2011 Program Suggestions

2011 Program Suggestions

We will have a wiki for ScienceOnline2011 set up shortly. In the meantime use this page to add suggestions for the January 2011 program. Volunteer (nominate yourself to run sessions, do not suggest others yet until the Program starts taking shape and we identify definite “holes” in it) to develop sessions, workshops etc..

If you were registered to edit the wiki before, use the same login, if not Register up top and click on the “Edit” tab to add your ideas.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking, then add your own below:

How the Web is changing the way science is done

– Open Notebook Science

– Open Data – crowdsourcing, sharing

– Citizen Science

– Ethical concerns in Citizen Science (who gets to be the authors, should the paper be Open Access, evolving IRBs for personal data)

– Did you get an IRB approval for that online poll you did on your blog (and the problem of Ethics Creep)?

– Turning data into visualizations so humans can comprehend them

– Changing academia from within: is your blog in your tenure dossier? does your CV show the download data of your publications?

– How to build collaborations between your blog about professional societies in your field.

– Freelance science and the importance of physical space

– Museum collections online

How the Web is changing the way scientists communicate with each other

– Reference Management {I’m doing a story on this and would be glad to help out with this one – David Dobbs}.
Alternative title suggestion: “Having fun with citations”. I would be interested in a session that looks at reference management and citations in a broader sense. Not specific applications, but rather how our concept of citations should evolve together with new ideas about the scientific paper. Topics could for example include reverse citations (who cites this paper), CITO (Citation Type Ontology) and annotations in citations, CSL (Citation Style Language), Open Bibliography, Datacite (citations of datasets) and other new citable objects, ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor ID), and alt-metrics. – Martin Fenner

– Evolution of the Scientific Paper. Another topic that is always interesting, and that I would be happy to contribute – Martin Fenner

– Peer-review: online options

– Rise and fall of “facebooks for scientists”: why, and will there be a “winner” ever?

– information overload, filter failure and discovery deficit: how to find relevant stuff without loosing your mind.

– is mobile the future?

-“Web 2.0,  public and private spaces in the scientific community, and generational divides in the practice of science.” (Janet Stemwedel)
I was at a meeting of NSF PIs, trainees, and program officers back in May to talk about how blogging might fit into scientific work/training, and became aware of a huge generational divide on the appropriateness of the use of “new technologies” of all sorts.  The divide can best be summed up in the words of a PI who said (to students at the meeting talking about their use of such technologies), “Why is it that your generation feels compelled to do in public what the rest of us know to do in private?”  I think this is a HUGE issue in the practice of science (and one with interesting epistemological and ethical issues). Would love to see someone from The Third Reviewerparticipating in this one, as well as some open notebook/open science folks, and possibly folks blogging about what it’s like to lead a scientific life. Would also welcome a designated curmudgeon to stand up for the old ways.

How the Web is changing the way science is communicated to lay audiences

– Science journalism today and how it differs from yesterday

– Local science journalism – does that make sense?

– the role of Press Information Officers in the new journalistic ecosystem

– Completing your science communicators toolkit: from social networks and blogs, through newspapers, magazines and books, to radio, TV and movies: putting together a coherent strategy.

– A popular science book: using the Web from the initial idea to pitching to writing to selling your book (I’ll help with this one – Brian Switek; me too – David Dobbs)

– Blog as a book-writing tool (This one can probably grouped with the one above, but either way I’d like to jump in on this one, too – Brian Switek)

– Picture is worth a thousand words: nature photography

– Audio: podcasts and radio

– Video: from YouTube to TV to Hollywood and back

– the new science blogging ecosystem: a network of networks and a whole lot of independents – how to put them all together

– from online to offline: reaching communities without reliable online access (I can help with this -Danielle N. Lee. I think it’s a great way to discuss reaching under-served audiences).

– liveblogging and livetweeting scientific conferences: dos and don’ts. This could be combined with the Twitter analysis suggested below – Martin Fenner

– museum exhibits: online outreach

How the Web is changing the way science is taught

– Hands-on-mouse teaching of science

– Blogging in the undergraduate science classroom (Tara Smith and Jason Goldman)

– Doing actual science in the classroom

– A picture is worth a thousand words: visualized science in the classroom

– Is learning science communication an essential aspect of learning science

– Open textbooks

– free online courses and the implication for universities and formal degrees

– Games, gaming and learning

– “But it’s just a blog!” Balancing blogging to communicate and blogging to learn (and being understood as to which type of blogger you are) – a bunch of young bloggers should lead this! – Hannah Waters, Psi Wavefunction…

How science is studying the Web

– Pros and cons of computational approaches to analysis of human behavior online

– Sociological, anthropological, rhetorical, linguistic and ethnographic methods in studying human behavior online

– Your own Web Science: measuring reach and results of your own online activity

– Private, personal, public or publicized? What are the differences and how to think about them.

Math Online (contact: Maria Droujkova)

– Learning math by doing math

– Gaming: using math to help teaching math

– Origami community: topology through play

– Innumerate society: how dangerous it is and what to do about it

Social Sciences and Humanities

– History of Science: window into how science and scientists work – John McKay, Greg Gbur, Michael Barton

– Science in Fiction: “Can we stimulate a wider interest in and appreciation of scientists and what they do via the medium of mainstream fiction? And how can we leverage online tools to help?”. – Jennifer Rohn

– Science Fiction: the invitation to science

– Gender and Race: does greater visibility online translate to the real world? Are online discussions percolating into the academia and broader? (I’m liking the direction of this conversation, happy to contribute; but I think new voices would be great – DNLee)

– Art and Science, 3.0

Medicine and Health

-I’d be willing to work on almost anything here (PalMD)

– Patients networks, support groups and advocacy groups: the good and the bad

– Why are physicians and hospitals jumping fast onto the mobile bandwagon?

– Patient blogging as therapy (would be interested in doing something with this – Suzanne Franks)
—-I’d be happy to collaborate —PalMD

– Livetweeting surgery: whys, hows, pros and cons

– Nursing experience and wisdom, online.

Building a reality-based community

– how effective is your outreach effort?

– what does it mean for a nation (or the world) to be ‘scientific’ and how to get there?

– gentle voices vs. shrill voices: why both are necessary and how the two can work together

– persuading people, persuading politicians, effecting policy


I would be remiss in my duties as a smartass if I didn’t suggest a panel on the importance of communications in sponsoring a portal for multiple blogs. John McKay (archymc)

More seriously, Scion2010 got me thinking about the problem of being a science blogger without a background in science or journalism, a true amateur. John McKay (archymc) Count me in this boat too. Jason (cephalopodcast)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d be happy to take part in another “history of science in blogging” panel. As a recently tenured person who put his blog stuff in his tenure package, I’d also be willing to help out in a panel on “selling your blogging to the admin”. (drskyskull)

If I’m able to make it, I’d love to take part in a history of science in blogging panel with Dr Skyskull. I think I’m one of the only usual suspects who comes to the topic as an historian looking at science rather than a scientists doing history. John McKay (archymc) **** I’m game! That would be great! (drskyskull) **** (I’d be game for this one too, if you need another – David Dobbs

“On the history theme, I think it would be interesting to talk about how online tools have allowed the task of combating the quote-mining of scientists (largely Darwin) simpler.” Michael D. Barton, FCD

Get more people viewing your site – search engine optimization (SEO) for scientists and journalists. Walter Jessen (wjjessen)

Developing, communicating and maintaining your personal brand online as a scientist. Walter Jessen (wjjessen) [Nice idea, although why limit it to scientists? Might be nice to get a panel of people with diverse science jobs. Personal branding is just as important for a journalist – Ed]

Some sort of talk on the most useful/efficient ways folks find for organizing/managing the influx of daily Web material they are interested in, to get through it all every 24-hr. time period! (R. Gluck) **** Great idea – I’d like to be involved with this as well. Walter Jessen (wjjessen)****

Talking mathematics on blogs and wikis! Using computer programming and simulations as educational tools! We had a great time chatting over these things last year, even though we were stuck in the little room behind the coat closet. (Blake Stacey) – Since then, the Math 2.0 interest group grew, and several people are eager to run some math sessions at the conference. Online math communities is the topic I’d like to lead (Maria Droujkova)

Science in Fiction: what does it mean that a made-up story is “scientifically accurate” (or not), and what can we, as busybodies on the Internet, do about it? (Blake Stacey) [Get Ollie Morton (eaterofsun) or Adam Rutherford (adamrutherford) to speak on this – Ed]

On a related note to the above, science on TV and in the movies: Jennifer Ouellette, director of the Science and Entertainment Exchange for the (U.S.) National Academy of Sciences, who is based in LA, would be great, though may be hard to get. I believe one or more people at the National Science Foundation are involved in a similar effort and may be able to find out more. (Elia Ben-Ari/@smallpkg)
Similar: cross-media science-communication. It’s no longer just a movie or a documentary – they team up with blogs, Twitter, games, apps etc. not just for promotion or merchandising, but as integral tools to communicate different aspects of same issue, often for different audiences and on different levels. Often set up in cooperation with scientists and institutions. (K.Hoppenhaus/@quinoat)

It might be a bit late by next year but: Lessons from Climategate: What can scientists and journalists do to prevent the next hatchet job on their reputations? (james hrynyshyn)

One word: Pepsi (james hrynyshyn)

A panel on the perils of blogging as a woman under our real names. There’s a lot to be said about safety and dealing with things that others simply don’t need to. (Sheril Kirshenbaum) (This is something I’d be happy to help with – Anne Jefferson) (This is a cool idea. I’d love to see it expanded to how blogging as a woman might be different in other ways, as well: to address, e.g., the recent talk (a sub-subject of the gender-balance issue) about why there are fewer women sci bloggers in general, according to Munger’s findings, and whether it’s true (and if so, why) that women might be less likely to blog. In other words, if anyone can blog (cost of entry is negligible etc), why does there seem to be a discrepancy between the gender ratios in, say, scientists and science writers under 40 and the ratios in the sci blogosphere? To put it another way: Is the teacher just calling on the boys in the class? Or are the boys simply more likely to raise their hands (i.e., blog)? These are fascinating questions and I’d love to see them frankly explored. – David Dobbs

“From Blog to Book” I know that’s been done, but several of our books continue to develop directly out of our blogs. (Sheril Kirshenbaum) – [Why not extend this idea to magazine/newspaper articles and other media, as well? Make it about using blogs as a springboard for other forms of science writing and engagement rather than just books alone – blogs as labs to grow as a writer, etc. – Brian Switek]

“Blogging on the Career Path” Opportunities emerging out of the blogosphere (Sheril Kirshenbaum)

I’d be down with “how to (and whether to) include blogging in your tenure dossier”.
Also, potentially related to the issue of getting faculty on board with Open Access, getting faculty on board with the idea of commenting on papers (or worse, letting their students comment on papers) on PLoS. At an NSFmeeting this spring (Jean-Claude Bradley was there, too), PIs expressed something close to naked terror that web 2.0 technologies meant to enhance scientific communication are exposing their trainees to all manner of potentially career-ending danger — and they expressed this terror in the same breath that they acknowledged that these technologies might improve scientific knowledge. This is a phenomenon that bears serious investigation (and some ethical analysis, too). — Janet D. Stemwedel

I put together a bunch of statistics and notes when I did my tenure package, and have some specific ways that we worked with my committee to quantify the blog and relate it to my research record, so I’d be pleased to be able to share. I also have some stuff I could share about online research databases in paleoanthropology, which might go well with a panel that included genetics, astronomy or other databasing efforts. – John Hawks

I would be interested in something that explores the implications of online science for science education – perhaps taking the flipside of Stacy Baker + class’s great presentation last year (the value of blogging for students) to look at what the importance and prominance of blogging etc. means for students and teachers/professors. e.g., are the processes and people of science more visible because of blogging? does that matter? what would bloggers, journalists, and scientists want students to learn to read and engage in online science and online science communication? (marie-claire shanahan) [Great idea – you absolutely HAVE to get Sophia Collins (@imascientist) to present on her work here – Ed] [Thanks Ed, Yes! That would be terrific. – mc]

Using blogs in undergraduate education (Jason Goldman)

Science/nature photography (Melody Dye and Alex Wild?)

Science communication in locations outside big cities, where support is lacking e.g. smaller counties, rural settings, 3rd world, etc. (Grant Jacobs)

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? How can you tell if your blogging/tweeting/whatever is making a difference? Are blogs reaching diverse audiences, or are they a giant echo chamber? How do you go about measuring the impact of your blog? – Ed Yong. I’d love to talk about this and plenty of Brits have been discussing this recently. Try Martin Robbins (mjrobbins), Petra Boynton (drpetra), Frank Swain (@sciencepunk) etc. Could recruit a panel with people who have different blogging aims – mass public communication, activism, countering bad science, mentoring other scientists. etc.

There’s an app for that? What does the mobile market place mean for your blog and how does one “appify” a blog anyway? Jason (cephalopodcast)

If we’re going to be talking about Pepsigate, perhaps the most constructive way to go about it is to have a discussion of the grand blogospheric alignment that it triggered. The birth and growth of new collectives and communities, the benefits and perils of the different approaches being taken (networks and aggregation services), and how to encourage intra-network traffic and discussion. (Chris Rowan) (I’d be quite happy to particpate in this — David Dobbs_)

Practical issues in Open Education: how do we get affordable, usable textbooks written and adopted? See, e.g., here and here and here. (Blake Stacey)

It looks like there is some interest in doing a session or even sessions on battling pseudo-science and politicized anti-science. Michael Barton mentioned quote miners. James Hrynyshyn mentioned the lessons of Climategate. Medical woo is always popular. I’m a big fan of bad history. (John McKay – archymc)

The BP Oil Spill: science, outrage, spin, and dead pelicans. How did BP, scientists, amateurs, bloggers, and MSM journalists use the web to communicate? Was the public outrage dependent on dead charismatic megafauna photos, or can these methods be leveraged for other social/environmental issues? (Miriam Goldstein)

Institutional online science outreach: how to get people to actually read your organization’s blog/Twitter/Facebook (Miriam Goldstein)

Engaging scientific societies with social media: What’s being done? What’s working? What do we do next? – maybe a panel of society representatives +/- science bloggers/tweeters. (suggestion by Anne Jefferson, but not sure I’m the person to organize this)

Make the podcast you always wanted to – Dave Wescott

Art & Science – still many untapped discussions about art and science. Micro-niche art for specific scientific disciplines. How to blog science illustrations responsibly and why you should use them. Is science art the new zeitgeist, or just cyclical? What makes it science art anyway (and not just scientific illustration)? – (Glendon Mellow – Flying Trilobite)

Technology and the Wilderness – Technology offers unparalleled opportunity for outdoor education – yet it is viewed as a cause of “Nature Deficit Disorder.” But little glowy screens can be amazing educational tools. Potential directions include tools (e.g., iPhone nature apps), networking (e.g., Outdoor Afro bringing people of color outdoors together), exploration (e.g., following up on the Blogging From the Field/Trash Gyre sessions from past years). (Miriam Goldstein)

Patient Blogging as Therapy – not sure exactly what was intended by whoever posted that suggested session title but I have done some blogging about health issues from the point of view of the patient. I am interested in this topic and would like to hear from anyone else who wants to work on this. (Suzanne Franks aka Zuska)

Freeing yourself from Blackboard and making your own Drupal site for teaching – Sandra Porter (digitalbio)

The First Line of Response – Blogging and the role of reporting disasters and current events as they occur. The role of bloggers in exposing events, correcting mainstream media, and keeping important issues current after the MSM interest wanes. (Kevin Zelnio)

Challenges to online access in the developing world: Streaming down Web 2.0 for use in slow connection speeds, hand-held internet devices and why Open Access publications (indeed all journals) need to pay attention to bandwidth. (Kevin Zelnio)

I liked the suggestion in the bulleted list of “Science journalism today and how it differs from yesterday”. To give more structure to this, here are some questions: How does the web change our perception of what is “newsworthy”? What attributes are valuable in online science journalism – do we really care about things like scoops, or is context king? How does the web blur the lines between news and opinion? How does it change the practice of reporting, and what features present opportunities that can be tapped (e.g. space, context, links, multimedia)? (Ed Yong)

Who watches the watchmen? – Let’s hear from the wide range of watchdog blogs that are helping to keep an eye on the practice of science journalism? Would be awesome to get Gary Schwitzer, Ivan Oransky, the folks from the Knight Science Journalism Tracker etc. (Ed Yong)

How is Twitter used at conferences? Analysis of Twapperkeeper archives for #scio10 and #solo10 as a starting point for discussion. (Martin Fenner)

A couple of ones that I’d be really interested in are: – Sociological, anthropological, rhetorical, linguistic and ethnographic methods in studying human behavior online : specically how important is expertise/experience in the way we interpret what people say online (e.g., bloggers but esp. commenters) and how do we judge? (mcshanahan) – and I think I added this one earlier but it might have gotten lost when things fell apart for a bit. I think the following suggestion made above is a fantastic question: “- Is learning science communication an essential aspect of learning science”, something I’d really like to explore with people. (mcshanahan)

How to effectively explain science to the general public in blog posts

David Dobbs is interested
Sarah Zielinski is hoping to join this panel

This may seem like a mundane and mechanical topic, but for many bloggers, this is a key objective of their work. Subissues could include:

To whom is this science being explained? (teachers, skeptics, avocational scientists, professionals, grad students?)

Who is the blogger? A scientist? Interpreter? Journalist?

What makes a great blog post a different thing than a well done press briefing or release?

How has blogging the science news affected the science news? Has this practice started to affect the science at all?

What are best practices? What should be avoided?

How would we get the science blogosphere more on the menu of day to day activities of some of this intended audience? Are grad students and researchers using Research Blogging to find or sift through peer reviewed research? Are teachers taking blogs into classrooms? Why, when bloggers decide to write for the public or teachers explicitly, do they write “101” posts? Do we universally believe this is all we can do? All this medium can do? All our readers can handle?


KEEPERS OF THE BULLSHIT FILTER: How to crowdsource accountability and accuracy in the new media world

Organized and moderated by David Dobbs

In this session we’ll discuss how a combination of blogs, tweets, and online-MSM work can replace some of the credibility-filter (and fact-checking work) that people worry will be lost in move from MSM to Whatever Comes Next.  Such crowdsourced BS detection and exposure is an implicit part of the blogosphere (and the unconference idea). But how does one actually do it? The panelists will share — and then ask the audience to share — examples, experiences, and ideas about how individuals and institutions can contribute constructively but efficiently to this vital function. Hazards and caveats will be discussed.

David Dobbs will organize and moderate, and Steve SIlberman has already agreed to serve as panelist. We’ll recruit a couple others as well.

We are working on a Keepers of the Bulllshit Filter badge to be awarded to all participants.

Submitted by David Dobbs via email Feb 1, 2010


WHAT’S KEEPING US FROM OPEN SCIENCE? Is it the powers the be, or is it … us?

Organized and moderated by David Dobbs

There’s been a lot of talk about open science, and the need to change current research, publication, and reputational structures so that we can take full advantage of the internet (and the hivemind) to speed and enrich the flow and development of scientific data, idea, findings, and discussion.
But what’s holding us back? What changes need be made to ensure a) free and open access to scientific results and publications and b) a more free, open, faster flow of scientific information? Can we just start publishing papers on blogs and let the hivemind replace peer review? Do open notebooks really work? How can we encourage scientists to contribute by reviewing and commenting on others’ work rather than focusing just on “the paper”?

This session, drawing on a magazine feature that I am currently writing about open science, will examine and discuss these questions, as well as a) where the current bottlenecks are b) key functions served by current structures (such as publishing, peer review, and credit/reputation systems) that need to be replaced in an open system; and c) ideas and efforts already underway to serve those new functions. I’ll summarize my findings for the article (slated for publication Jan 2011); have 2-3 panelists from the open-science movement discuss the points above; and then, of course, open things up for discussion

Submitted by David Dobbs on Sep 27, 2010.

I would be interested if the focus of the session is a honest and critical look at “what is keeping us from Open Science” – Martin Fenner


Organized by Thomas Levenson and Dr. Isis and potentially Martin Frank of the American Physiological Society

This panel is intended to be as unconference-like as possible. Blogging about science – and especially working as a scientist – is deeply exciting to many, and perhaps to none more than to younger researchers, students and junior faculty.

But there are issues associated with the thrill and the social value of blogging: it is public, permanent, and unmediated. This panel aims to open up a discussion of what is involved in blogging within the academy, addressing issues of anonymity; relationships within and between individuals and institutions; hiring and tenure considerations; concerns about status and hierarchies; editing (self or otherwise), networks and support; audience and intended impact, the role scientists and societies should play interacting with the public – and anything else the participants in this session want to raise

Submitted by Dr. Isis Oct 30, 2010

Ebooks and the science community

Organized by Carl Zimmer (if there’s a quorum of interest)

Ebooks are by far the fastest growing sector of the publishing industry. New systems, such as Amazon CreateSpace, could theoretically do away with the need for a conventional publisher. Thus ebooks could potentially disrupt traditional publishing in the same way blogging disrupted newspapers and magazines over the past decade. How can the science online community take advantage of this opportunity?

Submitted by Carl Zimmer November 10, 2010