Everyone at last week’s SoNYC event was in a celebratory mood. After we toasted with our festively decorated cupcakes, the floor was turned over to members of the audience to present tools and apps that help them do or communicate science. In addition to the tools and apps presented at the SoNYC event, check out our list of #ToolTales over at Soapbox Science.
Here’s a rundown of last weeks’s presenters:
- Richard Wing (@ProjectBourbon1) Project Bourbon
- Bora Zivkovic (@boraz) Science Seeker
- Kelle Cruz (@kellecruz) AstroBetter
- Pat Gordon and Ashlee Bennett (@biochemrevealed) Biochemistry Revealed
- Rose Eveleth (@roseveleth) Scienceline (iPad App)
- Olivia Koski (@oliviakoski) Atavist (app and publishing platform)
- Kendra Snyder (@kendrasnyder) iPad app from AMNH
- Dave Mosher (@DaveMosher) Contextly plugin for WordPress
- Jeff Lancaster Science @ Columbia (Tumblr)
- Musa Akbari (@tooMusa) Meritocracy
- Jeanne Garbarino (@JeanneGarb) Science Exchange
- Lane Rasberry (@LaneRasberry) Wikipedia
First up was Richard Wing of Project Bourbon. Frustrated with the lack of clear, effective images and charts to explain scientific ideas, Wing decided to make his own.
Project Bourbon is still in its infancy and looking for people to help out with creating content and designing the infrastructure and organization for this future tool. If you’re interested in helping out or in learning more about Project Bourbon, check out their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter: @ProjectBourbon1.
With all the great science blogs out there and all the blogs out there that don’t have anything at all to do with science, how can one person possibly find the time to sift through them all? As Bora Zivkovic of Scientific American explained, you don’t have to. ScienceSeeker will aggregate posts from science blogs that have been approved and vetted by members of the science blogging community, so you’re sure not to run across someone’s Friday night cat pics.
Kelle Cruz gave us an intro to her website – Astrobetter – a LifeHacker-esque site geared towards astronomers, but with topics that most scientists would find useful, such as being yourself during an interview, how to speak well in front of others, and whether QR codes are useful for scientific posters.
Pat Gordon and Ashlee Bennett, two graduate students at Columbia University, started Biochemistry Revealed to help scientists explain their research around the Thanksgiving day table. With podcasts and blog posts like “We sequenced the human genome!…now what?” and “Proteins – more than just a good steak”, Biochemistry Revealed is geared toward your average armchair scientists who needs a refresher course in some of the basic concepts of chemistry and biology.
Scienceline is a website featuring the work of NYU students. Rose Eveleth talked about her experience in helping create a Scienceline iPad app. One of the most important things for building an app? Knowing how to use an iPad. Also important was knowing how to differentiate the Scienceline app from the website. For Eveleth, that meant adding special extras and bonus features to the app that the website didn’t have.
The Atavist is an online multimedia magazine that publishes nonfiction stories. However, Olivia Koski gave us the inside scoop into how the Atavist is branching out into becoming a general publishing platform that anyone can use to publish their stories. They are currently looking for beta testers. So, check out their website and see how you can help.
Kendra Snyder, from the American Museum of Natural History, gave us a demonstration of one of the cool apps that AMNH is using to help get people involved and excited about its exhibits. In the app for the exhibit “Beyond Planet Earth”, visitors hold an iPad over icons place throughout the exhibit. The iPad sees the icon through its camera and creates a 3D, interactive image the corresponds to the image, such as the moon, the solar system, and even a lunar elevator.
Contextly is a plugin for WordPress created by Ryan Singel of Wired. Contextly helps writers and publishers link their articles to related content.
In an attempt to coalesce all the great science being done at Columbia University, Jeff Lancaster created the Tumblr page Science@Columbia. The goal is to build bridges between different departments at Columbia that may otherwise operate independently and provide a cohesive resource for non-Columbia-nites who want to know what kind of science is done there. Check it out for the Secret Science Club events, recently published articles, and current science news.
What do scientists do when they need an experiment done but don’t have the tools or know-how to do it themselves? Well, as Jeanne Garbarino explained, they can check out Science Exchange, an online science marketplace that connects experiment providers with scientists who need to get experiments done.
While Wikipedia may not be exactly new, Lane Rasberry, Wikipedian in Residence at Consumer Reports, presented it in a whole new light. How does a science communicator reach millions of readers, publish on the largest publishing platform in the world, and have your words show up as the #1 hit on Google? Publish on Wikipedia.