My ScienceOnline09 experience in many ways actually started the year before, at the 2008 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference- that’s just the old name for ScienceOnline. Last year I was a newbie – had never blogged and attended the blogging 101 sessions to try & learn how to blog for our new company blog. Trey got to attend with me last year – he had been blogging a long time already & got to go to the ‘fun’ sessions for old pros. We both thought the meeting was SO worthwhile, we put ‘the next one’ unconditionally on the company calendar. Eagle-eye Mary found the first announcement & I registered immediately, literally months ahead of the conference. Then I sat and waited – well, I mean I was doing other stuff in the meantime, but…
Anyway, the weekend of the conference finally arrived & Friday afternoon I trundled myself off to Research Triangle Park to the Sigma Xi Center for a wonderful networking event organized by the Duke University chapter of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE). Erica Tsai of WiSE had made these ‘trading cards’ for some of the women bloggers attending the networking event & the conference & I was honored to be one of those women! The cards actually continued to encourage networking well into the ScienceOnline conference as some of the ‘card bloggers’ sought each other out. (I’ll link to their blogs & a few others at the end of this post.) Then there was an interesting talk by Rebecca Skloot on her upcoming book on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells.
Saturday was the start of the actual conference & I wasn’t a newbie any more. I attended great sessions on Open Access publishing; the Semantic Web; Race and Science; Social Networking; Blog Carnivals and How to Search Scientific Literature. I got to see demonstrations of all sorts of new things, and I got to meet lots of people doing lots of interesting things. The ScienceOnline conference is an unusual one in that it is not organized around a scientific discipline, it is more organized around a principle – that science and technology can and should be communicated quickly and effectively. That means that the participants of the conference included engineers, journalists, teachers, scientists and more. The ages of the attendees appeared to be anywhere from very engaged high school students all the way through senior faculty, and the ideas and goals of the attendees covered an equally diverse spectrum. Being an ‘unconference’, as I explained here, made it possible for all of the ideas to be shared and discussed across the full range of participants. I’m not sure anyone was able to 100% convert me to their way of thinking, but that’s not the point. I think the point of this type of ‘cross-cultural exchange’ is as a vital meeting grounds where different ideas can be combine and adapted so that online communications can continue to progress. Here’s a BioTechniques post (that quotes your’s truly) that gives another perspective on the conference, and below you’ll find a list to the blogs of some of the people I met. Maybe you will find something in the collection that stimulates your thinking as much as the conference stimulated mine – Enjoy!
Some of the Interesting people I met:
1. Elissa Hoffman Appleton – http://access.aasd.k12.wi.us/Staff/Hoffman/Wpress/
2. Daniel Cressey – http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/
3. Neeru Paharia - http://icommons.org/nodes/acawiki
4. AcmeGirl – http://kidsndata.blogspot.com/
5. Corie Lok - http://network.nature.com
6. Alice Pawley - http://scienceblogs.com/sciencewoman/
7. Erin Davis - http://spittoon.23andme.com
8. Danielle Lee – http://urban-science.blogspot.com/
9. Melissa Anley-Mills - http://www.epa.gov/ord
10. Patricia Cambell – http://www.fairerscience.org/
11. Bjoern Brembs – http://bjoern.brembs.net:80/