L’Embarras Des Richesses: ScienceOnline2013 and ScienceWriters2012
Sep29

L’Embarras Des Richesses: ScienceOnline2013 and ScienceWriters2012

In this quiet moment on a rainy Saturday evening in North Carolina Piedmont, I lie here in awe of the breadth of creative talent and boundless enthusiasm that this place attracts. Tonight at 5:00 pm Eastern time, a couple hundred folks or so learned that they had not scored a slot in the lottery for the remaining spaces at ScienceOnline2013. I won't be there this year either but I can certainly understand the disappointment. This simple idea of Bora Zivkovic along with Let's-Get-Together-and-See-Where-This-Goes Guy, Anton Zuiker, has grown from a small gathering of likeminded online science enthusiasts to become the South-By-Southwest of science meetings, now under the exceptional leadership of Karyn Traphagen. I encourage everyone to stay on or sign up for the waitlist. Lots of plans change between now and late January so registration slots will most certainly open up. But in the meantime, you might consider another possibility that just happens to be available this year very near to the same GPS coordinates: ScienceWriters2012, the annual conference of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and the National Association of Science Writers. Scheduled for October 26-30, 2012, ScienceWriters2012 will be headquartered at the very same hotel with a program crafted by a broad group of science communicators that include a subset of ScienceOnline folks. (For the record, we're called Science Communicators of North Carolina, or SCONC.). Here, look at the schedule yourself. There is one considerable difference between the NASW and ScienceOnline: NASW has a membership application process (and I only just became a member this past year). Students can probably still get in before the meeting registration deadline of October 10 by submitting their membership application now. That qualifies them for the $75 registration fee (and membership is only $35/year). Go to the bottom of the membership registration information page here and sign up for a free NASW account to begin the registration process. You're permitted two years of student membership after which you must apply to be a full member. For us folks who are, um, in the years out of school, non-member registration for the meeting is $395 and member registration is now $195 (the early-bird deadline has passed). If you're not currently a member but wish to become one, the process requires submission of five published clips (written for lay audiences over the last five years) and two sponsor nominations from current NASW members. I'm not sure if that can be accomplished in time for the meeting but you might inquire with the NASW Director's Office (_director_at_nasw_org_ -- you know what to do with the underscores). This will be my first NASW...

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Call For Social Media Success Stories in Academia
Oct28

Call For Social Media Success Stories in Academia

We're packing up the world headquarters of Terra Sigillata this afternoon and high-tailing it out to San Jose, California, for the annual meeting of SACNAS - the Society Dedicated to Advancing Hispanics, Chicanos, and Native Americans in Science. It's a tremendous organization comprised of several of my former students and faculty colleagues from over the years and I'm ecstatic about reconnecting with them. With the initiative of my colleagues - Alberto Roca of MinorityPostdoc.org and Danielle Lee of The Urban Scientist at Scientific American blogs (plus a whole host of online activities) - we pitched and were accepted to present a session on Blogging, Tweeting, & Writing: How an Online Presence Can Impact Science and Your Career. I'll be discussing how a responsible, online presence on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook can enhance networking opportunities for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. Specifically, I'll introduce how I've increased the exposure of my students who are RISE Scholars at North Carolina Central University. In this NIGMS-funded grant, I've been helping my students capture their research experiences in their own words (with previous review by their P.I.'s of course, to prevent accidental disclosure of unpublished data). The students have been surprised by the level of engagement and support they've received in the comments from scientists all around the world. But I know of many other students who use blogs and Twitter to engage with the scientific community in ways that brings them positive recognition outside of their academic and laboratory work. To better prepare for this session, I'd like to gather some advice from you, Dear Reader: Who are some of students, trainees, and junior faculty, who best exemplify the use of social media for career advancement? Are you a student who has had Good Things happen to you because of your social media activities? How did that transpire? If you have any responses, please drop a link in the comments with a brief explanation - or longer if you'd like! And also feel free to recommend the sites and stories of others. I'll be sure to promote your responses in tomorrow's talk and direct attendees to this post for future reference. The three of us thank you so much in advance for your...

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What does Jonathan Sweedler think of bloggers? #scio12
Oct18

What does Jonathan Sweedler think of bloggers? #scio12

We just learned yesterday from C&EN's Linda Wang that Dr. Jonathan Sweedler has been named as successor to Dr. Royce Murray as editor of Analytical Chemistry. The next editor-in-chief of Analytical Chemistry will be Jonathan V. Sweedler, James R. Eiszner Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and director of the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, the American Chemical Society, publisher of the journal, has announced. Sweedler will succeed Royce W. Murray, professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who will retire from the journal at the end of this year. Murray has served as editor-in-chief of Analytical Chemistry since 1991. Sweedler, currently an associate editor of the journal, will take over the position on Jan. 1, 2012. Regular readers of Analytical Chemistry have grown accustomed to Dr. Murray's colorful and lively editorials in each issue. Discussion of one of these, on the "phenomenon" of science bloggers as a serious concern to scientists ("Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor"), was my most highly-read and commented post since we joined CENtral Science. Since the international science communication conference ScienceOnline has been held annually in Dr. Murray's backyard, we issued an invitation for him to attend last year. We thought that if he could meet these science bloggers, many of whom are practicing sciences and top-tier science journalists, he might learn how positive this community could be for the advocacy of our discipline. He politely declined. But with him stepping down as editor-in-chief on December 31st, perhaps he might have more time to join us this year when ScienceOnline2012 is held at the North Carolina State University 's McKimmon Center on January 19-21, 2012. In the meantime, we'd love to hear what Dr. Sweedler thinks of this blogging...

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Joint ACS/AACR meeting on biological chemistry of inflammation in cancer
Sep21

Joint ACS/AACR meeting on biological chemistry of inflammation in cancer

A meeting notice arrived in my e-mail yesterday that is particularly timely during my first month as a CENtral Science blogger. The Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) working group of my primary scientific society, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), will be hosting a joint meeting with ACS in San Diego in early 2011: A joint meeting between the AACR and the American Chemical Society Chemistry in Cancer Research: The Biological Chemistry of Inflammation as a Cause of Cancer January 30 - February 2, 2011 Grand Hyatt Manchester Hotel San Diego, CA CHAIRPERSON: Peter C. Dedon, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA Early registration deadline: Monday, November 1 Abstract submission and award application deadline: Wednesday, December 1 Chemistry plays a critical role in research on cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. The AACR created the Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group (CICR) to increase the profile of chemists within the Association and to strengthen their role in setting its research agenda. You are invited to submit an abstract and register for this important conference, which is the third joint meeting between CICR and the American Chemical Society. As with the previous two joint conferences, it will continue to address the role of chemistry in cancer research with a specific focus on inflammation. Short presentations from abstracts submitted by early-career investigators are a key part of the program, as they energize and inform younger investigators of the many applications of chemistry to problems in cancer research. Also, the conference will feature a professional advancement session. Session topics include: • infection, inflammation, and cancer; • chemical mediators of inflammation; • biomarkers of inflammation; and, • chemoprevention and drug development. For more information, view the program. We hope to see you in San Diego early next year. I really like the emphasis on early-career investigators and the overall promotion of chemistry among cancer researchers. Not to generalize (but I will), industrial cancer researchers seem to have an immense respect for their chemistry colleagues but many of my academic colleagues seem not have the same attitude. The fact that AACR and ACS have entered this partnership is a good example for all and I hope that academic cancer researchers especially take advantage of this unique opportunity. I know that it will be a great sacrifice to endure the January/February weather in San Diego but I encourage you to make an...

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