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Preparing for Science Online 2011

Science Online, the annual science bloggers conference, is this weekend! This will be my third Science Online, and Amy and David’s second, and this year’s is the biggest conference ever. You can follow me, Amy, and David on twitter or track the #scio11 hashtag. Talks will be recorded and made available online after the conference.

If you’re going to be there, you can find me at the following session:The First Line of Response – The BP Oil Spill: science, outrage, spin, and dead pelicans - Miriam Goldstein, Kevin Zelnio, Holly Bik, Craig McClain and Andrew Thaler. John Amos of SkyTruth will participate via Skype.

This session proposes an examination of the role of bloggers in exposing events, correcting mainstream media (MSM), offering expert analysis, and keeping important issues current after MSM interest wanes. How did BP, the government’s response, scientists, amateurs, bloggers, and MSM journalists use the web to communicate? Was the public outrage dependent only on dead charismatic megafauna photos, or can these methods be leveraged for other social/environmental issues? Outcomes from blogging the oil spill will also be discussed, such as funding opportunities for scientific research and outreach, collaborations, and media exposure.

Engaging undergraduates in science communication – Andrew Thaler, Jason Goldman and David Shiffman

  • Successes and failures in undergraduate blogging. What strategies work for engaging students, how much guidance or freedom do you give them, what platform or support structure should you provide (if any)?
  • Examples of successful (and not so successful) attempts.
  • What responsibilities do you have towards your students? Ethical responsibilities – protecting you students online and providing an alternative for those who are uncomfortable with the assignment, Legal responsibilities – FERPA and student privacy.
  • The social media question. Do you use facebook/twitter and other social media tools to engage with your students? How much do you really want to know about your students? How much do you really want you students to know about you?
  • How students understand the relationship between more formal scientific communication (articles, books) and the informal communication of blogs, twitter etc.

Blogging networks and the emerging science communications ecosystem – Arikia Millikan (Wired), Brian Mossop (PLoS), Bora Zivkovic (Scientific American and ScienceInTheTriangle), SciCurious (Scientopia), Amos Zeeberg (Discover), Lou Woodley (Nature Network), Martin Robbins (Guardian and Lay Scientist), Andrew Thaler (the Gam), Mark Hahnel (science3point0), Craig McClain (Deep Sea News), Brian Krueger (LabSpaces), Rachel Pepling (CENtral Science), Alok Jha (the Guardian), Leslie Taylor (Talking Science), Richard P. Grant (Occam’s Typewriter), Maria Jose Vinas (AGU network, via Skype), Eva Amsen (the Node, via Skype)….

A round-table with editors and community managers of blogging networks and big group-blogs in “hot seats”, audience asks questions, gives suggestions, criticisms, etc. What’s the (changing) role of an online editor on a site aggregating independent blogs? “Merely” a bloggers’ assistant for bug fixes and spam busting or a signposter to content, online marketer, creator of community or what? How closely do you monitor your community’s behaviour? Do you know visit times/bounce rates/preferred pages for all your archive and how easy is it to predict what will be “good” (high traffic?) content? Do you encourage “basics posts” and “explainers”? Do you worry if posts are not “newsy” enough?

 

Room A – The First Line of Response – The BP Oil Spill: science, outrage, spin, and dead pelicans – Miriam Goldstein, Kevin Zelnio, Holly Bik, Craig McClain and Andrew Thaler. John Amos of SkyTruth will participate via Skype. 

This session proposes an examination of the role of bloggers in exposing events, correcting mainstream media (MSM), offering expert analysis, and keeping important issues current after MSM interest wanes. How did BP, the government’s response, scientists, amateurs, bloggers, and MSM journalists use the web to communicate? Was the public outrage dependent only on dead charismatic megafauna photos, or can these methods be leveraged for other social/environmental issues? Outcomes from blogging the oil spill will also be discussed, such as funding opportunities for scientific research and outreach, collaborations, and media exposure.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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