Communities Happenings is a (usually) 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!
SoNYC is the monthly discussion series which the nature.com Communities team organises in collaboration with Ars Technica and Rockefeller University. The event is also live-streamed and archived and we create a round-up post including a Storify storyboard of all the online conversations around the event.
March 20th’s event was a re-scheduling of last October’s event on, “Setting the research record straight” which focussed on deterring and detecting plagiarism in scientific papers. The panel featured Retraction Watch blogger, Ivan Oransky, John Kreuger of the Office of Research Integrity and Liz Williams, Executive Editor of The Journal of Cell Biology. As we did for February’s event, we posted preview content on Of Schemes and Memes – thanks to Rich van Noorden and Dot Clyde for contributing along with Ivan and others. You can find a write-up of the event from Nature NYC blogger Jennifer Cable here, as well as a Storify collating the online conversation. Here is the take-home message as described by Jennifer Cable:
It was implied in most of the discussion that retractions are a result of bad science, whether or not there was an initial intent to deceive. However, as John Krueger pointed out, retractions are a healthy part of the scientific process and a well-written retraction notice can contribute as much, if not more, to the advancement of science than the initial manuscript. And, as Liz Williams put it,
“If the goal is to preserve the integrity of the scientific literature, then retractions are a sign of progress.”
The next SoNYC event will be the first birthday celebration on Wednesday May 2nd featuring an open mic night for attendees to demo an online tool, app or website that they find useful for communicating or carrying out science online. You can find out more information about the birthday celebrations, including how to enter, in our summary post. In the meantime, keep an eye on the #SoNYC hashtag and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
SoNYC is growing: Announcing SoSEA and SoVan
We’re pleased to be supporting the replication of the SoNYC model in other locations. Over the past week, we’ve announced new events in Seattle and Vancouver, where local organisers are putting together similar monthly meetings. As these events will be livestreamed and enthusiastically tweeted, you’ll be able to join in the conversations wherever you are, or catch up on the video archives and Storifys of tweets afterwards.
Soapbox Science specials
Last week the Soapbox Science blog featured a special series on alternative sources of funding for scientists. Over the years science funding has changed significantly. Today, researchers are usually funded by a mixture of grants from government agencies, non-profit foundations and institutions. However, with the increasing popularity of social media and the internet, methods used to obtain money may be undergoing a shift. New routes linking funding sources with scientists are being increasingly explored. This special Soapbox Science series focused on the new ways in which science groups and individuals are obtaining funding and how projects such as Petridish, Tekla Labs, and Kickstarter may change the future of scientific research. Posts included:
- Scientists as global citizens – some ideas for supporting science around the world
- Interview with Kevin Zelnio whose #IamScience project to turn scientists’ career stories into an ebook was recently funded by Kickstarter
- Case studies of 3 scientists, each attempting to fund their projects via Petridish, a new crowdfunding site for science research:
- Speaking up in support of federally funded research
MyProjects is a web-based initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to donate to a specific piece of research which is meaningful to them. The projects are described online, with a target of how much money needs to be raised in donations before they will be collected and work will begin. At the moment, 39 projects are seeking or have reached full funding, spanning a whole range of cancers. One of the major beneficiaries of this initiative was Professor Jack Cuzick , head of the Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics and Statistics at the Wolfson Institute in London, whose major trial of a breast cancer drug raised over £100,000 of funding.
Continue to the post to hear more from Professor Jack Cuzick as well as a video where he talks about his fund raising goals. If you have an idea or a someone who might be interested in taking to the Soapbox, please do get in touch.
April sees the return of SciBarCamb – an unconference for scientists and technologists, taking place on the evening of Friday 20th April and all day on Saturday 21st. The earlybird tickets have now sold out, but there are still some regular tickets left. If you’d like to find out more about the event, read what co-organiser Eva Amsen has to say about it and you can follow the online chatter using the #SciBarCamb hashtag.
Nature News wins a Shorty award!
Finally, a big congratulations to the Nature News team who won a Shorty Award this week in the science category! Brendan Maher, News Feature Editor, accepted the award on behalf of the group. You can see the award in all its glory in the (slightly blurry) photos below:
The AACR Meeting
Nature will be at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago this weekend.
Come visit us at booth #3504, and come play our famousScientific Reports cog wheel game for special prizes. And don’t forget to ask about the exclusive discount 60% discount for AACR attendees! #NATUREatAACR. Do let us know what you think about the conference and any opinions you have.