Blogging in the Lab, ChemTools

One of the talks at last weeks conference on Open Repositories in Southampton talked about introducing blogging into the lab and the challenges and opportunities that this provided. The talk was given by Simon Coles and he pointed out ChemTools, where the Southampton chemistry department is experimenting with using blogs as a tool for sharing information about their experiments. Many of the blogs are private, but some are open and show that Blags can also drive discussion directly related to experiments. Apart from just hosting inter-lab discussions, Simon mentioned in his talk that some investigators use the Blog format to keep up a conversation with their students while working at a distance from them.  Read more

Hashtags, a scientific use case for Twitter.

Hashtags, a scientific use case for Twitter.

Well, OK, perhaps I oversold this blog entry in the title a little, but what I want to describe is my experience of using Twitter during a conference, and how its use extended the experience of the conference. The conference experience being so important for scientists means that this may well be a good scientific application for Twitter. Hashtags is a site that tracks words prepended with a hash that appear on Twitter, and displays all of them on one page, with a small graph showing the rise and fall of usage of the tag over time. Last week I  … Read more

Tim O’Reilly visits Nature

Tim O'Reilly visits Nature

Last Friday Tim O’Reilly dropped in on his way through london, and give a web seminar at Nature. We have been running these web seminars in Nature for about two years. They kicked off back then with talks from Jimmy Wales and David Weinberger and it was great to have Tim come in at the almost the two year mark to hear his take on 2.0 and beyond. Instead of giving a presentation Tim just opened the floor to questions. and I’ve cobbled together an account here. Everyone agrees that the internet is a transformative technology, and as the cost  … Read more

DataNet, a call for proposals.

Peter Brantley wrote to us to let us know that the National Sciecne Foundation office of Cyberinfrastructure has just released a call for proposals for the creation of A Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network (DataNet). This is a 100 million dollar round of funding to be distributed to five groups over five years, with a possible extension to the funding following on from that. You can view the proposal here. Peter has created a DataNet group on Nature Network to “to share interests, proffered expertise, desires to collaborate, and solicit Q&A regarding the recent NSF solicitation.”  … Read more

BarCamb Cambridge

Barcamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. The name of the event is an homage to Foo Camp, but unlike it’s bigger brother Barcamps are open to anyone who wants to go along. If you go to the Barcamp homepage you’ll see a list of upcoming meetings being held across the globe. It’s pretty clear that the desire for people to get together to discuss cool ideas is pretty strong.  Read more

Sky Gazing

Google have just released a new version of Google Earth with Sky gazing abilities. I use the term Sky gazing rather than star gazing as some of the most impressive aspects are the ability to zoom into high resolution images of nebula, galaxies and other extended astrophysical objects. I’ve just been playing around with this interface for the past half an hour or so and it is, as we have come to expect, georgeous.  Read more