Archive for the 'Workshops and Conferences' category

Flying Chairs at #scio12 !!!!!!!!!!!

Forget the jetpacks, ScienceOnline is going to have FLYING CHAIRS!!!!!

They are incredibly awesome.

They look like ordinary plastic and metal classroom desk chairs, but you just sit down in them, think about where you want to go, and hang on!  They will whisk you from one session to the next, swooping and swishing above the crowds below.  You can take them outside, too, and fly around in the parking lot with your friends.  Sometimes, though, Bora programs them all to go to one place at one time when we all need to be there for a plenary session or a dinner or what have you.  It's a sight to see everyone rising up like a flock of nerdy birds, whizzing along to the next venue.


When I woke up this morning and realized that flying chairs at #SciO12 was just a beautiful dream, I felt sad only for a moment.  Even if there aren't going to be flying chairs, Bora and Anton will still have created something so fab I'll feel like I've been flying around by the seat of my pants for three days.

More down-to-earth and sensible discussions of what to expect at SciO12 can be found at Dr. Stemwedel's place and over at WhizBANG!


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ScienceOnline 2011: Early Review

The conference proper hasn't actually started yet (okay, many worthy souls are busily workshopping even as I lounge about in the hotel room typing this) but it's already been totally worth the trip.  Why, you ask?  Three reasons.

1. Robert Krulwich's keynote address last night.  Interesting, useful, entertaining, inspiring, could have listened to another hour of it.  First time I can recall ever wanting to give a keynoter a standing ovation.

2. Joseph Hewitt's "2010: The Year In Science Blogging" comeek in the swag bag (which itself will make another nice grocery bag).  Josephe Hewitt is a genius.

3. Hanging out with Commenter Extraordinaire of Science Blogs Everywhere, Becca.

Item #3 has two sub-parts of wonderful to it.  3(a), last night at the Open Mike session, Becca instigated a performance of Ripple and inveigled me to sing along with her and Sandra Porter, with Kevin Zelnio backing us up on guitar.  Sandra and Becca can actually sing, and Kevin can actually play the guitar.  I screeched along as best I could.

3(b), you can always count on Becca's astute observations to generate a comment FTW.  Last night at the intro to the keynote was no exception.  Up on the screens in front of the room we were treated to a slide full of the names of supporters of this un-conference - sorted, as is so often done, into three categories.  You know how it's done.  Sometimes it's platinum, gold, and silver.  My local arboretum has oak, ash, and willow.  Whatever it is, you know the first category is Top Dawg, second category is Still Pretty Good, and third category is Well, Not Bad, Your Name Is Still Here, Someday When You Can Give More You Can Be A Top Dawg.  The categories chosen for SciO11's supporters are as follows:

Top Dawg = Charles Darwin Level

Still Pretty Good = Albert Einstein Level


Oh yes they did.

Becca's comment:  "That's an active disincentive to donate more money."

There's just something weird about associating Names of Famous Scientists with supporter levels in this manner.  When supporter levels categories are given somewhat innocuous names - like platinum, gold, silver, or oak, ash, willow - everyone understands that there is a ranking involved in the categories.  The ranking is there to distinguish and honor the supporters, and also to generate a little competition - oh, I see the Jones Company supported at the oak level, notes Smith Company.  We have got to try and keep up with the Joneses in this important arena.  Maybe next year we ought to be mighty oaks as well.  Marketers can use it as a selling point:  You know, the Jones have been mighty oaks for five years now.  We'd like to see you getting your name out there with the same level of recognition and influence, Smith Company.  Wouldn't you like to consider moving up from ash to mighty oak this year?  So you need the ranking system, both to sell to the supporters, and to recognize the supporters.  Everybody knows how the coded system works.  When you slap some Famous Scientist names on top of this system that everyone understands, it cannot help but send an implicit message along with it - Top Dawg is the scientist this particular community worships values most,   Still Pretty Good, is still pretty good, and WNBYNISHSWYCGMYCBATD is somebody we had to come up with as an afterthought, and we'd better make it a woman or the ladee science bloggers will complain, so let's pick Marie Curie because she's the most famousest woman scientist.

Blargh.  Revise and resubmit for SciO12, please.  Squid Level, Polar Bear Level, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Level.  Sea, Land, and Air levels.  Book, Blog, and Twitter levels.  Ha ha ha!  my little joke. See how that ranking thing works?

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Women & Science/Technology Policy Seminar - For Students

Announced on the WMST-L listserv:

Women & Science/Technology Policy Seminar in Washington, DC

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) will be holding its Women & Science/Technology Policy Seminar January 4-8, 2010 for women science majors who want to explore what life is like as a science advisor.
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for women students to discover a different way to professionally apply their scientific and technological knowledge - in a career developing public policy. The seminar teachers are women scientists in diverse areas of government and the private sector, including: White House science advisors, legislative staff in Congress, Institute directors at NIH, corporate lobbyists and scientists, and nonprofit advocates. These women immerse the students in the major issues of the day, guide them through the realities of policy making, and help them discover if they want to become part of the process.
Seminar registration DEADLINE is November 20, 2009. Visit this site for more information and on-line registration. This seminar is underwritten by Abbott, which makes $200 scholarships available to a limited number of students.

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A Question for Women in Geoscience/Environmental Science/Field Science

Kim at All of My Faults Are Stress Related asks:

I've got a question for women readers, especially those in the geosciences, environmental sciences, or field sciences: what do you get out of reading blogs? And if you have a blog yourself, what do you get out of writing it?
I'm asking because there's a session at this year's Geological Society of America meeting on "Techniques and Tools for Effective Recruitment, Retention and Promotion of Women and Minorities in the Geosciences" (and that's in the applied geosciences as well as in academia), and I wondered whether blogs (whether geo-blogs or women-in-science blogs or both) help.

Please do go read her post and, if you are a woman in one of the relevant research fields, leave your 2 cents worth in the comment thread. The post is a wonderfully written examination of Kim's reasons for blogging - you'll enjoy it on it's own terms, even if you don't want to contribute to the comments.

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Links for 03-20-2009

NSF ADVANCE Workshop For Women Transitioning to Academic Careers

The University of Washington's ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change received an award from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program to hold professional development workshops for Ph.D.-level women in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs who are interested in transitioning to academic careers in STEM. The first workshop will be held October 18- 20, 2009.
This workshop will be very helpful to women interested in making the transition to academia. The workshop speakers will primarily be successful women faculty members who began their post-Ph.D. careers in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs. The attendees, speakers, and workshop organizers will form a community who can support each other during the job application period, the interview process, the startup negotiations, and the first years in academia.
Please note, this workshop is NOT designed for research faculty, PhD students, graduate students, or post-docs on university campuses. It is instead targeted toward women who hold Ph.D.s and are currently working in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs.
The workshops will be limited to 30 participants. Registration is free and some travel funding for airfare and hotel will be available.

More good stuff after the jump.

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Technology and Genealogy

What makes you a member of family, or a citizen of a nation? Over at Sciencewoman, Alice reports on a session she attended at this year's NWSA conference:

In a session on the technologies of citizenship, Banu Submramaniam of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst talked about the developing practice of doing DNA maps to understand your heritage, and then linked into a discussion about how caste is argued by some activists as analogous to race, and then DNA scientists go in to study caste with no sociological or historical theorization of what it means.

It's all very interesting to me, especially in light of an article in the recent issue of Seed.

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Join Our NC Science Blogging Conference Session Online on Saturday!

Karen Ventii has posted information about how to join our session online at the conference wiki. Here's the details:

[The Gender and Race in Science Blogging] session will be broadcast LIVE on Saturday January 19 at 11am on Please tune in and participate online. Please note that you DO NOT have to register on Ustream to post comments. We look forward to hearing from you and reading your questions. Use the link above or copy and paste the address ( into your browser.

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Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position - A Workshop

Jun 27 2007 Published by under Positive Actions, Workshops and Conferences

Rice University is hosting a workshop called Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position. From an email announcement about the workshop:

At Rice University we are strongly committed to increasing the diversity of science and engineering faculty and students. As part of this goal we are sponsoring an exciting new workshop for senior women graduate students and post-docs who are interested in pursuing an academic career.
The workshop, Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position, is designed to provide participants hands-on experience to enhance their knowledge of and ability to find the right faculty position. It will be held on the Rice University campus on October 14-16, 2007.
Through generous support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award, all travel, meals, and lodging costs will be provided for workshop participants.

The application process is short and is described on the workshop flyer which can be downloaded from the workshop website. Applications are due August 1, 2007. The application form is online.

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