After being on the road for over two weeks, it’s good to be home. I met so many passionate scientists, students, and science advocates along the way that it brought me a sense of great hope for what’s to come. A highlight was the past weekend stopover in North Carolina for ScienceOnline2010 where I was delighted to meet dozens of interesting science writers and new media folks in person while getting the opportunity to spend time with my favorite science bloggers from around the world. It was a lot of fun to share a panel on fact-checking with Rebecca Skloot and David Dobbs–and if you haven’t already picked up the most recent issue of O Magazine, make sure you do! Rebecca has a fascinating excerpt from her upcoming book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks inside! I also had the pleasure of participating in a second session with Isis and Janet; two women who constantly amaze me both in and out of the blogosphere. Our session on civility got a bit too uncivil at times, but it also brought up very important discussion points that I’d like to see explored more online.
I had my two favorite allies by my side most of the meeting–CM and Vanessa Woods. I am also pleased to report back that Ed Yong is just as awesome in person as at Not Exactly Rocket Science. Bora, Anton, and David did a terrific job pulling the conference together and it was fantastic to see so many friends who inhabit the blogosphere from Sci to Brian, Greg to Carl, Darlene to Dave, Miriam to Kevin, Arikia to Nate, Eric and Eric and on and on… I could not begin to list everyone, so instead, I will just say this: Everyday it is a delight, privilege, and honor to share the science blogosphere with the incredible, inspiring, and wonderful individuals that participate here. I am already looking forward to next year’s event!
Last week I mentioned participating in a discussion at ScienceOnline ‘10 entitled “Online Civility and Its (Muppethugging) Discontents” featuring Janet and Isis. But there’s another equally exciting panel I’m part of earlier in the day with Rebecca Skloot and David Dobbs. Here is the description:
Description: Much of the science that goes out to the general public through books, newspapers, blogs and many other sources is not professionally fact checked. As a result, much of the public’s understanding of science is based on factual errors. This discussion will focus on what scientists and journalists can do to fix that problem, and the importance of playing a pro-active role in the process. Discuss here.
After turning in my latest manuscript just one week ago, I have a lot to say on the topic. This should be a terrific session and I encourage readers attending the conference to join us next weekend!
With that, I’m off to day one of Michael Webber’s energy technology and policy course at UTAustin.
In just two weeks, I’m looking forward to participating in a discussion at ScienceOnline ’10 with two of my favorite science bloggers: Janet and Isis. Our panel–as the title of this post suggests–is “Online Civility and Its (Muppethugging) Discontents.” As you can imagine, the session outta be good! Over the weekend, we chatted about the plan–and that’s where you come in…
Janet has posted the following terrific questions over at her place, and I encourage readers to read through them while thinking about the meaning of online ‘civility‘. We invite you to contribute with your perspective in comments below or at the ScienceOnline’10 wiki.
- Is there some special problem of online civility (vs. offline civility)?
- Is being civil online essentially the same as being civil in offline engagements (whether dialogues, debates, street fights, more unidirectional communications, or interactions not primarily aimed at communication)?
- Is being civil online fundamentally different than being civil in offline engagements? (If so, why? How?)
- Is being civil online different from being civil online, but only in degree? (Again, if so, why? How?)