The incredible tour de force behind the Science Online conferences (Bora and Anton!) who make the magic happen annually are already hard at work planning next year’s event. They are now appealing to the science blogging community for assistance to make 2011 the best meeting yet! Anton has posted 10 ways to help:
- Fix the logo. The ScienceOnline2010 logo looked great, but had a serious flaw — the fancy atom couldn’t print on a non-white background. We need someone with Photoshop or Illustrator expertise to rebuild the logo and customize it for ScienceOnline2011 (notice we’ve reduced the size and placement of the atom).
- Design the T-shirt — be creative — and arrange for printing and delivery (and maybe help find a sponsor to underwrite the costs).
- Be the webmaster for this site, and help us make it more compelling.
- Be the webmaster for the planning wiki, and help us get the look and feel there to match this site. Also on the wiki, add your program ideas and tell us if you’d like to be a session discussion leader.
- Find a sponsor. Download the ScienceOnline2011 info sheet and share with companies, organizations, institutions and individuals who might be willing to become a sponsor of the conference — have them contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). While you’re at it, visit the ScienceOnline2010 sponsors (logos linked here) and share your appreciation for their past support.
- Find a donor willing to help us order lots of Flip video cameras. At ScienceOnline2010, we were able to give out a couple dozen cameras in exchange for short videos of conference participants (see this post, for example, and more examples here).
- Find a North Carolina organization willing to be our institutional partner (meaning our checkbook — accept sponsorship checks, write a few dozen checks to pay our bills, earn our admiration and gratitude).
- Offer another way to help. Use the Contact form to let us know about your talents, interests and experiences, and how we can put those to use in planning the conference.
- Help someone in your community learn to blog, tweet or make use of social networking tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr). Why? ScienceOnline2011 is a BlogTogether event, and we want the spirit of conversation to spread (read this essay for background).
- Sign up for updates so you can be the first to know when registration opens. Tweet, blog and tell your friends, too.
Ask questions, share photos, join the discussion!
The first book I’d like to highlight for Book Week is Frederick Grinnell’s Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic. This one came out last year, but I didn’t have a chance to read it until more recently. In short, it’s a fantastic example of science written for broad audiences.
Grinnell describes how real life researchers bring their own interests and passions to their work. Through the discovery process, they try to learn new things about the world. Through the credibility process, they try to convince other scientists that what they have learned is correct. Diversity of interests and backgrounds amongst researchers enhances both discovery and credibility. Achieving success depends on intuition and commitment as well as on logic and objectivity. Grinnell scratches the surface of the anonymous and somewhat boring “scientific method” and shows readers the excitement, risk and adventure underneath.
Grinnell does a wonderful job of making science relevant to those outside of a so-called academic bubble who are interested to learn more about the process. He also provides a multidimensional view of who scientists are and what drives them. Not surprisingly, Everyday Practice of Science was chosen to receive the Royal Society Prize for Science Books.
Also of interest to intersection readers, Grinnell eloquently closes with a piece on humility and the relationship between science and religion:
Given the global level of poverty, disease, and depletion of environmental resources, I worry that the scientific attitude conflates power with progress. Perhaps solving global problems will require scientific and religious attitudes–both types of faith–rather than one or the other.
Over the summer we’ve received many, many books, but between traveling and personal commitments have had little time for reviewing them. That changes this week!
Each day we’ll have a post on a (relatively) new science book to help you choose good reads for the Fall! And we promise, many of these will fit the bill…