-in-progress The Orchid and the Dandelion.
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 3

10:30am

Never Tell Me the Odds! (Part Deux, Asteroid Field Edition)
Whether we like it or not, statistics are a rhetorical device. Any number that's reported in a scientific study has a great deal of context, whether it's stated explicitly or kept hidden, and like any argument, the numbers reported are intended to make a point. When reading, writing, or simply understanding the results of an experiment, you have to grasp the whole context of the numbers - including errors and uncertainties. As with our session at ScienceOnline 2012, we'll use some case studies drawn from recent scientific stories - both good examples and bad - where the numbers are a major part of the story.

Questions:
1) Numbers in a scientific study are reported to make a point. Understanding what they mean is essential for getting the story.
2) Any reported number without a context is meaningless. The full story is needed to know what a scientific result means.
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 10

10:30am

Science and medical blogging at institutions: How to avoid being that kind of corporate blog
In this session, we’ll explore the challenges and opportunities in blogging about science under the umbrella of an institution (university, hospital, nonprofit org), and unleashing the voices of individuals in an organization where the leadership may still cling to older concepts of controlling its message. We can discuss real tips on how to plan, write, edit, promote and moderate your institution's blog so it meets your institution's goals and also doesn't suck -- and fix the problems if you think it might.

Questions:
- What institutions have good blogs? What do you like about them?
- Can an organizational blog ever be credible? Or are they ‘just PR’?
- How far can an organizational blog stray from the corporate line? And why?
- What are the top five things you need to reassure your boss about, so that they’ll let you blog for your org?
- Science journalists, are there blogs from institutions (universities, research orgs, agencies) that you value?
- What does your organization use your blog for? And how does this fit into the mix of other forms of communication?
- Organizational blogs – who’s reading? And how did you find out?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 6

10:30am

Why should scientists 'do' outreach? (part I)
The perennial discussion about scientists 'doing' outreach intensified this year, with lots of opinion and some data about who's doing it, who's fault it is that so few do it, what the roadblocks are, and how to alleviate them. Rather than host yet another tiresome round of the blame game (e.g. Scientists should do more outreach! Scientists suck at outreach!), the goal of this two-session track is to create a take-home resource for scientists hoping to do more and/or better outreach or trying to drum up enthusiasm for outreach in their departments/institutions and for those hoping to recruit more scientists to do outreach. In this session, we will focus on why scientists should want to do outreach. Drawing on the collective ScienceOnline expertise, we will brainstorm a list of ideas for incentivizing outreach that take into account the limitations (time, etc.) and barriers (stereotypes, etc.) that researchers face. The scientist-moderators for both sessions Karen James and Miriam Goldstein, and the public information officer-moderators are Matt Shipman and Meghan Groome.

Questions:
- If the currency of a scientific career is peer-reviewed papers and grants, how can scientists be encouraged and supported to take time away from these activities for outreach?
- What are the incentives to do outreach, and what are the limitations and barriers?
Moderators

Matt Shipman

Science writer/PIO, North Carolina State University

Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 4

11:30am

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Thursday January 31, 2013 11:30am - 12:00pm
Room 1a/b

12:00pm

Changing The Public Face of Science
When children are asked to draw a scientist, they tend to draw a white man in a white lab coat. When Americans were asked to name a living scientist in a recent study, 47 percent named Albert Einstein. In another study, only 4 percent could name a living scientist. It's clear that researchers are largely absent from public life, and that science has a PR problem. If we are to change the overwhelming stereotype about scientists, or gain the trust of the public, then we need to aim for greater transparency. This session will explore two sides of this issue- changing the face of science for both kids and adults. For kids, it is important to shed the geeky stereotype so that science careers are more appealing. For adults, it is important to foster a more scientifically literate population that can make informed decisions when it comes to public policy. Let's discuss the best ways to address each of these issues. Session hashtag to use: #sciface

Questions:
- What do you think of when you think of a scientist?
- Does your institution have a science communication person?
- How can scientists help public understanding of science?
- How can scientists make STEM careers more attractive to kids?
- How can scientists improve adult understanding of science for politics?
Moderators

Katie Pratt

Brown University
Graduate student in a biochem/dev bio lab. Blogging about scientific discoveries without the jargon. Also I'm British.

Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 8

12:00pm

Helping Scientists 'Do' Outreach (part II)
This is the second session of a two-session track aiming to create a take-home resource to facilitate more and better outreach by scientists. In this session, we will focus on how to do outreach, or to help scientists do it. We will brainstorm a list of the wide variety of different kinds of outreach out there, including both well established outreach channels (blogging, press releases, interviews, lectures, teaching, school visits, etc.), and also emerging and overlooked outreach channels (two-way engagement, collaborations with sci comm professionals, integrating outreach with research, e.g. citizen science, ad hoc 1:1 interactions with family, friends and strangers, 'on the street' activities, etc.). We will also draw a 'so you want to do outreach' flowchart with, we hope, an accompanying storyboard.

Questions:
- We all know blogging and being interviewed by science journalists are great ways to 'do' outreach. Are there other ways? Spoiler: YES.
- How do they do it? …'they' being those few scientists that seem to not only to make time for outreach but also use it to 'get ahead' in their research careers?
- How can PIOs & scientists help newbie scientists make their outreach effective?
Moderators

Matt Shipman

Science writer/PIO, North Carolina State University

Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 3

12:00pm

Inject some STEAM below the STEM - get in at the roots!
STEAM Education - putting the Arts in STEM education. Make their eyes pop and their curiosity peak - and the education will follow! Funding cuts aren't just hurting Science, Technology, Engineering & Math; the fine arts are taking a blow as well. Learn how to do more with less using techniques that explore STEM education through visual exploration, in a discussion moderated by two practicing science illustrators. Techniques from field sketching, data visualization, live-scribing, and metaphor building help organize the enthusiasm for STEAM and make students accomplished science communicators. How do visuals affect your own field? There is currently a lot of enthusiasm for STEAM and little organization to accomplish it. As scientists and science communicators, what can we do to facilitate this change?

Questions:
- How do visuals affect your own field?
- How do students discover effective visuals?
- What techniques can anyone apply to help understand science?
- As scientists and science communicators, what can we do to facilitate STEAM education?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 7a

12:00pm

Open access or vanity press?
New online only, open access journals are being created at a rapid pace. Many of them charge high publication fees for papers, which is a departure from much of traditional scientific publishing. The fees and lack of a tangible physical product makes these journals look like "pay to publish" vanity presses. And many open access journals are just scams, as shown by the recent “Predatory publishers are corrupting open access” editorial in Nature. Even some of these journals have genuine scientists who are trying to publish good science, apparently unaware of other suspicious practices by the publisher. How can researchers, particularly early career scientists, determine if a new journal is a “real” journal?

Questions:
• How do traditional scientific journals differ from newer open access journals?
• How can a researcher tell the difference between a take the money and run publisher and a genuine journal?
• How can new open access journals shake off the perception that they are just scamming scientists for the money?
• What standards should be used to judge new journals as real scientific platforms?
Moderators

Chris Gunter

Girlscientist Consulting (and a few other places)
Geneticist, recovering Nature editor, buddhist, and single mom in Atlanta.

Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 7b

12:00pm

Public Statistics
A session discussing the role of mathematics and statistics in public discourse. There's a huge amount of statistics constantly cited in the media and politics, which misleads through the use abuse of statistical concepts. One of the most important roles of math blogging for non-mathematicians is clarifying the ways in which things are abused, and how we can make the true meaning of statistics clear without losing the attention of the audience.
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 10

12:00pm

Scientific Storytelling: Using Personal Narrative to Communicate Science
The famous American General, Douglas MacArthur said that "rules are mostly made to be broken and are too lazy for the lazy to hide behind." The same can be said for writing and blogging. There are a whole host of "rules" that writers tend to shift to, and they get drilled into you by the news you read, magazines you flip through and classes you take in school - have a central argument or thesis, pretend the reader knows nothing, use an active voice and avoid the first person. But why? Why are such restrictions taught in journalism school and pounded into us? Humans are a social species and enjoy telling and hearing a good story, which is how history was first shared. Science can be boring to some people, but if framed within a personal story and made relatable, it can have much more of an impact. This session, proposed and moderated by David Manly and Jeanne Garbarino, will delve into the often neglected writing style and demonstrate how to use personal experiences to make your posts and articles more engaging, engrossing and exciting for the reader. The official hashtag for the session will be #MySciStory.

Questions:
- How can you achieve balance in a personal science narrative and why isn't it used more? #MySciStory
- Why are personal narratives frowned upon in science storytelling? #MySciStory
- How can you frame your experiences in the context of a narrative that anyone can enjoy? #MySciStory
Moderators

Jeanne Garbarino

Postdoctoral Researcher, The Rockefeller University
Mom stuff, wife stuff, science stuff, write stuff, and photography. And food.

Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 4

12:00pm

Summing it Up: The Data on the Cutting Room Floor

How many times have you asked yourself, "Can I say 'Cryptomonads are a group of photosynthetic/algal cells,' or must I make note of that one genus that isn't photosynthetic and makes it hard to say what exactly they are?" Well, you're not alone. In scientific publication and in science communication, one of the great challenges is streamlining the message at the expense of at least SOME of the data. But lending a hat-tip to ALL the data makes for unwieldy sentences—exemptions, exceptions and uncertain language add up to difficult reading. Not all the data can be represented, but how do you incorporate it into a coherent message? How do you decide what to emphasize and what to omit? How much qualifying is 'too much'? While some choices may be more subjective than others, this session will address best practices for assembling summaries that are the most accurate representation of the data.

Questions:
- How do you generalize without misrepresenting the data?
- How does one organize the transformation of raw image data (eg. micrographs) to a summary diagram?
- What sorts of details are permissible to omit?
- How does the target audience shape which details stay and go?

Moderators

Mindy Weisberger

Writer/Producer, Science Bulletins, American Museum of Natural History

Thursday January 31, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 6

1:00pm

Lunch: Neomonde
A delicious Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine lunch. Their website gives a preview of what we'll enjoy!
Thursday January 31, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Room 2

2:30pm

#Hashtags in the Academy: Engaging Students with Social Media
What is the role of social media in the high school and undergraduate classroom? Is it possible to engage students with Web 2.0 tools in ways that meaningfully support learning? Talk to other educators to share strategies, successes, and failures. If you aren’t using social media to teach, what would make you start? We’ll start with some data about what social media is being used by “kids these days” and move on to a discussion about what’s worked and what hasn’t in the classroom. We’ll also discuss the importance of social media for our students, in and out of the classroom, and looking forward to their professional lives.

Questions:


  • Do you use social media to engage with your students?

  • What was your biggest social media success in the classroom? Failure?

  • To what extent should social media be embedded in curriculum? Or used to supplement the curriculum?

  • Are some social media tools more academic than others?

  • How can we help students navigate their personal vs. academic / professional personas?

  • How important is social media to our students’ future? As they consider jobs and/or graduate school?

  • How does social media advance the content of the courses?

  • Does social media improve the efficiency of communication?

Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 8

2:30pm

Broadening the Participation of Diverse Populations in Online Science
Online minority science writers, i.e. historically from African-, Hispanic-, and Native-American communities, are small in number reflecting their underrepresentation in the STEM pipeline. Broadening the participation of these groups involves mentoring and training activities which can make the STEM disciplines more welcoming to all. Diversity discussions today also recognize the needs of the disabled, LGBT, veteran, female, and other populations outnumbered in majority institutions. This session will bring together minorities, allies, and stakeholders who are interested in using online tools to diversify both the sciences and science communication.

Questions:
- Submit to Diversity in Science Blog Carnivals to participate in the discussion for the #scio13 diversity session http://is.gd/DiScarnival
- Can online activities encourage underrepresented minorities to consider science education & careers?
- Can diverse science bloggers serve as online role models for minority readers?
- In science diversity, do we pay enough attention to other groups beyond ethnicity such as the disabled, LGBT, & veteran communities?
- How are you using your online communications skills to engage wider audiences in STEM?
- How does the unusual digital divide affect your science communication or outreach? e.g mobile tech used more by minority groups
- How can non-minority allies encourage minority students in the sciences? Is credibility necessary for mentoring minorities in the sciences?
- What are the challenges for scientist-bloggers from underrepresented groups?
- Can minority science bloggers inform & educate the reporting by minority bloggers & news sources in health & tech areas?
- How can ally science bloggers connect with more diverse audiences and build live & online alliances?
Moderators

Alberto Roca

Executive Director, DiverseScholar
Dr. Roca is Executive Director of the non-profit, DiverseScholar, a project of Community Partners. Dr. Roca is a first-generation Peruvian-American born in Houston, Texas; and, he received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Roca was a President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Irvine. While conducting biophysical and bioinformatic research, Dr. Roca was an active volunteer creating professional...
Read More →

Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 4

2:30pm

Hands-on math
The mathematical concepts of geometry and topology (think geometry with beer goggles) come up all over the science world, but many people are unnecessarily afraid of them. Using paper, tape, cloth, scissors, and safety pins, we will create some mathematical objects together and talk about some applications of the mathematical ideas, particularly to physics. We will explore tilings and tessellations of planes with different geometries. At the end, you can take home your new pet torus, Klein bottle, or other surface. The care and feeding of topological objects is beyond the scope of this session, so you're on your own for that.

Questions:
1) You don't need a degree to understand some of the coolest math out there: you just need scissors, fabric, and glue.
2) What can lines on a curved surface tell us about the shape of the Universe? How is a coffee cup like a donut?
3) Modern math connects MC Escher with meteorites, carbon nanotubes, and your grandma's crazy quilts.
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 10

2:30pm

Into the Unknown: What we don't know, and how to talk about it
Uncertainty is something scientists take for granted. There's always a possibility that your results could be wrong. There's always a possibility that the situation will change. There's always questions you can't answer yet, and always details still undelved. Trouble is, the public doesn't know that. For many people, results are facts and unknowns are failures (or, at least, good reasons to mistrust the experts). This disconnect between what science actually is and what the general public believes it to be creates serious communication problems, and makes it hard for people to know how to apply scientific data -- both in their personal lives, and in public policy. To bridge that gap, bloggers and journalists need to do a better job of building an understanding of uncertainty into our work. But how? Come to this session to hear our stories, share yours, and help curate a list of tips, tricks, and resources that everyone can use. Proposed hashtag: #SciOUnknown

Questions:
- There's stuff we know. Stuff we don't know. And stuff we don't know we don't know. How do you talk about unknown unknowns in science?
- Science is uncertain. Do you think the public understands that? Share your thoughts on what we don't know, and how to talk about it. #Scio13
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 6

2:30pm

Science Art as Science Outreach
A discussion of how art can be a powerful tool in communicating complex scientific concepts and can reach an audience that may not normally find an interest in science. The commonly-held belief is that science is dry and art can add passion to it but the reality is that it works both ways. Science can be a huge inspiration. We will include discussions of examples using art as an effective tool for science communication and outreach, and want to get a list of examples going on the wiki page. Creating art can also enhance mastery of scientific concepts and ideas and we will draw from studies and examples to discuss ways of incorporating artistic creativity into science education.

Questions:
- What artists, authors, creators use their art to communicate science?
- Can being scientifically accurate hurt the creative process? Enhance it? Both?
- What comes first? Science or art? Science can inspire art but it can also be incorporated into a creative piece.
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7a

2:30pm

The Impact of Electronic and Open Notebooks on Science
We discuss the technical and philosophical merits of maintaining electronic/open notebooks. On the technical side we will discuss available tools and current best practices and confront issues of data management and long term archiving. Philosophically we debate the role that open notebooks may play in converting traditional scientists to adopting open access models, and the potential broader impacts they may have on the public perception of science. We hope to leave with better ideas of how to face challenges that electronic/open notebook scientists may face technologically, culturally, and professionally.

Questions:
How can we convince scientists to make the transition to open/electronic lab notebooks?
What are the best platforms for electronic and online lab notebooks?
What are the long term implications of keeping an open/electronic notebook?
What are the responsibilities of keeping an open notebook?
How do scientists deal with terms of service/ownership of research notes when sharing online or storing them in the cloud?
How do researchers manage their first electronic notebooks to ensure information retention as lab notebooks evolve?
Why are scientists so slow to embrace the open model?
Should scientists consider notebooks as a source of outreach?
Can open notebooks become an alternative source of publication?
Should electronic notebooks be treated the same way as the shared data which they contain?
Would a network of open/electronic notebooks provide better access to information, ease issues with storage/archiving, and create a greater sense of (open) community?
Moderators

Anthony Salvagno

Graphic Designer, IheartAnthony
Open notebook science, graphic design, peanut butter and jelly

Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7b

2:30pm

Why Won't the Science Deficit Model Die?
The deficit model of science is the idea that the public has a "knowledge deficit" that affects perceptions of science and scientists. The model thus assumes that science communicators can change attitudes towards science, environmental issues, etc and affect by providing more information. The session would begin with an explanation of what the the deficit model is and the current thinking about it's validity. We would then explore what it all means for science communicators. The goal of the session is not to make a case that science education is pointless, but rather to think about what it can realistically achieve and why we are doing it? Lets make sure the outcomes match the goals.

Questions:
What is the deficit model, and what are examples of how it shapes outreach efforts?
If we all know better, why do we still fall victim to fallacies of deficit model thinking about science communication?
What are the valid models of effective information transfer and behavior change?
What, EXACTLY, are the best practices in science communication right now?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 3

3:30pm

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Thursday January 31, 2013 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Room 1a/b

4:00pm

Accessibility for All Audiences

With always-on, high-speed internet connections, most of North America and Western Europe has no problem with accessing content that we present. However, rural areas, underdeveloped countries, and people with disabilities are deterred by multimedia-rich websites. How can we reach these under-served populations?

Questions:
- What tools are there to measure your load time?
- How can we decrease load time?
- How can we make our page accessible to everyone?

Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 8

4:00pm

Blogging for the long haul
The oldest science blogs are just hitting their ten year blogiversaries. A lot of blogs have come and gone in that time. Will you still be blogging in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? What does it take to write a blog (or other online project) for the long haul? Many creative people have at one time or another faced the dreaded “writer’s block” or its equivalent. How do you break out of creative slumps, dry spells, and blocks so that you do not disappear from the scene? What are the warning signs that you disconnect entirely? Is there a good balance between the rush to say something current, to be the first, and writing something of substance, that people will remember? Are you confident that someone will be able to read your blog ten years from today? And would they find anything worth reading?

Questions:
Do you expect to still be blogging in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? What strategies you use to keep a blog going for years, or even decades?
When is it worth it to disconnect from the online conversation and focus? What are the warning signs that you’ve spread yourself too thin?
How can you beat – or, better yet, avoid - a dry spell or writer’s block?
Would all the stuff you’ve blogged survive a change to a new platform or – horrors – the company going under?
What are the long term rewards of creating a long term project? How much traffic do posts get years after you’ve written them?


Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 3

4:00pm

Lightwaves and Brainbows: Seductive Visual Metaphors at the Intersection of Science, Language and Art
Visual metaphors are crucial to science communication, both among scientists and between science communicators and the public. To start with a metaphor, they provide a familiar peg on which to hang new information. A well-chosen visual metaphor (particles as billiard balls, benzene as a snake eating its tail) can provide an instant jolt of recognition and understanding to a complex concept, while a badly-chosen one can complicate and obscure. This session will explore the best and worst, the pros and cons of devising and deploying visual metaphors for science. How do these cases make the science more compelling? For example, how do pictures of brain areas “lighting up” give us the feeling that we are peering inside the brain? How do these cases perpetuate errors or biases? In the case of brains lighting up, the color of the map of the brain is in comparison to a baseline. Most of your brain is lit up, most of the time. The moderators are a cognitive psychologist with an interest in visual illusions and the history of psychology and an artist who turns depictions of structures into amazing works of art. We’ll kick off with a little bit of science about visual perception and image processing, then we’ll talk about some good, bad and confounding examples of visual metaphors, and then open up to discussion.

Questions:
- When does a visual metaphor in science clarify and when does it obscure/confuse?
- What makes a good visual metaphor in science?
- What’s your favorite visual science metaphor? Early candidates: benzene ring, brain maps, neurons as wires, particles as billiard balls?
- What visual metaphor in science is the biggest cliché?
- What’s most important in a sci metaphor: originality, accuracy or familiarity?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7a

4:00pm

Open Session
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 10

4:00pm

Science online and rethinking peer review
Over the past decade, we have watched an explosion in the discussion of published (and unpublished) scientific work by scientists online. These discussions are public - anyone can join in - and can often illuminate key points of interest or key flaws in the work - flaws that may have been missed or simply deemed not important by the 2-3 peer reviewers of a new work. What has this online discussion taught us about how peer review of scientific work should function? Is it time for us to rethink the review process? Is the old anonymous review by an editor and 2-3 reviewers still the best practice for the accurate dissemination of scientific ideas? What can the online discussion of new work teach us about how the process should work? What online tools, opportunities, and new initiatives are out there that we can harness, as a community, to improve the dissemination of new scientific work to better the enterprise of Science? And what have we learned about the best way to praise, critique, and comment on Science to best shape new ideas? There are papers published in top journals in the 50s which the same journals would probably reject today. Would separate sections titled "Observations" or "Speculations" help? Would an "observations" section where observations are merely noted avoid fiascos like the #arseniclife episode? Also, how could be go about transforming a flawed peer-review process? As described in my blog post, publishing corrections is often a torturous, uphill process because of referee anonymity? Is it ethical/possible for scientists to publish reviews and rebuttals in such cases on blogs and websites? Wouldn't it be far better for the reviews to be made public by the journals themselves? What complexities would this entail? How much of the peer review process should or can be divulged online?

Questions:
- Has scientific publishing become too conservative?
- How could we make the peer review process easier and more transparent, especially in an online context?
- Should the rise of online discussion of scientific work cause us to rethink the peer review process?
Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7b

4:00pm

Tackling science denialism with a systematic game plan
Whether you're wading in among the denialists (whom fear often drives and whose social circles tend to reinforce denialism) or speaking to the people on the fence or the indifferent, building trust with your audience is key. Even people who are committed to the non-evidence-based side of 'controversial' science may listen to some extent if the trust is there, if there's a name behind information that always proves reliable. Part of this has to do with undoing a message, as described above, and part of it has to do with exercising due diligence and presenting as someone who will listen compassionately without being dismissive. How do we build that trust? Do we apply different tactics to reach different groups engaging in different kinds of science denial (e.g., global climate change or vaccines), or does a general framework exist? How do we address the power of belief and socially driven bias? And finally, how do reach--and keep attention of--people who are on the fence?

Questions:
- Science denialism permeates all aspects of sociopolitical discourse. What drives it? How can we reduce its power?
- Have you seen examples of someone's effectively addressing science denialism?
- Is the question really denying *science*, or is it that rejecting science helps a person retain deeply help social/religious beliefs?
- Social circles tend to reinforce belief systems. Is it possible to reach into social circles built around denying scientific evidence?
- When we talk abt tackling science denialism, who is audience? Deniers or those on fence or both? Do they require different game plans?


Moderators
Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 4

4:00pm

“They said what?!”: Fighting bullshit in the scicomm ecosystem
Arsenic Life. The Artistic Kraken. An island of garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific. These are just a few of the recent facepalm-inducing examples of media kerfuffles spurred by bad science, bad reporting, or a combination of the two. Hardly a week goes by without a foul-up about a new scientific paper or conference talk, and the misinformation spreads far and wide thanks to syndicated reports posted by major news services. Blogs are a quick and easy way to respond to bullshit claims, but, most of the time, a post just isn’t going to bring in the same audience as a sensationalized article on the landing page of FOX News, the Daily Mail, or Yahoo! If scientists and writers want to respond to overblown claims, they need to find a prominent platform, and fast. In this session, we'll come up with tips about the best ways to quickly and effectively respond to hyperbolic news reports and bad science. Given the right tools, scientists and writers can change the news cycle. And this session will also find ways that scientists, journalists, and bloggers can assist each other in responding bullshit reports that make us all headdesk.
Moderators

Carl Zimmer

Writer, Freelance
I write books, articles, blog posts, and small scraps of paper about biology.

Thursday January 31, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6

7:00pm

Evening Social Event
This is our big night. We have a terrific menu and venue ready for you! We’ll bus you to the event and you will be treated to some great local food catered by the famous Irregardless Café.

See the menu here: http://scio13.wikispaces.com/Meals+%26+Menus

We have a stage and sound system and will have our Open Mic night during this time. Bring something to perform! Contact @whysharksmatter if you want in on the fun.
 
We will also have tables set up for geeky games and fun. We will have both board games and video games. And a few fun surprises. Feel free to bring your favorite geeky game to add to the mix.
 
Oh, and did I mention we’re having the Museum of Life and Science (Durham, NC) After Hours team come and do Science of Beer demonstrations? Yes, you heard right. We’ll have liquid nitrogen ice cream beer floats (made with our favorite Alltech craft beer!). Learn some of the science behind what you are drinking!
 
We’ll have beer and wine, but we’ve also arranged for the caterer to provide a cash bar if you want something a little more special. If you have any requests, please let Karyn know so we can have the bar well-equipped.

 
Thursday January 31, 2013 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Cypress Manor
 
Friday, February 1
 

9:00am

CONVERGE
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Room 1c/d

9:00am

CONVERGE: Announcements
Friday February 1, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Room 1c/d

10:30am

Formal Science Education, Informal Science Education and Science Writing

These three fields are distinct entities, with their own training, traditions, audiences and goals, but must they be as separate as they are? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each field and what can we learn from each other? With a shared goal of encouraging scientific understanding and literacy, we'll explore the ways teachers, science writers, museum educators and more can work together.

Questions:
- "What do you think holds back collaborations between teachers, science writers, museum educators and others interested in science outreach and education?"
- "What examples have you seen or experienced working across boundaries in formal science education, informal science education and science writing?"
- "What would be effective tools/methods to use to foster collaboration between different groups interested in scientific outreach?"

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 3

10:30am

How to make sure you're being appropriately skeptical when covering scientific and medical studies

When it comes to writing about health and medicine, we all want to be the smartest kid in the room, but no one likes a show off, and scientists don't always like to hear their work criticized. Explore how to find flaws in studies, be skeptical, and include important context that separates you from scaremongerers (OMG this new bug is going to kill us all!) and practitioners of "gee-whiz" (this will be on the market in two years and cure diabetes!). And learn how to do that so the scientists who read your stuff end up with more respect for you, not less.

Questions:
- What are some mistakes veteran science writers learned from when first writing about medical studies?
- How do you ask the right questions about studies without being an expert in everything?
- How do you write critically but respectfully about studies so you don't alienate authors?
- How do you find a biostatistician to keep in your back pocket?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7b

10:30am

Spies, Spacemen, Seamstresses, and Sailors: What Science Writers Can Learn From Genre Writing

As science writers, we work hard to snag readers and keep them reading. But there are writers out there whose examples can help us but go ignored because they write in what some disdainfully calls "genre." We're talking thrillers, mysteries, adventure, romance, police novels, sci-fi, historical fiction. There's a reason why Patrick O'Brian, Jack Patterson, Ray Bradbury, and Anne Perry have sold millions of books: The best of them have developed narrative methods and techniques — call 'em tricks if it makes you feel better — that quicken readers' attention, efficiently establish scene and character, and move narrative at whatever speeds best suits the story. Some are downright innovative. We science writers face the same problems. How do we switch between narrative strands? How do we lay down one strand so it can be picked up easily later? How do we jump from one time to another, embed exposition within scene, or describe natural forces? How can we solve the problem that tormented Chekhov, that of getting someone in and out of a room? In this workshoppy session, David Dobbs (secret passions: detective novels, Elmore Leonard, and the Aubrey-Maturin series) and Maryn McKenna (mystery writers Dorothy Sayers and Anne Perry, and YA fantasy authors you've never heard of) will unpick how these tricks work and how you can use them too. Maryn McKenna is a columnist for Scientific American and the author of Superbug and Beating Back the Devil. David Dobbs freelances for the New York Times, National Geographic, Nature, and other outlets and is writing his fifth book, The Orchid and the Dandelion. Their blogs, Superbug and Neuron Culture, are both at Wired.

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 4

10:30am

The World's Largest Explainer

How do we teach the teachers? Science educators at all levels need to hear the "inside baseball", the historical context and other interconnections which is too often dismissed as background information of little public interest. Moreover, in physics and increasingly in other fields, "context" means "mathematics", and how do we engage our audience and convey accurate information when numbers are scary? None of the existing venues for online science communication are right for this: magazines are constrained, and blogs are largely swayed, by what's topical. OpenCourseWare is scattered and of uneven quality and coverage. We need to take the ethos of the "explainer" to its logical extreme. Suppose you, Dr. Scientist, have to teach a class on your professional area to first- or second-year undergrads. You need, at a minimum, texts, but nowadays you'll also need simulation codes, sample datasets on which to practice analysis, primary literature to assign as reading.... Can you find all you need from Open-Access sources on the Web? Would you know where to look? Is there just one place to go where everything is there for you, curated and mapped? In the year 2013, why not?

Questions:
- Who could host such a thing?
- Who'd pay for it?
- How do we give it the stamp of professional respectability?
- How do we integrate it into the existing science communication ecosystem?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 10

10:30am

Thinking Beyond Text

Written stories, from features in National Geographic to blogs on Wordpress, are the bread and butter of the science online community. There's a staggering amount of diversity within that textual world, but many stories can bust out of pure text. They can live, and grow and be way more awesome when you add a little something extra. Maybe that's a podcast, or a graphic that explains what's going on. Maybe it's a slideshow, or an animation. Maybe it's a simple timeline, to clear up the order of events. Maybe it's taking that tiny nugget of the story and turning it into a cartoon. The same is true of lectures, videos and podcasts. You have words in the script, yes, but there's also lighting, sound, intonation and even the pauses between -- all powerful and vastly underutilized tools for communication. Whatever it might be, this session hopes to help you think about building out - beyond text and into the magical non-textual world. Participants will discuss examples of where build outs have worked and failed, and be able to brainstorm their own projects. The session will be predominantly theoretical, but tools to accomplish those build-outs will also be touched upon. Session attendees will walk away with a sense for the possibilities that are out there for giving their text some miracle-grow.

Questions:
- You story is really cool, but it could be cooler. How can you push your story further? How do you think beyond text?
- You wrote a story. Yay! Now what about the data, graphics, interactives, podcasts, slideshows, interpretive dances and more?
- We have roughly 2500 years experience with stagecraft (at minimum). How can we apply that to science lectures?

Moderators

Ben Lillie

The Story Collider

Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7a

10:30am

What’s News in Citizen Science? Perspectives, People, Projects, and Platforms (part I)

Citizen science describes science-society collaborations that span a wide spectrum of activities under many different names, disciplines, scales, physical places around the world, and places in history. Citizen science is also called volunteer science, community-based research, street science, do-it-yourself (DIY) science, public participation in scientific research (PPSR), participatory science, web-mapping, crowd-sourcing, and more. It can be global and exclusively online via games and solving puzzles, crowd-sourcing information, or data transcription. It can be exclusively offline, such as connecting people with nature or science locally. Most commonly, citizen science involves people collecting or observing in their real world geo-referenced location and submitting the information into an online database via computer or mobile technology. From astronomy to zoology and conservation to urban planning, citizen science allows professionals and amateurs to co-produce knowledge. Session moderators will provide historic and modern-day context of citizen science and review the scope of projects and platforms/technologies that provide new frontiers for citizen science.

Questions:
- Only collecting data? What scope of activities/projects qualify as #citizenscience? #scio13
- Only helping scientists? Managers, urban planners, claims adjusters…who uses the data? #scio13 #citizenscience
- #citizenscience isn’t new: what frontiers do communication technologies open for citizen science? #scio13
- Is knowledge co-produced via #citizenscience more special than knowledge via regular sci method? #scio13
- What disciplines/professionals are involved in #citizenscience? #scio13
- What types of story angles emerge from each #citizenscience project? #scio13
- How are participants recruited for #citizenscience projects?
- Can we trust #citizenscience data? #scio13
- Beyond peer-reviewed outcomes of co-produced knowledge, where to dig for #citizenscience stories? #scio13
- Is a scientific result more/less newsworthy if it came about from #citizenscience methods? #scio13
- What online tools/platforms enable #citizenscience engagement in hypotheses, protocols, data collection, data sharing, analyses? #scio13
- Evaluating select #citizenscience tools/platforms: what are their benefits/ limitations?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 8

10:30am

Working Towards Better Press Releases: What Do Writers Want?

Press releases are becoming an increasingly powerful force in driving online science coverage. Even the best science writers use them to inspire articles and provide background information. However, they have also been implicated in some egregious examples of science communication, where problems with the publicity have received more attention than the science itself. This session will discuss how press releases should be improved, focusing on the needs of science writers.

Questions:
- What are the minimum requirements for a good press release?
- How can we make press releases — which are generally one-size-fits-all — useful for news organizations with vastly different practices?
- Is there a way to make the process more efficient for both PIOs and reporters?
- Do writers prefer to have information given under embargo and if so, how much time is preferred?
- Should attempts be made to explain the importance of a result, or is there too much potential for hype?
- How useful are quotes in press releases?
- How useful is it for PIOs to provide independent experts for comment and context?
- How much effort should be spent producing deeper context or background in case longer articles are being considered?
- What do reporters think of alternatives to the standard press release? E.g. just posting a title, lede, quotes and a link to the paper?
- What about stopping traditional press releases & instead advertizing blog articles with social media? What are some other alternatives?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 6

11:30am

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Friday February 1, 2013 11:30am - 12:00pm
Room 1 a/b

12:00pm

Blitz: Benchfly-Open-access video platform
Adoption and implementation of new cloud-based tools will irreversibly change the way research is performed and video is leading the charge. BenchFly is a web-based resource that provides researchers with a platform to film, archive, and share the content that makes all of us better scientists. Whether it's a formal technique, an insider tip, or a critical safety protocol, if you have a cell phone, you can capture it. Now labs can provide uniform training to their incoming students and postdocs, while making sure all of the knowledge they worked so hard to develop isn't lost as lab members graduate and move on. The essentials of using video in the lab along with a brief BenchFly tutorial will be presented.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 8

12:00pm

Blitz: Games for Science/Education
Immune Defense.  Buy cells.  Choose their proteins.  Fight pathogens.  Save the day.

 

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Immune Attack was released in 2008 by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Learning Technologies Program.  Immune Attack is a three-dimensional, third-person shooter style video game designed to teach immunology.  Immune Attack presents the molecular biology of cellular processes called transmigration, chemotaxis and phagocytosis.  Players receive instruction from “scientist advisors” and shoot the correct proteins to allow each step of the cellular processes to proceed.  I have found that students who play Immune Attack learn some cell biology and immunology very well (manuscript in preparation.)  However, the player does not engage in any experimentation or strategic thinking related to the science.  The player cannot choose to activate a different protein, for example.  In game development terms, the learning in Immune Attack is not integrated into the game mechanic.  With evaluation data in hand and funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, I set out to make a sequel to Immune Attack.  I wanted players to experiment and explore, I wanted cell biology integrated into the core game mechanics, with the random nature of molecular interactions providing the feeling for the game.  Finally, I wanted a strong, simple mechanic throughout the game.  A strong mechanic would tie the game together, giving the player the feeling that they know what to do, encouraging exploration and discovery, instead of waiting for instructions.  My game developed into a cross between a tower defense game and a real time strategy game.  Inspired by Desktop Tower Defense, Plants vs. Zombies and Civilization, I knew we could include a lot of scientific detail and still create a really fun game. 

 

After months of development with Cosmocyte, LLC. and play testing at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC, our BETA version is ready today, February 1, 2013.    (Free BETA version for PC and Mac, web based or download, not tablets, yet.)

 

www.immunedefensegame.com

Designed for 14-16 year old students, created by a biochemist, drawn by a medical illustrator, everyone will enjoy this excursion into the cellular and molecular world of your own immune system.  Welcome to Immune Defense

 

Scientists, we are holding a contest for images for the player’s Encyclopedia, see www.FAS.org/blog/learningtech to learn how to submit your microscopy or schematic. 

Teachers, we are evaluating in classrooms please see www.MICDL.org for more information. 

Everyone, please join us in supporting popular science in another way, though video games: www.ScienceGameCenter.org is our site where teachers can find good games You can help by playing them and reviewing their science content and teaching effectiveness.   

 

BIO:

Melanie Stegman, Ph.D. is a biochemist who now makes video games.  Funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Entertainment Software Association, Dr. Stegman is the Director of Learning Technologies at the Federation of American Scientists.  Science and the study of the natural world is the best game ever created and she intends to convince you.   
Speakers

Melanie Stegman

Federation of American Scientists, Federation of American Scientists
Melanie A. Stegman, Ph.D., is the director of the Learning Technologies Program at the Federation of American Scientists. The program focuses on the innovative use of technology to present molecular science to students and the public. Convinced that cellular biology is the greatest fantasy world and biochemistry is an inherently fun puzzle, Stegman is making games to teach the average human how cells work. Current projects include 1) evaluating Immune Attack, 2) developing and evaluating the...
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Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 6

12:00pm

Blitz: MathOverflow
MathOveflow is a young (started in 2009) and active online community of research mathematicians and graduate students, where users to ask and answer research level math questions, the sorts of questions you come across when you're writing or reading articles or graduate level books. (E.g., "Is there an X that does Y" or "Can this hypothesis in that theorem be relaxed in this way?")


I will talk about the idea, what it took to start the community and why it works particular well for the pure mathematics research community, and share some amazing stories of research collaboration happening through the site.
Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 10

12:00pm

Blitz: Mendeley
I'll show some of the ways to use Mendeley find and create discussions around trending science stories.
Speakers

William Gunn

Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley
Dr. William Gunn is the Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, a research management tool for collaboration and discovery. Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D in Biomedical Science from the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing mesenchymal stem cells, the body's own...
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Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 7b

12:00pm

Blitz: SciLance-Pitch, Publish, Prosper

This companion website to The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish and Prosper in the Digital Age (Da Capo Press, April 2013) will provide online resources and advice from nearly 3 dozen writers about the craft, commerce and community of science writing.

Speakers

Emily J Gertz

Freelance journalist
NYC-based journalist covering the environment, science, and technology. Passions include marine science; walruses; cities; climate change; grassroots sci-tech. I've co-authored two recent O'Reilly/Maker Press books, "Environmental Monitoring with Arduino," and "Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino". Also: coffee, knitting, science fiction, cats, photography, coffee. | | | | | | | | | | | | With over 30 science writer besties, I've contributed to "The Science...
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Sarah Webb

Journalist, Blogger & Editor, freelance
Science journalist, blogger, and editor. Lapsed chemist, chronically curious, and I play with clay in my spare time.

Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 3

12:00pm

Blitz: Tools and technologies powering new frontiers for citizen science
With the rapid proliferation of online citizen science web sites, Azavea, a geospatial software engineering firm, and SciStarter, an online community for citizen science, have collaborated to evaluate a representative set of online citizen science software tools.  Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the evaluation effort has analyzed existing online citizen science web sites for their technology, extensibility, visualization, authentication and gamification features in order to better understand their ability to support a diverse and growing catalog of citizen science projects. This blitz session will feature highlights from this evaluation and mark the release of a formal report.




Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 4

12:00pm

Blitz: Training in sci comm in the age of data - an Italian case study
The amazing amounts of data available on the web urges science journalists and communicators, at any level, to focus more precisely than ever before on facts and figures. Data published in open source journals, archives and open databases provide great sources for a sound and rigorous approach to science communication. However, this approach requires proper training on the use of diverse web tools. SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste with a long tradition for outstanding scientific research in the fields of Physics, Maths and Neurosciences, has been hosting a very successful Master in science communication for almost 20 years beside editing the online peer-review Journal of Science Communication - JCom. Recently, SISSA has been adding a new Master in scientific digital journalism (MGSD) to its educational offer. MGSD aims at preparing science journalists to face challenges posed by the contemporary and near-future editorial environment. First example of its kind in Italy and innovative even at the European level, this Master hosts a full course on data-driven journalism to prepare the first generation of data science journalists to enter the italian market. Far from being an isolated academic experience, the Master holds strong connections with other players active in promoting a data culture: the <Ahref foundation, which designs open platforms fostering factchecking and collaborative civic information projects; datajournalism.it, a community of more than 150 data journalists, developers and designers. The best data projects produced by MGSD students are proposed for publication in professional science and tech magazine
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Room 7a

12:00pm

ScienceSeeker

Learn about the new features of ScienceSeeker.org

 

Friday February 1, 2013 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Room 1c/d

12:20pm

Blitz: Dognition

Dr. Brian Hare is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in North Carolina and a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, which is a division of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, founded the Hominoid Psychology Research Group while at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and subsequently founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center when arriving at Duke University.
 
In addition to serving as the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, Brian is the co-founder of Dognition, a truly revolutionary new service for dog lovers to be released in early 2013. For those who treasure a deeper relationship with their dogs, Dognition provides fun, cognitive science-based games that help you discover the unique way that your dog sees the world.
 
Every owner has wondered at one time or other: What is my dog really thinking? Or why does my dog behave the way he does? With Dognition, you can begin to answer these questions and more, while discovering new ways to connect with your dog. What’s more, all of the data aggregated by Dognition will help scientists like Brian make exciting new breakthroughs in dog cognition, contributing to the greater good of all dogs.
 
Brian co-authored The Genius of Dogs with Vanessa Woods, available Feb. 5, 2013.

Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 4

12:20pm

Blitz: figshare
figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, sharable and discoverable manner. figshare allows users to upload any file format to be made visualisable in the browser so that figures, datasets, media, papers, posters, presentations and filesets can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow. Since going live, figshare has relied on user feedback from academics in the Science Online crowd for developing our roadmap. Here will show you how this has been implemented, from embeddable academic content for your own blogs or lab sites to a desktop uploader to manage your research data privately in the cloud. We'd love to hear feedback from academics on how they would manage their research in an ideal world, then we'll try to make it happen.
Speakers

Mark Hahnel

#openscience

Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 7b

12:20pm

Blitz: Math Code Share

Mathematicians often use numerical algorithms as a research tool. The codes are a means to an end and usually shared within research groups. What can mathematicians learn from computer science and open source projects? From librarians and repositories? What are the impediments to sharing code more widely? What are the pros and cons? What infrastructure and management work best?

Speakers

Rachel Levy

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College
Mathematics communication, writing across the curriculum, teaching and learning, instructional design and circus arts.

Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 10

12:20pm

Blitz: Mobile Apps for the Lab
Do you use mobile apps in the lab? Did you know there are apps for scientists? At this session we will discuss science app usage and demonstrate the Promega App, highlighting tools for use at the lab bench, as well as interactive content designed forstudents, researchers and teachers.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 6

12:20pm

Blitz: Oggiscienza

OggiScienza is an italian online science magazine (http://oggiscienza.it) published using cc license, free to read; differently from most publications we pay all the contributing journalists/bloggers and try to generate some revenues repackaging the content for iPhone/iPad and selling the subscriptions. Will it work? Time will tell...

Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 7a

12:20pm

Blitz: Science Exchange-Reproducibility Initiative
The irreproducibility of academic preclinical research is negatively impacting the development of effective new therapies for patients. The Reproducibility Initiative aims to reward high-quality, reproducible research and provide a mechanism to identify robust new drug targets for the development of effective new therapies. The Initiative helps researchers outsource their study for validation by expert providers at core facilities and contract research organizations. Researchers who apply are blindly matched with an appropriate, verified provider who then reproduces the study on a fee-for-service basis. Validated studies receive a Certificate of Reproducibility acknowledging that their results have been independently reproduced as part of the Reproducibility Initiative. Researchers have the opportunity to publish the replicated results as an independent publication in the PLOS Reproducibility Collection, and can share their data via the figshare Reproducibility Collection repository. The original study will also be acknowledged as independently reproduced if published in a supporting journal.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 8

12:20pm

Blitz: The Nerve
Nerve is a student-run science, technology and engineering magazine based out of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Since its inaugural issue was released in August 2012, the magazine has evolved by connecting with readers and improving content and style. It’s been a difficult process though, as Canada doesn’t have many prominent science communication platforms in place and this restricts inspiration and encouragement. This has also limited students’ exposure to general science news; for many, reading a science magazine for leisure is a novel concept. The benefits of Nerve’s presence are limitless though, and we will see it into the future.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:20pm - 12:35pm
Room 3

12:30pm

CyberScreen Film Festival

The videos of the three finalists for the CyberScreen Film Festival will be shown.

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Room 1c/d

12:40pm

Blitz: Academia.edu

Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. Academia.edu provides academics with altmetrics around the impact of their work: readership metrics showing how many readers they have, and demographics of those readers. Researchers on Academia.edu regularly submit to their tenure committees their altmetrics from Academia.edu to demonstrate the impact of their work. Richard Price, the founder of Academia.edu, will talk about how Academia.edu's altmetrics are changing the way that research is evaluated, and about how altmetrics will evolve in the future. 2.2 million academics have joined Academia.edu, and over 5,000 academics join each day.

Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 7b

12:40pm

Blitz: Comprendia - Getting Financial Support For Your Blog Without Selling Your Soul
Bloggers need financial support, and companies are looking for ways to get the word out about their products in the new media landscape. How can we help both achieve their goals, resulting in a more robust blogosphere that retains its integrity? Through our marketing consultancy and our experience building a website and biotech community in San Diego, we’re well positioned with the experience and connections to help you. We’ll outline the steps you need to take to get your blog sponsored, get your feedback and concerns, and make connections with you which we hope will lead to you making a million dollars off of your blog. Or, at least covering the costs and helping you to continue to communicate science. If you represent a company interested in sponsoring blogs, please join us to add to the discussion. Stay tuned for ways we’ll get feedback from you before the event, because we’re really into that sort of thing.
Speakers

Mary Canady

Business Development/Marketing, Comprendia, LLC

Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 7a

12:40pm

Blitz: EPA

EPA's Village Green Project - High-tech air measurements at your neighborhood park

Paragraph:  How would you go about designing and building an educational air and weather-monitoring station that would require less energy than a clock radio, blend seamlessly into a public park or playground, stream useful data to a website, and at a price tag where one could envision deployment of multiple systems?  Come hear about one of EPA's Office of Research and Development new projects that involves an interdisciplinary research team.  Join us "on the Village Green" with Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) recipient Dr. Gayle Hagler.  Come with questions, comments, suggestions and encouragement for our scientists to help us improve a project that aims to provide additional information to assess air quality and support sustainable communities.

Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 10

12:40pm

Blitz: Eyes on the Solar System/ Spacecraft 3D
Eyes on the Solar System is a browser launched 3D experience produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The planets, their moons, asteroids, comets and a huge variety of the spacecraft that have been exploring are yours to explore. Ride with Cassini thru the edge of Saturns Rings, replay the epic adventures of the Voyager Spacecraft, fall to Mars with the Curiosity rover and see what new missions have in store.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 6

12:40pm

Blitz: From Lab Bench to Kitchen Table: Why I Made KidScienceApp
Science literacy should start at home, but as a stay-at-home mom, I found a dearth of fun, safe science experiments designed for kids under 10. To make science as easy as baking cookies for non-scientist parents, I started KitchenPantryScientist.com, learned to do science on TV, and created KidScience App for iPhones and iPod touch.
Speakers
Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 3

12:40pm

Blitz: PeerJ
PeerJ - the what, the why, the where and the how
Speakers

Peter Binfield

Co-Founder and Publisher, PeerJ
Pete Binfield has worked in the academic publishing world for almost 20 years and is the Publisher and co-Founder of PeerJ, a new Open Access publishing company. Since gaining a PhD in Optical Physics, he has held positions at Institute of Physics, Kluwer Academic, Springer, SAGE and most recently the Public Library of Science (PLoS). At PLoS he ran PLoS ONE, and developed it into the largest and most innovative journal in the world. He is currently a member of the...
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Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 8

12:40pm

Blitz: PLOS
Friday February 1, 2013 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Room 4

1:00pm

Blitz Luncheon: Gourmet Salad Bar
Sit with a Blitz Session presenter to continue the conversation. Make your own gourmet salad with fresh veggies, meats, and more! Something for everyone.
Friday February 1, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Room 2

2:30pm

Citizen Scientists and Ethical Research (part II)

Many ethical issues arise while conducting research. What happens when citizen scientists start doing research outside the scope of institutional review boards, medical ethical committees or institutional animal care and use committees? While there is a long history of researchers experimenting on themselves, there is an equally long history of vulnerable groups being taken advantaged of without proper ethical oversight. How does this history and experience dovetail with citizen scientists and researchers who are not a part of this narrative history, and may not have the experience - or ethical self-regulation - to know where to draw a line in the proverbial sand? While there are standards for traditional medical research - still too frequently violated - how are they, or should they, be applied to citizen science research? Join us as we discuss the historical context of ethical research and examine contemporary influential issues, and how this affects and applies to citizen science.

Questions:
- Who provides ethical oversight for the maker/DIY bio culture? (Who does, and who should? Are they the same people?)
- Who should be responsible for insuring that research undertaken by non-institutionally affiliated researchers is ethical?
- Is there a need for a citizens ethicist group, to provide oversight in to research?
- What are the most effective and efficient ways for a citizen scientist to educate herself about ethical regulations and issues?
- Are you obligated to tell research subjects that you may profit from their tissues and other contributions?
- Many consumers felt misled by 23andMe's consent form [URL to controversy]; how does this affect disclosure needs?
- Ownership of research is contentious in trad research; how should it be handled in citizen groups? [styrofoam URL]
- What does research - and consent - mean to different populations/communities?
- Should crowd-sourced projects be required to seek IRB approval?
- Does placing ethical constraints on DIYbio/art hamper creativity?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 4

2:30pm

Dialogue or fight? (Un)moderated science communication online

Cultivating a space where commentators can vigorously disagree with a writer--whether on a blog, Twitter, G+, or Facebook, *and* remain committed to being in a real dialogue is pretty challenging. It's fantastic when these exchanges work and become constructive in that space. On the other hand, there are times when it goes off the rails despite your efforts. What drives the difference? How can you identify someone who is commenting simply to cause trouble versus a commenter there to engage in and add value to a genuine debate? What influence does this capacity for *anyone* to engage with one another via the great leveler that is social media have on social media itself and the tenor and direction of scientific communication?

Questions:
- Are there immediate signs of a troll commenter and type (concern troll, etc.)? What are they? How do you respond?
- What are some keys to a strong comment policy that encourages open, candid discussion but discourages troll behavior?
- What do you do about well-meaning commenters who engage trolls but in ways that themselves don't forward the discussion?
- Is there a difference in ways of managing trolls or turning the conversation to constructive on Twitter vs blogs vs G+? Do some basic rules apply?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 6

2:30pm

Did Anybody Look At This !*%&#%@* Press Release?

he after-hours discussions at SciO12 yielded a surprisingly heated meme that persisted for weeks: Press Officers Are Sending Stuff Out Without Scientists' Knowledge! Shock and alarm ensued. Responses from press officers, scientists and writers ranged from skepticism to confirmation. Both claims can't be right, can they?

Questions:
How many press releases are unreviewed by scientists?
Did nobody look at it, or was it just you who was left out? (Are you a grad student?)
What do scientists really mean by "inaccurate" in a press release?
What do scientists really mean by "didn't vet" a press release?
What would be the harm of un-reviewed stories being released?
Where does "churnalism" come from? Can we trust it?
Who does the PIO work for, really?
Who are the PIOs? How are they trained? What are the rules?
Bonus question -- Who are the bigger jerks: scientists who won't speak plainly, journalists who believe they're prophets of Truth, or press officers who don't understand the stories they're selling?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 8

2:30pm

How can the science of science education inform communication about science?

Research supports several practices in science education that "work", including active learning, tying new knowledge to prior knowledge, and recommendations from the NSF Vision and Change report for Biology Education. Participants will describe evidence-based science education practice, with examples, then will discuss how to incorporate these practices in online science communication. If the participants wish, we can discuss whether MOOCs are opportunities for science outreach.

Questions:
- What works in science education?
- Is Science Online science education?
- What are effective science ed practices for science online?
- Are MOOCs an opportunity for science outreach?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 10

2:30pm

Opening Doors: Science Communication for Those that Don't Care/Don't Like Science

Many (most) conventional forms of science communication (books, blogs, films, focused and/or beat-driven journalism) speak to self-selecting audiences. Several analyses have pointed to the growing “tribal” or partisan divide being a reliable predictor of acceptance of rejection of scientific findings on subjects like climate change, evolution and others. That’s part of the context that frames the question of how to reach beyond those who already know they’re interested in science. And then there’s this: over the last (n) years (where n is some length of time just slightly shorter than the speaker at the time has been doing whatever s/he does in science communication) there has been an enormous expansion in the ways science popularizers and audiences interact. From the impact of social media to the development radically local approaches like Story Collider and the science festival movement, experiments with form, venue, and approaches to the formation of audience and/or community have significantly broadened the opportunities for science and members of the public to encounter each other. Most important, a common thread among these newer genres and approaches has been framed the idea of science as an expression of culture, and not just a body of knowledge or of methods.

With this in mind, this session hopes to create a forum where we explore these developments more fully. Among facets of the issue to be discussed: we hope to raise and learn of examples where the best impact may be gained by deliberately not compartmentalizing definitions of science, but rather by reaching out through the exploration of all the nuances and different perspectives that science can offer us. From there we’ll go where the participants take the discussion, but some questions present in the moderators minds include thinking critically about the various ways the enterprise of science has been presented in the popular setting – how important is it to emphasize the usefulness of science; its historical significance, the creativity of its approach and the sheer awesomeness of its results, to name a few possibilities. At the same time, assuming participant interest, we can address questions of goals: what is it that popular science communication can (or should) strive to do?

David is currently focusing on a project that tries to address big questions, such as “What is science?” and “What does it mean to be scientifically literate?” at a level where younger children can contribute. Basically, something that gets all children, who even at an early age are shown to self identity with certain “choirs,” to value “questioning everything” but to also do this by using that thing we call the scientific method, the good and the bad. He hopes that this session, with its core audience of public science communicators, can add much needed insight to this intention.

Tom teaches and practices science communication. He hopes this discussion will offer some hints about how to do both better – and to reverse the conclusion that one might plausibly draw about the first quarter century of his working life: that his career is correlated with a net negative impact on the public engagement with science

Questions:
- Why do some people not care about or even like science? How might one engage them?
- Do perceptions of science make science communication all the more challenging?
- What are some ways of talking or interacting with science that are most effective in reaching the “unconverted?”
- Do you find yourself always preaching to the choir?

Moderators

David Ng

Faculty Member, University of British Columbia
Molecular Geneticist who fancies himself a science literacy advocate. Happy as a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, with a soft spot for science humour and Chewbacca (though not necessarily at the same time). Looking after a science education lab (http://bioteach.ubc.ca), managing a few unconventional science literacy projects (http://phylogame.org), and doing a little writing here and there (http://popperfont.net).

Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7b

2:30pm

Telling Visual Stories with Data: A Guided Tour of Data Visualization

How do we understand data? In an age of ever-exploding amounts of information, we face the age-old challenge of making meaning out of complex subjects. Because our eyes can process vast amounts of data quickly, visualization is one key tool in helping us see the big picture, and can be a critical tool for communicating science. But data visualization is more than just word clouds and pie charts, and is informed by a long history of information design, computer science and statistics. This session will explore the process of visualization – how to acquire, question, filter and represent data into clear and powerful visual stories.

Questions:
- What are some design principles that inform data visualization?
- What are some tips, tricks, and tools that can help with telling visual stories?
- What's the difference between an infographic and a data visualization?
- How can I use data visualization in science?
- What questions should I keep in mind as I make a visualization?
- How do I decide what form a visualization should take?
- What role do colors and typography play in my data visualization?

Moderators

Lena Groeger

science journalist obsessed with design

Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7a

2:30pm

Using altmetrics to tell the full story of your research impact

As researchers, we have many impacts that aren't currently well-reported. Our papers are read, our software is used, our datasets support new research, our blogs and tweets spawn and grow scholarly conversations, and our findings are re-used to create technology and treatments which improve the human condition. Measurements of citation, the current gold standard, capture none of this. In the last few years, growing numbers of people have been talking supplementing citations with altmetrics: measures of research impacts mining online tools including Twitter, blogs, Mendeley, and more. Today, there are several tools--including total-impact and altmetric.com--that can be used by working researchers to gather these metrics. We'll take a look at these tools, and talk about how we can use their data to help understand our own broader impacts. We'll also talk about how we can use that data to help more effectively convey our impacts to others who wish to build upon our work, including fellow scientists, evaluators,companies, and funders.

Questions:
- What kind of scholarly impacts matter? Which ones aren't being rewarded?
- What tools can help me gather my own altmetrics? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses?
- What's the relationship between impact and influence? Authoritative vs. Influential?
- What's the role of non-academic researchers?
- How do we best report altmetrics?
- How can we best bring our social media impacts to the attention of evaluators?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 3

3:30pm

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Friday February 1, 2013 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Room 1 a/b

4:00pm

Animating Science

When it comes to science storytelling, animation is a filmmaker's best friend. It engages symbolic and imaginative thinking, taking your story to places where photos, video demonstration, and verbal explanation can't go. Motion graphics, 3D modeling, stop motion (done with illustrations, live actors, or models), data visualizations—all of these can be highly effective methods for communicating a difficult concept, process or mechanism, and making it approachable. Whether you generate animation yourself, work with animators, or would like to get started, this session will address the basic components of successful animation and provide guidelines for thinking in pictures. We'll look at examples of different types of animation—from science videos and elsewhere—to analyze the effectiveness of different styles and techniques. Even non-science animations from popular movies and television utilize visual elements that can be applied to science stories. The goal is to become more comfortable constructing sentences out of images, not words. Want to get started? You don't need expensive tools or software—anyone can animate sequences of still images stitched together in free software like iMovie (Mac) or Microsoft Movie Maker (Windows). iMovie is also available on iPhone and iPad, as are other stop-motion apps (Stop-motion Camera, iMotion HD, Stop Motion Cafe). There are other free downloadable options for Windows and Mac, and free online editing programs. But if you don't want to animate for yourself, the session will help you prepare for collaborating with animators. Even a non-animator will benefit from understanding what makes animations successful, and how to prepare the content for visual translation.

Questions:
- Why use animation to tell science stories?
- What can animation communicate that footage, stills, or text explanation can't?
- What are the steps for preparing and creating animation for your story?
- How can you get started animating, either alone or through collaboration?

Moderators

Mindy Weisberger

Writer/Producer, Science Bulletins, American Museum of Natural History

Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7a

4:00pm

Covering cancer causes, prevention and screening

Coffee causes cancer – no wait, it prevents it. Early detection is always better – but maybe screening is not always a good idea after all. There is a constant barrage of this kind of message about cancer in research, the media and awareness campaigns. Those messages often conflict. It’s no wonder people get confused, or become totally fatalistic and dismiss the important cancer-related messages along with the less valuable. How can science writers and scientists cover research on cancer causes, prevention and screening without increasing fear, false hope or confusion?

Questions:
- Cancer prevention, the worried well and fatalistic high-risk groups: what is the role of the science writer?
- How do you balance science’s dynamic process with engaging the public about diseases as complex and highly feared as cancer?
- What role for cancer awareness-raising in communities that already overestimate their risk?
- How can journalists and scientists improve news coverage about cancer causes and prevention?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7b

4:00pm

Explanatory journalism, &%$£ yeah!

Many discussions of science journalism are increasingly focusing on the need for investigative reporting -- deep digging that exposes something someone wants to hide. This is important. But it isn't the only type of science writing with value. Is really good explanatory science writing becoming a poor relation here? You don't have to expose a scandal to create original, well-crafted content that has real value to the reader/viewer/listener. Sometimes, to explain something really well is enough. Yet with newsrooms cutting back, and focusing the limited resources they have for off-diary research on investigation, good explanation of science for general audiences is taking a back seat. It's time consuming and expensive, but doesn't either carry the kudos or attract the eyeballs that makes news organisations take notice. The Wellcome Trust (where Mark is Head of Communications) is about to launch an online project that will commission high-quality explanatory content (including infographics, animation, video as well as long-form writing) about the areas of science the Trust funds -- but not restricted to its actual scientists. An alpha or beta version of the site is likely to launch soon after Scio 13. Meanwhile, Ed has been writing a column for the BBC that tries to take a more detailed explanatory look at the more far-flung promises of typical news reports. He's also found that his explainers, like an oxytocin piece for Slate, and an ENCODE mega-post on his own blog, have been some of his most popular work this year. Ed and Mark will argue for the value of explanatory content, and explore what makes it good. Mark and Mun-Keat Looi will introduce the Wellcome project, explain what we're looking for, and canvass for improvements -- and of course ideas we might commission.

Questions:
- What makes good explanatory science writing?
- Who should it be aimed at, and what are the differences between aiming at specialist and general audiences?
- Who's supporting good explanatory science journalism, and why?
- Is explanatory science writing just PR for science?

Moderators

Mark Henderson

There is a pent up demand among this generation's college students to give back altruistically. We should do what we can to help give them opportunities to work globally and locally and bring in their energy and creativity to find solutions to the big problems facing the world. This has several benefits. First, it can provide solutions to these problems. Furthermore, it establishes a habit of giving back and, even more, can make the world a safer place by encouraging connections with people...
Read More →

Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6

4:00pm

Mixing science journalism with activism: The promise and the peril

Both scientists and science writers are trained to be skeptical, both prioritize evidence-based knowledge over intuitions and premoninitions, and both believe the scientific method is the best tool we have for understanding the world we live in. This creates unique opportunities for collaboration and cooperation -- witness ScienceOnline -- but also present unique challenges. What is the appropriate border between writing about a topic and advocating for a cause? Does writing passionately about biological diversity and its losses automatically make one an environmental activist? Does writing about the harmful effects of vaccine denialism mean it's appropriate to partner with the CDC on communication strategies? What do science writers risk when they use their knowledge and connections to influence public policy? This session, led by two writers who have dealt with these issues in their own work, will be structured as a lively discussion on a topic about which there are few clear answers and many strong opinions.

Moderators

David Quammen

self-employed
Credentials: | | Institution: | | Biography: DAVID QUAMMEN is the author of twelve books, including The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, and most recently Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton. He’s a Contributing Writer for National Geographic, in whose service he travels often, usually to wild places, and a three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award. He has also written for many other magazines, ranging from...
Read More →

Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 4

4:00pm

open session
Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 10

4:00pm

Persuading the unpersuadable: Communicating science to deniers, cynics, and trolls

We've all faced the difficult task of writing or speaking about evolution, climate change, or any number of scientific topics that lack public understanding and unanimous support. In this session, Melanie and Cara will bring their combined experience in social/cognitive/personality psychology and persuasion/science communication to the table while we discuss the best practices for persuading science deniers without turning them off from the conversation. Other topics include how to tell the difference between ignorant-yet-innocent commenters and trolls, whether or not some people are simply beyond reach, how to effectively communicate with difficult-to-reach people, and if & when the "no apologies" approach to science communication is an effective strategy.

Questions:
How can we persuade science deniers without turning them off from the conversation?
What can social, cognitive, & personality psychology teach us about science denialism?
How do you differentiate between innocent ignorance, curiosity, and trolling?
Are some people simply beyond reach? What can persuasion psychology teach us about reaching the unreachable?
Is it effective to take the "no apologies" approach, or do we end up simply preaching to the choir?
How can we use "persuasion tricks" to effectively get scientific messages across to a stubborn audience?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 3

4:00pm

Sticking with it for the long haul: Building community and maintaining long-term engagement in citizen science (part III)

Many large-scale citizen science projects excel at generating public excitement about their work and engaging participants in data collection. Yet, increasingly project organizers aim for much more than a one-off data contribution by participants – we want to engage citizen scientists in the whole process of science, from hypothesis generation through analysis and development of next steps, including future projects. Unfortunately, the process of science can be slow, twisted and even arduous, with long lag times between initial participation and return of results. How do we keep participants interested and engaged during the interim? Can we build communities of interest around projects as a means for maintaining long-term engagement with our citizen scientists? We hope to draw diverse voices into this conversation, hearing from participants and organizers of other engaged online communities (#NASAsocial; Personal Genome Project; DIY, maker and gaming communities come to mind…)

Questions:
- What are the hallmarks of an engaged community rallied around citizen science? Or do we just know it when we see it? (Useful to consider for evaluation of projects)
- How can we improve dialogue with citizen scientists? Are social media and blogs enough?
- What lessons can we learn from other science (and non-science!) organizations who’ve successfully engaged communities? (Think community groups, political campaigns)
- What tools do you use for building community and effectively fostering communication among members of your group?
- Grassroots or top-down? What’s the best way to facilitate community-building within citizen science organizations?
- What can we do in the interim (specific examples!), during the lag time between steps in the scientific process, to sustain participant interest?

Moderators
Friday February 1, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 8

6:00pm

Dinner with Friends
Take your pick of the downtown restaurants or explore further afield and enjoy an evening of food, drink, & friendship. We'll have suggestions and we'll let the downtown Raleigh area know we are coming!
Friday February 1, 2013 6:00pm - 10:00pm
On the town
 
Saturday, February 2
 

9:00am

CONVERGE
Saturday February 2, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Room 1c/d

10:30am

24/7 Health: The role of mobile technology in healthcare
As smart phones and tablets permeate the market, many people carry a potential all-knowing personal assistant that can help them learn about health, remember their medications, and track their diet and physical activity. Apps now bring HIPPAA compliant connections to providers and medical information. On the other side, providers have access to more information than ever before. How can we maximize these systems to increase health? What new models can be developed to help people and providers?

Questions:
- The title is only 56 characters, so we can easily attach questions to it for twitter discussions. Still working on other thoughts to stimulate discussion ahead of time.
Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7b

10:30am

Chemophobia & Chemistry in The Modern World

In today's advertising and pop culture, words like "chemical", "synthetic" and "artificial" are synonyms for harmful, toxic and carcinogenic, while words like "natural" and "organic" imply a product is wholesome and good for the environment. This widespread misconception colors public perceptions of chemistry and its role in the modern world. Chemophobia may not be as direct a threat to our future as, say, climate change denialism or the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, but it clouds public understanding of real and very important issues we face (e.g., how to boost agricultural productivity) and plays into the hands of quacks and cranks. How can bloggers and the media effectively combat chemophobia? How much chemistry does the public need to know to be well-informed and make good decisions, and what's the most effective avenue for disseminating that kind of information? Proposed session hashtag: #chemophobia

Questions:
How important is it to confront misuse of the term 'chemical' vs general fearmongering?
What're good tips for writing about chemophobia without preaching to the choir?
How can bloggers have a clear message as they confront diverse chemophobes (anti-vax, anti-GMO, etc)?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 3

10:30am

Citation Data and Altmetrics for Historians and Social Scientists

In discussions of altmetrics and citation metrics, we usually think in terms of "here and now" and are looking from the angle of the active researcher who needs to find and curate recent and incoming information, get measures of one's own impact etc. But the ability to identify long-term patterns, e.g., multiple spikes in citations (or mentions in books, articles, blog posts) over years and decades is the stuff of dreams for historians and other social scientists. This is what they do for a PhD - spending years in libraries (sometimes having to travel halfway around the world to other libraries), just to indentify such patterns. Now they can get this done in days (or minutes) and instantly move on to what they really should be doing - analysing and intrepreting these patterns. This session would explore the ways historians and anthropologists of science can use these tools so they can get the most out of them.

Questions:
- How have you used altmetrics in history or social science?
- What tools do you find most useful for analyzing altmetrics?
- What barriers exist when applying altmetrics in #histsci or sociology of science?

Moderators

Heather Piwowar

Co-Founder and Postdoc, ImpactStory, Duke, and UBC
Heather is a cofounder of ImpactStory (nee total-impact), an online tool for tracking the broad impact of diverse scholarly products. | | Heather Piwowar is also a postdoc with Duke University and the University of British Columbia. She's passionate about how scientists share and reuse research data. Her research requires text mining access. She has an active research blog (http://researchremix.wordpress.com) and twitter account (@researchremix).

Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 10

10:30am

Communicating Science Where There is No Science Communication

Scientists, journalists, and communicators working outside of the United States and the UK face fundamentally different problems from those living within well-served media landscapes. For example: Canada has few science magazines, a couple television shows, and a handful of radio programmes aimed at a general science audience (with the exception of the French-speaking Quebec, which has a dynamic science writing community). Government funded research grants do not require outreach or education. And, government scientists have been all but barred from talking to journalists. In Canada and other countries with sparse science communication infrastructures, the dominant issues revolve not around journalists vs bloggers, or scientists vs press releases vs the media, but instead focus on what can be done to make science communication exist at all, in any form. This session will explore how scientists, educators, and media people can promote scientific discussions and scientific interest in regions that lack established venues.

Questions:
- With no budget and no established venues, how would you share science in your community?
- With no magazines or science cafés to provide an audience, what other groups in your community might want to learn some science?
- What can scientists, journalists, writers and educators do to push media outlets for more and better science coverage?
- What might your local general news outlet expect of you if you approach or talk with them about science topics?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 8

10:30am

Science Ebooks: Building the Community
Ebooks continue to grow in popularity, now outselling hardback books. In this session, we'll discuss ways to build a thriving community of science ebook readers, writers, and critics. As a jumping-off point, the moderators will discuss Download the Universe, a science ebook review they and others launched in February 2012, inspired by discussions at Science Online 2012.

Questions:
- How many people are now reading science ebooks on a regular basis?
- Where are people finding out about new science ebooks?
- What new venues could help build a larger community for science ebooks?
- How can writers explore the possibility of writing an ebook?
- What are some of the new experiments these days in science ebooks, apps, and other tablet-based projects?
- How did Download the Universe get started?
- Has it developed in ways you wouldn't have expected?
- Can ebooks reach audiences that aren't typically interested in science?
- What else can we do to take advantage of new digital formats?
- eInk and tablets have both been disruptive - what else might be coming?
Moderators

Carl Zimmer

Writer, Freelance
I write books, articles, blog posts, and small scraps of paper about biology.

Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 6

10:30am

The Game Changer: Games for Science Engagement and Education

This session will focus on improving science engagement and education through the innovative use of games! Video games have become the largest entertainment industry in the world, but they don't just stop at entertainment any more. Video games, and game design, are all about engagement, and creating experiences that teach skills as well as knowledge. From games working to improve education and science learning, to "smart gamification" for science, and how to make science games fun, this discussion will dive into the rapidly growing potential of games!

Moderators

Erik Martin

Community Mgr | Reddit

Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 7a

10:30am

What Happens When People Start Taking Your Online Ramblings Seriously

After spending years with your online life separate from your professional life, it can be quite disconcerting when the two start to overlap. From alarming hallway conversations to angry phone calls, having your colleagues read your blog (especially if they themselves are not social media users) can lead to unexpected interactions. These can either be positive (“Some Nature editor said you were the most famous ocean writer on the internet!”) or negative (“When do you have time to do science?”). This session will discuss the ramifications of scientist-blogger success, particularly for early-career scientists.

Questions: - Should your online life be separate from your professional life?
- If your online life is separate, how do you keep it that way?
- How do you deal with skeptical colleagues who stumble across your online work?
- Is there such a thing as too much visibility?
- Overall, do you experience more positive or negative interactions from your social media use?
- Do interactions change with career stage?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 4

11:30am

Break (snacks in Figshare Café)
Saturday February 2, 2013 11:30am - 12:00pm
Room 1 a/b

12:00pm

Blogging in Grad School: Pros, Cons, and Potential

Blogging as a graduate student is a great way of keeping abreast of topical research as well as using one's expertise to communicate science to the public. It might also turn into a great segue out of the lab and into a career in science communication. However, your P.I. might not agree. In the current climate of job shortages, not just in academia, it would be great to discuss the value of blogging and networking (and building an online presence and brand) while working on an advanced degree. But what are the pitfalls of making the decision to do this? How do you navigate the negative vibes coming from your mentors and often peers? And lastly, what are the long term effects of blogging in grad school?

Questions:
Do you worry about how your P.I. views your blogging (or do you keep it a secret)?
Do you use Twitter to publicize your blog?
Has blogging in grad school helped or hindered you on the job market?

Moderators

Katie Pratt

Brown University
Graduate student in a biochem/dev bio lab. Blogging about scientific discoveries without the jargon. Also I'm British.

Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 7b

12:00pm

Bringing Science Into Breaking News
Science plays a role in a wide variety of major news stories that are not, at first glance, about "science." From the Fukushima disaster (science issues: earthquakes, nuclear engineering, public health) to the tragedy that struck Newtown (science issues: mental health), good science reporting can lend insight to news stories, broaden public understanding of events and help place events in context. However, flawed reporting can misrepresent conjecture as "facts" and allow misinformation to hide behind a facade of "science." What can reporters do to improve the odds of getting it right? How can scientists who have relevant expertise become part of the conversation? And how can public information officers (PIOs) help connect journalists with the right experts?

 

Several interesting links on science and breaking news ---

Moderators

Matt Shipman

Science writer/PIO, North Carolina State University

Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 10

12:00pm

Distilling Ideas: Communicating Science with Comics

Learn the basics of design, execution, and online sharing of science comics. We will cover current works by contemporary science comics and discuss the creative process, including considerations such as realism, anthropomorphism, and symbolism. The session culminates in a comic workshop where you will illustrate your own science comic and share it online. Art experience not required. Stick figures welcome.

Questions:
- How can comics effectively communicate science concepts?
- What are some examples of great science comics?
- How do you execute a science comic?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 7a

12:00pm

How do you actually get a book written?

So, you have a great idea for a book. Or at least you think you do. But is it a book, or just another article? How can you tell the difference? And once you do, how do you go from the idea to the actual book? What's the process like, and how is it different from every other writing assignment you've taken on? How do you take a massive amount of information and turn it into something not only readable but a joy to read? And how do you stay sane—and excited—in the process? Writing a book can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. But it can also pose a challenge to your skills and your peace of mind?? Veteran and aspiring authors are invited to join Katherine Sharpe, author of “Coming of Age on Zoloft,” and Maria Konnikova, author of “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes,” in a discussion of how to tackle writing’s ultimate long distance event.

Questions:
- How do you know which idea is “the one”?
- What makes a book different from a long article?
- How do you know if you’re in trouble—and what do you do if you are?
- What are the resources available to you, and when is the right time to use them?
- What do you need to know about writing a book proposal?
- What should you know going in? / What do you wish you'd known going in?
- Authors in the house: what would you do differently next time?
- How can you get the most out of your relationship with your editor?
- How do you know when to stop researching and start writing (or should you do them at the same time)?
- A happy writer is a good writer? (How do you take care of yourself under pressure?)
- How do you balance writing with your other commitments?
- What do you do if writing your book isn't enough to pay the bills?
- I delivered my first pass manuscript. Now what?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 6

12:00pm

How much 'I' is 'TMI'?
This session will address exposure on the internet, and how much we should be thinking about what we say and how we say it across different venues. Are there political, personal, or social ramifications to what we share online? What are the advantages or disadvantages of "professional-only" interactions online, versus personal ones? We'll cover these issues as they relate to various types of communication: As more of us are likely to be jumping between different mediums, we'll discuss how to strike a balance, remain true to your voice, and not have what you write in one place come back to bite you in the ass in another.

Questions:
- What are the advantages or disadvantages of "professional-only" interactions online, versus personal ones?
- How much opinion is too much?
- How can journalists balance their persona across mediums with differing rules (newspapers=objective, Twitter=voice, etc)?
Moderators

Jacquelyn Gill

Postdoctoral Fellow with the Environmental Change Initiative, Brown University
I am an ecologist and biogeographer interested in how landscapes change through space and time, and how the combination of an interdisciplinary approach and a deep-time perspective can inform global change science and conservation. In my research, I use the perspectives of space and time to investigate the causes of novel ecosystems, the ecological consequences of the extinctions of ice age megafauna like mammoths, and tipping points in global ecosystems. | | I am passionate about in women...
Read More →

Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 4

12:00pm

Outreach in Unusual Places

Scio13 is a mixture of many different communities. But sometimes it feels like we are "preaching to the choir." How can we move outside traditional audiences for science and outreach, to reach new communities? Science Fiction Conventions are some of the largest and longest running large cons around. South by Southwest and Netroots Nations are some of the largest social media gatherings in the US. The hard work of bringing lots of people together is already done. How can scientists and science educators break in and work with some of those audiences to broaden the scope of our outreach efforts? Most professional science societies are still unfamiliar and uncertain about the role and/or potentially positive influence of social media on our professional activities. How can we convince them science online is a good idea?

Questions:
What outreach have you done that was NOT in the context of a school, museum, or science-sponsored activity?
What is key to making a session at a non-science or non-education related conference attractive enough to get an audience?
What unexpected pitfalls to being at a non-science, non-education conference have you encountered?
Do you think you could present your research in a visually oriented format, eg graphic novel, animation?
How can you network to get a spot on a conference schedule?
Do outreach methods need to change with different audiences?
Is this all just an excuse for Bug and Emily to present science while wearing costumes?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 8

12:00pm

We are who we are? Who are we? Issues of identity and the internet

We are all made up of many identities -- our gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and politics, to name a few. Some of these identities affect what we choose to write, and sometimes the identities of those who read or interact with us influence their reactions to our work. This has consequences for how widely we are read, for the kinds of attention we get, positive and negative, and the repercussions this attention has on our roles across our online communities. So Sci and Kate ask, who are we, as scientists, educators, journalists, and communicators? And how can we work on using aspects of our internet identities to help us get our messages across, and increasing the diversity of the identities we see in online science? Join us in a discussion on how we form our identities online, how they change over time, and how they impact our lives, our presence on the internet, and the messages we send.

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 3

1:00pm

Lunch
Saturday February 2, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Room 2

2:30pm

Everything old is new again: using stories from the past to enlighten current events in science

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -- George Santayana. Lots of stories, events and controversies in science today are reflections of similar events that happened years, decades or even centuries earlier! This session is proposed as a general discussion of how the stories of the past can be used to shed light and understanding on current controversies in science. Perhaps we can learn new ways forward in social and political problems related to science by looking back on the past? And even if the past may not break us loose from the chains of the present, this session will look at whether history -- in either its contents or its methods -- offers tools the science journalist can use in the construction of compelling stories of inquiry in the here and now.

Questions:
1. What sort of controversies have appeared time and time again in the scientific community?
2. Which historical scientific controversies hold lessons for us in the present?
3. What kinds of histories can/should a science journalist try to use?
4. Why does the audience care about/value history anyway?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 4

2:30pm

Imposter Syndrome
Moderators

Eve Rickert

Talk Science to Me Inc.

Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 10

2:30pm

Life in the Venn -- What Happens When You're Forced to Wear Many Hats?

Increasingly, people in the science world seem to play multiple roles. Some are scientists and journalists. Others are journalists and PIOs. Some teach with one hand, research with the other, and blog with their faces. How do we handle the tensions between roles that can have conflicting priorities and values, and how do we partition our different identities online?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 3

2:30pm

Science Blogs Are One Hard Drive Crash From Oblivion: Or, How do we go About Preserving Science Blogs?

Recently many blog post archives on scienceblogs.com went offline. (Temporarily) Based on tweets just after the outage this is a real problem to many people. One issue is the disappearance of links for citations in scientific papers. This points out a "real" problem, data can be ephemeral. We are all here because we think science blogs matter, and as we see science blogs being further integrated into science communication we know we need to figure out better ways to make sure big chunks of the science blogs universe don't just disappear overnight.The goal of this session is to try and hash out some practical ideas for how we might go about preserving a wide swath of science blogs.

Questions:
1. Do we want to create an opt-in list where anyone with a science blog can alert libraries and archives that they are happy to give their permission to archive their blog? (If so how would something like that work?)
2. What role can different kinds of libraries and archives play in preserving science blogs? For those affiliated with universities, how could institutional repositories become means for preserving this content?
3. Would some org be interested in creating a science blogs archive or repository that would not just aggregate feeds, but save copies of them?

Moderators

Trevor Owens

Digital Archivist, The Library of Congress
I'm a digital archivist at the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress and a doctoral student at GMU. I'm interested in online communities, digital history, and video games. I blog on this site, and at playthepast.org. Views expressed are not those of any current or former employer.

Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7b

2:30pm

The Art, Craft and Business of Freelancing: Best Practices and Worst Problems of Your First Day, Month and Year
Freelancing as a science writer is fascinating work, but the often-solitary nature of the job can make it hard to learn what tricks might help you out most in the field. We'll share our best tips and worst fears about freelancing, inviting everyone to share theirs so we can all be better science writers. We'll tackle common problems and solutions that pop up at different times in a freelance career.
Under 140-character description: We'll share our best tips and worst fears about freelancing, inviting everyone to share theirs so we can all be better science writers.

Questions:
- What are your best tips for succeeding as a freelancer?
- What are your worst fears as a freelancer? How do you overcome them?
Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 7a

2:30pm

Using Science Fiction to Make Scientific Ideas Accessible

People who would never read about the latest genomics discoveries will turn out in droves for scifi movies like Prometheus that deal (poorly) with genomics. How can we turn pop culture events into teachable moments that help mainstream audiences understand the fundamentals of real science? We'll explore few ways to do this that can be applied in journalism, teaching, or other forms of science communication. Three of the obvious avenues of engagement are: 1) debunkery (showing how Prometheus gets it wrong), 2) complimentary stories (what is the real science that could make the panspermia scenario in Prometheus possible?), and 3) "found science" stories where we pick scenes or moments that can be used to demonstrate concepts and principles in science (e.g., fight scenes and classical mechanics). But those are just the beginning. Bring your questions and ideas!

Questions:
- In our writing, how can we strike the right balance between having fun, keeping it at the right level for a general audience, and still making sure the science is accurate?
- How do we measure "success" in conveying difficult scientific ideas to a lay audience?
- What are some good examples of using science fiction to explain science to a general audience? Bad ones?
- Do we risk dumbing down or inappropriately spicing up our stories by using science fiction to explore science?

Moderators

Annalee Newitz

Editor-In-Chief | io9.com | Annalee Newitz is the editor-in-chief of futurist magazine io9.com. She's contributed articles about culture and science to Wired, Popular Science, the Washington Post, and The Believer. Formerly she was a policy analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a professor at UC Berkeley.

Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 6

2:30pm

Writing About Science for Kids (and Former Kids)

How do you explain evolution to an elementary-schooler? Can you make teenagers care about tectonic plates? If you’re not cool enough will they give up on science forever (and pick you last in kickball)? This session will explore the challenges and rewards of writing for kids. We’ll discuss getting to know your audience and speaking their language. We’ll ask how graphics, humor, games and activities can help get your point across. We’ll talk about social media presence and reaching out to new groups. And we’ll see why if you can talk about science to kids, you can talk about science to anyone.

Questions:
- How can you get to know your audience (whether preschoolers, high-schoolers, or homeschoolers) and what excites them?
- Can you simplify complex topics without dumbing them down?
- How should you handle controversial subjects (and your readers’ parents)?
- Should you say that on Twitter? How important is outreach and your social media persona?
- How can cartoons, graphics, humor, games, and hands-on activities help you engage audiences of different ages?

Moderators
Saturday February 2, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Room 8

3:30pm

Break
Saturday February 2, 2013 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Room 1a/b

4:00pm

CONVERGE: Closing
Saturday February 2, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 1c/d
 
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