Poll: Which sessions for the #ScioSD #Scio13 Watch Party?

If you can't make it to North Carolina for the ScienceOnline2013 Conference, but still want to join the discussion, come to ScienceOnline San Diego's watch party at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute on February 2.

For more info & registration: http://sciosdwatchparty.eventbrite.com/

There will be plenty of opportunity for breakout sessions to discuss what you have heard with like minded scientists. And of course, tweeting and posting on social media throughout the day is encouraged.

We will be broadcasting three sessions live from the conference, and show an additional two sessions to be chosen by popular vote - make sure you vote here!

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    Narrative: What is it? How science writers use it?

    T. Delene Beeland & David Dobbs We writers like to toss around the term "narrative," but what we mean isn't always clear. Discourse theory tells us that narrative is one of four rhetorical modes, the others being exposition, argumentation, and description. Webster calls narrative "a representation … of an event or story" — which reflects common sense but passes the buck. For what is a story? Most would agree that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a story — two or three, in fact, woven into a single fine narrative. Yet we might argue over whether, say, Richard Dawkins' brilliant description of the rise of the "replicator" (the first gene) also constitutes a narrative; or whether a narrative requires people; or whether narrative can be driven mainly by ideas. In this session we hope to demystify what narrative is so we can better discuss how to create it. First we'll spend a few minutes trying to define narrative in a way that broadens but firms the concept into something actionable. Then we'll talk practice. Why or when should a writer/journalist use narrative? How does one transform a topic into a story? How do we conceive, report, structure, and write to enliven this story. How do we create a sense of movement through time, of tensions raised and (maybe) resolved? How must we do our reporting to turn an abstract idea into an earthy narrative? Drawing on a few prime examples and the experience and perspectives of the moderators and audience, we'll aim to firm up a working definition of narrative and send everyone out with a list of practices and skills needed to create one. Hashtag: #ScioStory. Freelancer T. Delene Beeland took the narrative challenge in first book, The Secret World of Red Wolves, to be published in spring 2013. David Dobbs tilts narrative in his pieces for the New York Times, National Geographic, and other magazines, and in his book-in-progress The Orchid and the Dandelion.

    Helping Scientists 'Do' Outreach (part II)

    Meghan Groome & Karen James This is the second session of a two-session track aiming to create a take-home resource to facilitate more and better outreach by scientists. In this session, we will focus on how to do outreach, or to help scientists do it. We will brainstorm a list of the wide variety of different kinds of outreach out there, including both well established outreach channels (blogging, press releases, interviews, lectures, teaching, school visits, etc.), and also emerging and overlooked outreach channels (two-way engagement, collaborations with sci comm professionals, integrating outreach with research, e.g. citizen science, ad hoc 1:1 interactions with family, friends and strangers, 'on the street' activities, etc.). We will also draw a 'so you want to do outreach' flowchart with, we hope, an accompanying storyboard. The scientist-moderators for both sessions are Karen James and Miriam Goldstein, and the public information officer-moderators are Matt Shipman and Meghan Groome. Questions: - We all know blogging and being interviewed by science journalists are great ways to 'do' outreach. Are there other ways? Spoiler: YES. - How do they do it? …'they' being those few scientists that seem to not only to make time for outreach but also use it to 'get ahead' in their research careers? - How can PIOs & scientists help newbie scientists make their outreach effective?

    Why Won't the Science Deficit Model Die?

    John Bruno & Liz Neely The deficit model of science is the idea that the public has a "knowledge deficit" that affects perceptions of science and scientists. The model thus assumes that science communicators can change attitudes towards science, environmental issues, etc and affect by providing more information. The session would begin with an explanation of what the the deficit model is and the current thinking about it's validity. We would then explore what it all means for science communicators. The goal of the session is not to make a case that science education is pointless, but rather to think about what it can realistically achieve and why we are doing it? Lets make sure the outcomes match the goals. Questions: - What is the deficit model, and what are examples of how it shapes outreach efforts? - If we all know better, why do we still fall victim to fallacies of deficit model thinking about science communication? - What are the valid models of effective information transfer and behavior change? - What, EXACTLY, are the best practices in science communication right now?

    Blogging for the long haul

    Formal Science Education, Informal Science Education, and Science Writing

    Emily Finke & Marie Claire Shanahan These three fields are distinct entities, with their own training, traditions, audiences and goals, but must they be as separate as they are? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each field and what can we learn from each other? With a shared goal of encouraging scientific understanding and literacy, we'll explore the ways teachers, science writers, museum educators and more can work together. Questions: - "What do you think holds back collaborations between teachers, science writers, museum educators and others interested in science outreach and education?" - "What examples have you seen or experienced working across boundaries in formal science education, informal science education and science writing?" - "What would be effective tools/methods to use to foster collaboration between different groups interested in scientific outreach?"

    Using altmetrics to tell the full story of your research impact

    Elizabeth Iorns & Jason Priem As researchers, we have many impacts that aren't currently well-reported. Our papers are read, our software is used, our datasets support new research, our blogs and tweets spawn and grow scholarly conversations, and our findings are re-used to create technology and treatments which improve the human condition. Measurements of citation, the current gold standard, capture none of this. In the last few years, growing numbers of people have been talking supplementing citations with altmetrics: measures of research impacts mining online tools including Twitter, blogs, Mendeley, and more. Today, there are several tools--including total-impact and altmetric.com--that can be used by working researchers to gather these metrics. We'll take a look at these tools, and talk about how we can use their data to help understand our own broader impacts. We'll also talk about how we can use that data to help more effectively convey our impacts to others who wish to build upon our work, including fellow scientists, evaluators,companies, and funders. Questions: - What kind of scholarly impacts matter? Which ones aren't being rewarded? - What tools can help me gather my own altmetrics? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses? - What's the relationship between impact and influence? Authoritative vs. Influential? - What's the role of non-academic researchers? - How do we best report altmetrics? - How can we best bring our social media impacts to the attention of evaluators?

    Persuading the unpersuadable: Communicating science to deniers, cynics, and trolls

    Cara Santa Maria & Melanie Tannenbaum We've all faced the difficult task of writing or speaking about evolution, climate change, or any number of scientific topics that lack public understanding and unanimous support. In this session, Melanie and Cara will bring their combined experience in social/cognitive/personality psychology and persuasion/science communication to the table while we discuss the best practices for persuading science deniers without turning them off from the conversation. Other topics include how to tell the difference between ignorant-yet-innocent commenters and trolls, whether or not some people are simply beyond reach, how to effectively communicate with difficult-to-reach people, and if & when the "no apologies" approach to science communication is an effective strategy. Questions: - How can we persuade science deniers without turning them off from the conversation? - What can social, cognitive, & personality psychology teach us about science denialism? - How do you differentiate between innocent ignorance, curiosity, and trolling? - Are some people simply beyond reach? What can persuasion psychology teach us about reaching the unreachable? - Is it effective to take the "no apologies" approach, or do we end up simply preaching to the choir? - How can we use "persuasion tricks" to effectively get scientific messages across to a stubborn audience?