Science communicators unite at Science Online 2010

Science Online 2010
It’s hard to hide my excitement about the event being held in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park this weekend. Science Online 2010 bills itself as an annual science communication conference, but is, at its heart, an unconference. Admittedly, I’ve never been to an unconference, so I’m not quite sure how to describe it, except perhaps that it is more participatory than your run-of-the-mill conference. According to the Science Online 2010 blog,

The ScienceOnline conference brings together scientists, bloggers, journalists, writers, educators, students, entrepreneurs, and others to discuss the ever-expanding role of the Internet in the practice and communication of science, and to share new tools and practices that facilitate these goals.

You can read more about the event and its history on this blog post.

Attendance at Science Online 2010 is limited to 250 participants, so it will be fairly cozy. The last conference I attended was about 10 times as large: the National Educational Computing Conference in 2005. That was well before I became a freelancer. And the last scientific conference I attended… well… I’m too embarassed to mention. Suffice it to say it was a long time ago. So long, in fact, that I feel like a conference virgin again, which partly explains why I haven’t signed up to lead any of the sessions or workshops. You see, there will be scientists. There will be science journalists and science bloggers. And I’m too insecure in any of those credentials to claim expertise at this time. Yes, I’m a scientist, but a nonpracticing one for the last 10 years. I’m also a science blogger, but with less than 10 posts under my shiny white belt.

Where does that leave me? As a proverbial sponge, I believe, soaking up the experience and wringing out the gems that I come across. And by wringing I mean sharing through tweets or blog posts. Despite the aforementioned insecurities, I am very secure in my ability as an editor and writer to cull, vet, synthesize, and express. Indeed, I can’t wait to do so.

Thus, for those unfortunate few who were closed out of the registration process, I’ll be there for you. Look for my tweets on @iescience between Thursday, January 14 and Sunday, January 17. Here are some other ways that you can participate in Science Online 2010 virtually (i.e., without a physical presence):

And, to those of you who will be physically present, it will be my pleasure to meet you.


UPDATE 1/12/10:
Parts of Science Online 2010 will be broadcast live online at www.ustream.tv/TheRTP and via Second Life at slurl.com/secondlife/Research Triangle Park/128/129/25

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2 Responses to “Science communicators unite at Science Online 2010”

  1. Sondra Tanen says:

    What I’ve found is that we all want to be heard. It’s more about sharing as we’re learning than teaching what we know. That leaves folks a whole lot more room to talk.

  2. Elia says:

    You shouldn’t be insecure about your writing skills–this is great stuff! Keep up the good (and wet) work.

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