I got the email that many other #sciox-ers got. ScienceOnline the non-profit entity that introduced me to some AWESOME people and spring-boarded my extra-curricular career is no more. The 2015 meeting that was planned has also been cancelled. I'm feeling some kind of way. I really enjoyed the meeting. I regarded it as my other 'main' conference that I attended. Although I was feeling like it was time for me and other veterans to transition and modify our activity, I wasn't ready for *this* to happen.
And yes, all of this is related to stuff that went down a year ago with Bora Zivkovic being identified as a serial harasser of many young women who also called the ScienceOnline community theirs -- which some how is also linked to me and my brouhaha with SciAm and my post that was taken down - which was actually a year ago - this exact same Friday last year. Uggg.
Yeah, I'm feeling all of the feels right now. Lots of mixed feelings, too. Because I left Scio14 feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.
I was really hoping for a hail Mary at ScienceOnline 2014, but I don't know what exactly went down. But I saw a lot of people I knew and liked and respected deeply for both their professionalism and passion for inclusiveness in science and science communication walk away angry and disheartened. And many of those people were noted big time supporters and banner carriers of ScienceOnline. That was frustrating to witness and feel. (I'm a big empath, so I take on other people's energy too easily and get overwhelmed by too many negative feelings - that I cannot control.)
This is especially upsetting because I saw something potentially awesome on the horizon with ScienceOnline - the broadening of participation of newer/younger voices to the table - Like Stephani Page of #BlackandSTEM, and the new satellite and topic-centric conferences like ScienceOnline Bay Area and ScioOceans and ScioBrain.
But perhaps more than that, it was the soil and sunshine and watering of relationships and collaborations that yielded awesome and innovative outreach and access programs like The Curly Hair Mafia and the DiverseScholar National Association for Science Writers Diversity Travel Fellowship. I'm benefiting from contacts and friends I made from ScienceOnline and the projects and activities inspired from the meeting and people I met there. Heck, in fact, my next two weekends - going to Geek Girl Con this weekend to present on the Double Other and do activities in the DIYSciZone (Oct 11-12, 2014), and attending the 2014 ScienceWriting Conference and the related Media Diversity activities (Oct 17-21, 2014) are directly related to my #sciox affiliation.
Sigh. I guess in this manner, then ScienceOnline Together did exactly what it set out to. I learn from the negative stuff. I take the good feelings with me in my heart.
I'll see y'all on the other side...and by that I mean at any other science communication/outreach activity happening most anywhere. Some great stuff was birthed. I feel AWESOME about that!