Communities Happenings is a weekly post with news of interest to NPG’s online communities. The aim is to provide this info in one handy summary. Listings include tweetups and conferences that we’re attending and/or organising as well as new online tools, products or cool videos. We also occasionally flag up NPG special offers and competitions plus updates about NPG social media activities such as new accounts you might want to follow. Do let us know what you find most useful!
Social Media week and a super SoNYC!
February’s SoNYC is a super social media week special event at the American Museum of Natural History! Please join us on Thursday February 16th, in person or online, via the social media week livestream to discuss Beyond a Trend: Enhancing Science Communication with Social Media. This month’s panel:
– American Museum of Natural History educators who are developing a “tool kit” of mobile apps, websites and more to help middle school students collect, share and present data on urban biodiversity
– Ben Lillie, the co-organizer of The Story Collider, which tells science stories by combining verbal narratives with podcasts, Twitter and an online magazine
– Matt Danzico, a BBC journalist who conducted a 365-day blog experiment called “The Time Hack” looking at how we perceive time
– Carl Zimmer, a science journalist whose latest book, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed, is based on feedback he received on his Discover Magazine blog when he asked the question: are scientists hiding tattoos of their science?
– Moderator: Jennifer Kingson, day assignment editor, Science Department, The New York Times
The event is free to attend with an opportunity to meet the panellists and other attendees afterwards. If you’d like to follow the vocal online discussion (we average around 600 tweets per SoNYC event), keep an eye on the #sonyc hashtag or check back here for our write-up and Storify of the online conversations. Do also keep an eye on the official Twitter account for more details.
To complement the event, we’re running a series of guest posts, recounting experiences where social media has been a key part of an education project. You can find our introductory post here, including a presentation by Christie Wilcox on Science and the Public: Why Every Lab Should Tweet. To start the discussions, Dr Alan Cann from Leicester University gave us an academic’s viewpoint on how social media can be used as part of the curriculum. His post considers how the effects of social media usage can be measured and what the future holds for such technology:
Activity streams and the crowd wisdom of a peer network are at the centre of my approach to online learning. All this might seem like dry, academic posturing – but don’t say that to Facebook and Google, who have spent the last three years betting the farm on activity stream architecture. Starting with the highly influential but now moribund Friendfeed, we were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach in terms of monitoring student engagement . Students engaged in peer to peer discussions around shared resources and personal reflection on their own learning. The patterns of online activity were mapped using graphical tools and were used to inform staff how to guide individual students. Our statistical analysis showed that student contributions to the network could be used to discern student engagement with education in a way which give a far richer picture of online activity than traditional summary statistics such as course or exam marks.
The Story Collider
Co-founded by Ben Lille, one of this month’s SoNYC panellists, the Story Collider gives select scientists and science communicators an opportunity to share their experiences on a particular topic. Held monthly at Union Hall in Park Slope in Brooklyn, this month’s event is all about “Brains.” You can attend The Story Collider in person on February 15th or watch out for the podcasts of the stories which are shared via their Facebook page.
At the other side of the Atlantic in London, there are lots of social media events taking place this week and you can check out the science related events in our London Blog, or in our London scientific events calendar. We also have Google Calendars for some of the other major science cities: Paris, Cambridge UK, NYC, Boston, DC and San Francisco. Below you can find links to all of the Google Calendars we have put together:
Please do let us know if you can see any important omissions.
Now onto an annual event held in Cambridge UK: SciBarCamb. SciBarCamb is a gathering of scientists, publishers, technologists, and others with an interest in science. The goal of the event is to create connections between people who have a lot in common, but don’t work in the same field and may not meet each other otherwise.
SciBarCamp meetings have been held since 2008 in the US, Canada, Austria, and in Cambridge. They have attracted researchers, science communicators, entrepreneurs, artists, media professionals, librarians and scientific publishers. To find out more you can find their website here, read this report of the very first SciBarCamp event in Toronto, check out some photos of last year’s SciBarCamb, or read what people said about the event on Twitter.
This year, the meeting will take place on the evening of April 20th and all day on April 21st at the Cambridge Union Society. There is a small registration fee to help cover the costs of room rental and food as the organisers, including nature.com’s Lou Woodley and Nature Network’s blogger Eva Amsen, don’t make a profit on SciBarCamb. Tickets go on sale today and if you’re quick, you can get an “Electron” ticket for £5, otherwise a regular “Atom” ticket for £10.
This week has seen the launch of another NPG account on Twitter: NatureMagazine
You can also find a full Twitter list of NPG journals and products here.
“Triple A-S” (AAAS)
Various representatives from Nature will be in Vancouver, B.C this week for the The American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, an annual gathering and one of the most widely recognised global science events. If you’d like to follow along, the hashtag for the event is #AAASmtg. If you’re attending the event and want to meet others who are active online, there’s a tweetup being organsied for the Saturday evening. Follow the #AAAStweetup hashtag and come along to meet Lou and others.
Frontiers in Materials: Spintronics
Nature Materials and the European Materials Research Society are organising a workshop with the aim of providing an overview of the most interesting developments in the field of spintronics, a technology that aims at controlling the electron spin beside the electron charge and that could provide efficient electronic devices with potentially new functionalities. The workshop will take place in Palais des Congrès, Strasbourg
Gerrit Bauer (University of Delft, The Netherlands / Tohoku University, Japan)
Manuel Bibes (CNRS Thales, France)
Albert Fert (CNRS Thales, France)
Laurence Molenkamp (Würzburg University, Germany)
Hideo Ohno (Tohoku University, Japan)
Theo Rasing (Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Jairo Sinova (Texas A&M University, USA)
Jon Slaughter (Everspin, USA)