Of Schemes and Memes Blog

2011 on Of Schemes and Memes

As the end of another year approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on and celebrate what’s happened in the past 12 months.  We’ve certainly had a busy year and have picked some of our Of Schemes and Memes highlights to share.  Why not let us know your favourites from our selection or share your own best blog posts from 2011 in the comments?

Mini-series editorials

This year on Of Schemes and Memes, we started to provide more editorial content in the form of overview and discussion pieces which cover key scientific events and issues. We kicked off with a topical overview of women in science  rounding up recent blog posts and reflecting on some archive material. Our next series took a look behind the scenes at science museums, culminating in a world map plotting every science museum in the world (or at least trying to – it’s still a work in progress so let us know if we’ve missed anything!).

We focused our efforts on Science as Seen on Screen for our next series, looking at other important scientific learning media; film and video. The series resulted in an ever growing video vault of online science video resources. We then followed up with a mini-series on science education where we interviewed science teachers, attended the Science Question Time event in London on Science Education in Schools and asked 7 questions to 7 PhDs.

Linking in with our coverage of the World Science Festival, which took place in New York City in June, our next mini-series focused on science festivals, interviewing organisers and reporting from some of the best science festivals in the world. In the final post in this series, we compiled a map which marks some of the world’s science festivals:


View World Science Festivals in a larger map

The release of SoNYC

In April this year, we laucnhed Science Online NYC (SoNYC), a new monthly event for anyone who’s interested in how science is carried out and communicated online. SoNYC is put together by Lou Woodley of Nature.com, in collaboration with co-organisers Jeanne Garbarino at Rockefeller University, John Timmer at Ars Technica and Joe Bonner from Rockefeller University and Science Writers in New York (SWINY).

The first SoNYC event took place on Wednesday 20th April at Rockefeller University and there have been a total of seven events this year, all of which have proved popular, both in person and online. Here on Of Schemes and Memes you can find all of the reports from each event, including Storifys collating the online conversations. Make sure you check them out! Stay tuned for the information on the next SoNYC which will probably be held on Wednesday 25th January.

You can also keep an eye on the official Twitter account @S_O_NYC and track the hashtag: #sonyc.


There’s always an interesting science event taking place, or so it seems, and as more and more events are now being live-streamed or live-tweeted, you can often also follow events in places where you don’t live.

To help with diary planning, this year we decided to create Google Calendars for some of the major science cities; Paris, London and Cambridge in the UK and NYC, Boston and San Francisco in the US.

Below you can find links to all of the Google Calendars we have put together:

London Science Events

Cambridge Science Events

DC Science Events

NYC Sci Comm events

Boston Science Events

San Francisco Science Events

Paris Science Events


The island of Lindau on Lake Constance is home to the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates. This year’s meeting, which took place in the last week of June, was dedicated to Physiology and Medicine, and 24 Nobel Laureates gathered to share their scientific experience and respond to  eager questions from early career scientists.

Throughout this year’s Lindau meeting, there was detailed blogging coverage on Of Schemes and Memes as we brought to you a full week of Lindau reporting, linking out to all of the blogs, talks, discussions and Storifys collating the tweets surrounding the conference. We also launched an updated social media site, aggregating all Lindau coverage, serving as the event’s interactive hub. The site includes the official Lindau blogs in English, German, Spanish and Chinese, as well as gathering all Twitter, Flickr and any external blogging activity, eliminating the tiresome task of searching for up-to-date coverage. So if you wish to share in the experience and even watch the videos from this year’s event, make sure you add the site to your bookmarks!


Science Online London

In September, nature.com and Digital Science teamed up to organise Science Online London (#SoLo11), an event dedicated to exploring the ways in which the Web has transformed scientific research and communication. The conference presented a range of lively workshops, stimulating lectures and engaging debates, as well as talks with an international group of scientists and journalists including Michael Nielsen, Rosie Redfield and Jonathan Eisen. You can find out more about the programme and read our summaries and Storifies here. We hope next year’s SoLo is just as thought-provoking – stay tuned for more information next year.

New staff blogs

Last week saw the launch of the redesigned nature.com blogs site – the new home for blogs by Nature Publishing Group staff, editors and guest contributors. This is the first time we’ve had a site that brings together all of the nature.com blogs and we hope you’ll like how much easier it is to find conference reports, editorials, round-ups and other updates from our editors and colleagues.

There have been major improvements to the functionality of blogs: better formatting, navigation and designs that integrate more closer with the products and journals with which the blogs are associated.  To complete this closer integration, blog results now appear when you search for content from elsewhere on nature.com.

We introduced each active blog in a collection of introduction posts here.  You can find out more about the new-look  News blog, the Spoonful of Medicine, the Sceptical Chymist,  StepwiseNaturejobsTrade Secrets,  Indigenus, House of Wisdom, Methagora and Free Association in our summaries. Plus we introduced the blogs run by the Communities team.

What a great way to end the year….stay tuned for more from us in 2012!

Happy Holidays from Lou and Laura!


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