Talking about science online at #sciodc
Apr29

Talking about science online at #sciodc

This Wednesday, May 1, ScienceOnlineDC will be holding its inaugural event. ScienceOnlineDC is one of several local satellites of ScienceOnline, a nonprofit organization that facilitates conversations, community, and collaborations at the intersection of science and the Web. Our goal is to bring together science journalists, bloggers, federal and private research scientists, policymakers, and other science enthusiasts in the DC metro area for dynamic discussions about how science is carried out and communicated online. My co-organizers are Geoffrey Hunt of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow Jamie Vernon, and Hannah Waters of the Smithsonian Institution. Our first event will focus on federal agencies' social media policies - how does government transparency influence the social media activities of scientists and communications staff? Here's the panelist lineup: Jamie Vernon, moderator Gretchen Goldman, analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists (check out her post about Wednesday's event) Megan McVey, communications coordinator, United States Global Change Research Program Sarah Dewitt, communications officer, NASA, Office of the Chief Scientist John Ohab, public affairs specialist, Naval Research Laboratory One of the hallmarks of ScienceOnline events is the unconference format. Sure, we've rounded up some experts to put in the front of the room, but most of the conversation will be driven by the attendees, both in person and online. Even if you can't be there in person, chime in via the livestream and twitter (#sciodc). Should be a great discussion. Of course, you may be wondering why I'm pitching this event to an audience of chemists, most of whom are not in the DC area. I'll tell you why. Because it's important for chemists to be involved in these conversations. Because many of you are already having such conversations on twitter and each other's blogs. And some of those conversations include pondering who could be the chemist version of Neil deGrasse Tyson. But chemistry doesn't need one deGrasse Tyson; it needs several. So, let's move those discussions out of the chemistry inner circle and into Science, writ large. Chemistry is the central science, after all. And you can start by attending any gathering with other people in your community who are interested in how science is communicated. As I said earlier, ScienceOnlineDC is only one of several satellites. Others with regular events include Seattle, Vancouver, and the Bay Area. There are SpotOn events in London and New York. Attend a local #SciTweetUp or Science Cafe. Or participate in the livestreams and twitter conversations that often accompany these events. And if you are in DC on Wednesday, c'mon by. We'd love to have you. UPDATE, 5/6: Doh! How could I leave out...

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Chemistry Hashtags And Chemistry Communication-UPDATED
Mar13

Chemistry Hashtags And Chemistry Communication-UPDATED

Last week, I sent out a request via Twitter--I asked chemists to send me popular hashtags that they use in their tweets. I don't know that I need to introduce hashtags to the Newscripts audience, but just in case, hashtags are those words you see on Twitter preceded by the # sign, such as #ACSSanDiego. Folks use them to wade through the morass of tweets because they help classify tweets by topic, conference, location, etc. I thought I'd share with you why I sent out said request. Part of the reason is to have a handy list of hashtags for chemists in one place. But it also has to do with my upcoming talk at the San Diego ACS national meeting. I'm part of ACS President Bassam Shakhashiri's symposium, "Communicating Science to the Public", which takes place Monday afternoon in the convention center. Click on the image to get the full lineup from the meeting program. I'll be talking about how C&EN reporters have our collective ears to ground of the chemistry world, and from time to time end up being sources of information for media outlets with a broader reach. For example, C&EN reporter and Fine Line blogger extraordinaire Rick Mullin was a guest on NPR's Science Friday earlier this month, talking about unusual pharma partnerships. And in January I went on SiriusXM's Doctor Radio channel to chat about how drugs get their generic names. We reporters keep tabs on what chemists are talking about in many ways, but I'd like to emphasize Twitter in my talk (even though it is limited to a small group of chemists who are self-selecting to communicate with social media). That's where you and your hashtags come in. I could think of a few hashtags that have become symbolic of issues chemists care about. #chemjobs - chemistry employment #altchemicalfree - chemophobia in advertising and the mass media #SheriSangji - everything related to the lab fire that killed UCLA lab assistant Sheri Sangji and the ongoing case, but I've also seen it referred to in general discussions of safety in chemistry labs And so I decided to put out the call to see if any more such hashtags would pop out at me from the big list. Of course, many hashtags come and go, and some are more active than others. And still others are just for fun, like #chemvalentine, which was a collection of chemistry related love missives timed to Valentine's Day. But I strongly believe that chemists are using social media to talk about issues that matter to them, and the number of issues is only going to go up the longer those...

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Pharma and Chemistry Blog Panel Discussion 8/24 #acsboston
Jul09

Pharma and Chemistry Blog Panel Discussion 8/24 #acsboston

We now interrupt the steady stream of pharma news for a small announcement. If you'll be in in Boston late this August, I think you might enjoy going to a mini-symposium and panel discussion about the chemistry and pharma blogosphere, happening at the Fall ACS meeting. The panelists are a great cross-section of academia, industry, and media: Derek Lowe, In the Pipeline, @Dereklowe David Kroll, Terra Sigillata, @abelpharmboy Ed Silverman, Pharmalot, @pharmalot Michael Tarselli, Scripps Florida These folks will each give a short talk, but the real highlight here is the panel. I'd love for people to show up with great questions. Want to talk about how blogs are playing a role in discussing layoffs and employment? How about the trickiness to promoting new drugs on the web? Or what role new media should have in critiquing papers? The panel's as good a time as any to bring those issues up. I'll be moderating the event, which is slated for Tuesday, August 24, from 12 noon till 2PM in the Boston Convention Center, Ballroom West. It costs $16 to sign up for the session, which includes lunch. You can register for the event at the main ACS meeting registration site here. It is listed as the MEDI Lunch and Learn/Ticket No. SE 19. Get more information about the event from this promo flyer. FYI - today's the last day to register early (read: at the discounted price) for the Fall ACS...

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