The blogging has been on a few day hiatus here as I was attending the ScienceOnline 2010 conference and facing some deadlines. Life is back to normal now: classes are about to start next week, and panic about the syllabi set for the next couple of days. Couple of quick thoughts about ScienceOnline 2010:
This was the 4th year of the conference. It was bigger, better, and was running as a well-oiled machine. The best way to gauge the quality of a conference: Its attention to providing coffee for participants (see this earlier post about coffee at the same conference in 2008). This time they not only had free, unlimited coffee, but they had a big-ass coffee truck parked next to the Sigma XI conference center providing lattes and cappuccinos on request.
I'm also quite confident that this conference had the highest number of flip-cams per capita. In fact, I'm sure most people interviewed had flip-cams in their hands waiting to interview the interviewee (you can see some videos here and check out blogposts about the conference here).
However, I was chastised at the conference by several people, especially by a certain Cognitive Science Librarian (see her 9-take aways from the conference), for not having a facebook or a twitter account. Okay, okay. I will try those out (my apologies to Laura - but this non-virtual conference pressure really broke my resistance).
Please check out the program of the conference here. The conference didn't have anything directly related to science & religion. But there was a fascinating session on Science & Entertainment: Beyond Blogging by Jennifer Ouellette and Tamara Krinsky. Jennifer, who is the director of The Science & Entertainment Exchange, talked about collaborations that are taking place between Hollywood writers and scientists (okay - so the writers still don't really listen to the scientists...but still...) for movies and programs such as Avatar (actually, here the writers should have listened to other better writers), The Mentalist, The Big Bang Theory, etc. In an age when media is fragmented and new ways have to be found to communicate science, perhaps, we have to think of science, perhaps, as product-placement: An exploding coke with a lesson in thermodynamics.
The conference was, as usual, lots of fun and I had chance to meet new people and catch-up with others. Yes, for next year too. Congrats to Bora & Anton (and others) for running it so spectacularly!