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A week in Edmonton


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As you may already know, I spent a whole week last month in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I had a blast! And here is some coverage of the events of the week:

#BoraZUofA: A thought-provoking week with Bora Zivkovic by Marie-Claire Shanahan:

Just a few weeks ago I waved goodbye to Scientific American blogs editor Bora Zikovic and thanked him for a wonderful week of talks at the University of Alberta. Somehow in just a week we’d managed to chat about science teaching, science blogs, the history of academic publishing, open-access, post-publication peer review, science on Twitter and so much more. It was exciting and exhausting, and my ideas notebook is completely full.

As part of the University’s Distinguished Visitor program, a small group of faculty from cell biology (Joel Dacks), anthropology (Bora’s brother, Marko Zivkovic) and science education (me) brought Bora to town to speak with students and faculty. No matter what the topic, the theme seemed to be: keep an open mind. Be willing to consider new ways of doing things but also remember that they might not be as they first appear….

My Week with @BoraZ by Torah Kachur:

…..The fact is that the web has changed how science is done – and Bora is evidence of that. From bloggers being way more than just men in pyjamas in their parents basement to full lab books being completed open and online for the whole world to watch. The 21st century will be driven by bloggers being the peer reviewers, open access dominating publishing houses and science being done for all the public to follow and learn.

We, the bloggers, are the nerds behind the paradigm shift in the pursuit of science. Bora will continue to advocate for more Open Access journals so that the public can engage in science and it will become more accessible to everyone. And we, at Science in Seconds will continue to be geeky and super sarcastic.

This entire time I spent with Bora laughing at jokes only a scientist could love and discussing every topic under the sun, his brother Marco – a cultural anthropologist who is studying scientist culture – was sitting there….studying us….making us his guinea pigs….and occassionally throwing out a comment about just how different the dorks of the world really are…

#BoraZUofA Linkfest: A collection of the sites and posts referenced in Bora’s talks by Marie-Claire Shanahan:

Scientific American blog editor Bora Zivkovic‘s visit to the University of Alberta was a wonderful whirlwind of talks on science education, science communication, open science, peer review and the scientific publishing industry. I’ve summarized his talks in an overview of the week. If you’re interested in a more in-depth look, Bora has also shared a list of links to the sites, posts and people he mentioned or used in his talks (or intended to use in some cases). It’s a terrific guide to exploring these issues online…

Visiting editor talks technology in education by Rachel Singer:

The internet is changing science education and communication in a remarkable way, according to a Scientific American magazine editor visiting the U of A this week.

As part of the U of A’s Distinguished Visitor Program, Bora Zivkovic will be delivering various talks on implementing technology in science education, including how to communicate research through social media, and navigating the benefits and pitfalls of scientific interaction online.

Zivkovic says the focus of his trip is to get people to reconsider science education and to promote science online….

SOCIAL MEDIA IN EDUCATION by Katelyn Hoffart and Kaitlyn Grant:

The “blogfather” of Scientific American magazine’s blog network, Bora Zivkovic, discussed the use of social media in education and research at a University of Alberta talk last week.

Zivkovic ended a week-long speaking series with a drop-in discussion on communicating research through social media. Students and staff discussed with Zivkovic the ins and outs of using blogs as personal and professional tools for research.

Blogs have brought together people from different professions and interests, including Marie-Claire Shanahan, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education who shared her experience of blog-initiated partnership to the discussion….

Skeptically Speaking #156: Beyond 42:

This week, we’re experiencing the power of stories to communicate science. Join us for Beyond 42: How Science Can Use Stories to Explain Life, the Universe and Everything. This event, recorded live in Edmonton, features Scientific American Blog Editor Bora Zivkovic, and a fantastic cast of scientists telling moving stories that communicate the wonder of science and discovery….

Teaching and learning through online science: First Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ) talk at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Storify) by Tim Skellet.

Changing the nature of science literacy online: Second Zivkovic (@BoraZ) talk at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Storify) by Tim Skellet.

Navigating the benefits and pitfalls of scientific interaction online: Third Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ) talk at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada (Storify) by Tim Skellet.

And, only tangentially related to the events of the week – the #arseniclife saga and the nature of the current science media ecosystem – this new paper in which I was quoted (and I am happy with the quote – if you do not have access and are interested in the context of the quote I have a PDF I can send you, just ask): To hype, or not to(o) hype by Andrea Rinaldi:

…Of course, the media landscape is extremely varied, as science blogger and writer Bora Zivkovic pointed out. “There is no unified thing called ‘Media’. There are wonderful specialized science writers out there, and there are beat reporters who occasionally get assigned a science story as one of several they have to file every day,” he explained. “There are careful reporters, and there are those who tend to hype. There are media outlets that value accuracy above everything else; others that put beauty of language above all else; and there are outlets that value speed, sexy headlines and ad revenue above all.”…






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