Science Online 2012

This week Jess and I attended the Science Online 2012 conference in Raleigh.  This so -called  “un-conference” is designed to bring together scientists, science writers, educators, and bloggers of all stripes to learn about using the web for science communication.  The conference was an amazing experience, and I met so many people doing cool things.  Although pretty much every session or workshop was incredible, I narrowed my list down to my five favorite things about Science Online. Before I start the list,  I have to thank the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, who gave me a scholarship so I could attend.  It was a real honor to be selected, and I’m really grateful that I got to go to this amazing conference.  Also, look for Grad Student Jess’s post soon about her favorite things from Science Online 2012!

Five Favorite Things About Science Online:

1.  The constant tweeting! Lots of conference goers chose to live-tweet the workshops and sessions at Science Online.  At first I found the constant tweeting a little overwhelimng, but pretty soon I was compulsively checking twitter with the rest of the crowd.  It was great to be able to see what was going on in other sessions, and it provided a fun record of everything that went on at the conference from insightful comments to the location of free ice cream.  Below a map of all the tweets at Science Online (Jessica and I are in there somewhere!)


Science Online 2012 Tweet Map

2. A special science themed story slam by The Monti! Some readers may be familar with The Moth, a live storytelling event in which people (often young, bespectacled Brooklyintes) share funny, sad or surprising stories with a live audience. It’s like stand up commedy, if standup commedy hit a nerve as well as tickled your funny bone. The Monti is a local version of the Moth, run by Jeff Polish a former scientist turned story teller.  Ben Lillie of Story Collider (another great story telling project) performed too! I’ll definitely be attending their other non-science shows around Chapel Hill and Durham.

3.  A stand up set from science comedian Brian Mallow

4.  Map making workshop taught by Tim De Chant, who writes the awesome blog Per Square Mile. Understanding how species move across the environment is such an important part of my work, and sometimes you just need a good map to make your point. We learned about some cool, open source map making  and spatial analysis tools, like QGIS .  Look forward to some cool maps and graphics on the blog!

5.  Sketchnote seminar taught by Perrin Ireland of Alpha Chimp Studios, a company that teaches visual brainstorming.   Sketch-noting is a style of visual note taking, and is a popular way to share ideas from meetings and conferences.  It also helps you remember information and pay attention too!  The famous TED talks lecture series uses visual note taking so attendees can learn about talks they’ve missed.  Here’s a quick overview of visual note taking from the pioneer of the field, Sunni Brown.

Coming soon: Jess’s take on Science Online.


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