Of Schemes and Memes Blog

Communities Happenings – 23rd April

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 which 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’s Birthday

This month, SoNYC, our monthly discussion series in NYC about all aspects of communicating and carrying out science online, turns one! We’re hosting a party on May 2nd to celebrate, and to warm up we’re taking a look back at all the SoNYC events from the past year. SoNYC is co-organised by Lou Woodley of nature.com, John Timmer, Science Editor at Ars Technica and Jeanne Garbarino and Joe Bonner at Rockefeller University. We follow a rotating 3-month editorial cycle to ensure we cover all angles of science online: In month 1 we cover topics relating to science communication and outreach. Month 2 focuses on online tools for scientists, including digital publishing and month 3 of the cycle looks a “implicational” issues such as legal and policy discussions.

To whet everyone’s appetite last week we summarised all of the SoNYC events around online tools for scientists and digital publishing. You can read the recap of the events from the science communication and outreach strand here, online tools for scientists and digital publishing here and the implicational issues – legal, policy and community here.


Last Monday saw the launch of trio of new events that are replicating nature.com’s SoNYC model to other locations in the US and Canada. The first of theses is Science Online Seattle (#SoSEA), co-organised by Liz Neeley, Jen Davison and Brian Glanz hosted a well-attended debate on the changing landscape of online science, with numerous contributions from the in-person and online audiences. The topic for debate was, Shared Science: new realities for research and outreach in a networked world and the panel included:

  • Lisa GraumlichUW College of the Environment. Lisa is the Dean of a college which brings together some 200 faculty from a diverse set of scientific disciplines. She will talk about her vision for opening up the science of the University of Washington College of the Environment.
  • Brian Glanz, Open Science Federation.  Brian will discuss reproducibility, extensibility, affordability, accessibility and science at the speed of the internet.
  • Firas Khatib and Seth CooperFoldit.  Firas is a biomedical research scientist and Seth is creative director of the Center for Game Science at UW. They’ll talk about the stories behind the overwhelming success of Foldit.

You can find a few of the take home messages below as well as a summary and a Storify created by the SoSEA team here.


Thursday 19th April also saw the launch of two more events replicating nature.com’s SoNYC Science Online Vancouver (#SoVan) and Science Online Bay Area (#SoBA). Stay tuned for summaries and Storifys of the event created by the local teams.


Nature Publishing Group (NPG) announced last week mobile-optimization for a number of its journals on nature.com. NatureNature Climate ChangeNature Communications and Scientific Reports now offer complete mobile-optimized versions of their websites, designed for use in web browsers on “small screen” devices like smartphones and tablets. All other Nature research journals have also introduced mobile-optimized pages for all articles and news content. Site license access, COUNTER compliant usage statistics, and personal subscriptions are supported. Here’s a snippet from the press release and you can read the full text here:

The mobile-optimized presentation has been designed to provide an improved reading and navigation experience in web browsers on smartphones and tablets. By employing Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3) media queries the pages are reformatted on the fly based on the screen size of the device. On a smart phone the content is presented in a single column with dropdown menus, whereas on a tablet the journal’s homepage is either two or three columns depending on the orientation of the device.


This weekend saw the return of  SciBarCamb – an unconference in Cambridge, UK for scientists and technologists, taking place on the Friday 20th April and all day on Saturday 21st. To read what everyone was saying on Twitter, do check out the #SciBarCamb hashtag and stay tuned for Storifys and blogs about the event.

Events elsewhere

Our scientific events calendars have been freshly updated to include the latest scientific events. Make sure you check them out. Please do get in touch if we are missing any events or if you would like to contribute to this calendar or any of the other calendars listed below.

London Science Events

Cambridge Science Events

DC Science Events

NYC Sci Comm events

Boston Science Events

San Francisco Science Events

Paris Science Events


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