Cool Toys pics of the day: Science Online 2010, Twitter


Science Online 2010:

“This active three-day event to explore science on the Web brought
together scientists, physicians, patients, educators, students,
publishers, editors, bloggers, journalists, writers, web developers,
programmers and others to discuss, demonstrate and debate online
strategies and tools for doing science, publishing science, teaching
science, and promoting the public understanding of science. … This
is a conference to explore new ways in communicating scientific
exploration. Our conference addresses a variety of issues and
perspectives on science communication, including science literacy, the
popularization of science, science in classrooms and in homes,
debunking pseudoscience, using blogs as tools for presenting
scientific research, writing about science, and health and medicine.”

Love science? You can’t lose with this one. It doesn’t matter who you
are – professional or hobbyist, advocate or amateur or lobbyist or
journalist or researcher — it has something for everyone, even just
social media geeks.

The event itself is mostly focused on blogging, specifically science
blogging, but is far from limited to it. As you can see from even the
selected tweets shown in the screen shot, the discussion ranged across
a variety of modalities for science communication, and science is
NOTHING without communication. I actually had been tracking this event
via Facebook until it kicked off. I can’t travel much so was delighted
to have the Twitter stream as a live source to track the discussion.
From the looks of things, they used a hashtag search as a way to
select tweets to feed to their stream, which provides multiple ways to

As a librarian passionately engaged in the process of tracking the
evolving modes of conversation and collaboration among science
researchers, especially looking at the impact of this on the changing
nature of science and how core science information, conversations and
products are being captured and preserved for posterity, well, I
really felt I should have been there. Lucky for me, there were a LOT
of librarians there, and rightly so. The sad part was that the
scientists seemed largely unaware of the role of librarians in
supporting their work even as it evolves into these new forms. Where
did I get this idea?

The Book of Trogool: Science Online 2010: Scientists and librarians

“But that’s just one voice,” you might object. Well, I’ve heard this
quite a bit myself, and found it not terribly surprising. Sad, but not
surprising. So here is the flip side – a scientist who started out
surprised to find librarians at the conference, but ended up pretty
darned grateful.

The Open Source Palenontologist: ScienceOnline2010 Report #scio10

“So what was it that got me so excited about the event? … The
librarians. Yes, really. Prior to this, I knew librarians as the
people who put books back on the shelves and sometimes process an
interlibrary loan. During this meeting, I learned that if we want any
hope of saving our data (not just our published papers), the
librarians will be key in making it happen. If you’re looking for some
readable and interesting blogs, I would recommend checking out
Confessions of a Science Librarian, Christina’s LIS Rant, and The Book
of Trogool. I got to hang out with both of their authors, and they’re
really cool people.”

So the best news is that if librarians really are passionate about
their work and their communities, and join them WHERE THEY ARE
(including in social media) that it can quickly help both the
libraries and the community, in this case scientists. Scientists are
smart folk. They might be surprised to see the librarians there, but
they are smart enough to realize the librarians are smart, too,
especially when the librarians have good logical answers for why they
are there and how they can help.

So let’s see. I loved the science in this, the uses of social media,
the community and the dialog. Win, win, win and … win!


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