Just a few updates on the progress in the organization of ScienceOnline2010 to those of you who do not follow me (or scio10) on Twitter.
The main event – the actual sessions of the conference – will be held, like last two years, in the beuatiful building of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society (and publisher of American Scientist). The main conference program will occur on Saturday, January 16th and half of Sunday, January 17th, 2010. Breakfast, lunch, tea and coffee will be catered there on both days.
As we did every year, we will have an Early Bird Dinner on Thursday night. This is usually a smaller affair – the Early Birds are usually people who fly in from distant parts of the globe (and this year we expect many of those, including people from Poland, Italy, Serbia and New Zealand). Some of the locals also join in for an evening of good food and fun. We are thinking of making this even more fun with a special event – we’ll keep you posted about that later (it’s a secret for now).
Friday will be a busy day. Guests will be arriving throughout the day, but those who come early enough will be able to sign up for a variety of activities.
There will be Food Tours at breakfast and lunch times. Remember Coffee Cupping last year? We’ll do more things like that.
There will be Lab Tours in the afternoon (with probably more choices this year as well).
Hands-on workshops and tutorials that may require you to bring in your laptops will be offered on Friday late morning at the PRC center of RTP – if you are interested in either teaching or attending one of these, let me know (or add your name to the bottom of the Program page). Which topics? Start a blog, learn to make podcasts, learn how to make good videos, build your own social network or use the existing ones, paint your own images, then use your new skills during the conference and post the results online for other participants to see.
Friday night and Saturday night events are still in the early planning stages, but at least one of these will happen at the gorgeous new Headquarters of the Research Triangle Park, our new partner and sponsor of the conference. There is likely to be a talk by a prominent speaker on one of these two nights, while on the other night we’ll probably have an Ignite session (do you want to do one?) and perhaps even a local band! And on both nights there will be good food, wine and/or beer, and opportunity to meet local scientists, science journalists and bloggers and get to know more about RTP and all the cool science and tech happening in the area.
Registration will be capped at 250 participants. Even this number will make Sigma Xi start bursting at the seams but if everyone’s in a good mood, we’ll be fine. So far, about double that number has showed interest in coming to the conference so there will be feisty competition for those 250 slots, we expect.
Thus, we will make sure that speakers/moderators/panelists/presenters get registered first. We will open for registration later than last year (late October) when people have a better idea if they can truly come or not. We will have the Program pretty much set up and public by then so you can see exactly what you can expect. And we will ask for a small registration fee (graded according to employment status or something) to ensure that only dedicated travelers and local participants actually register (i.e., nobody registers and then does not show up, leaving serious contenders on the waiting list).
We are also working hard on making sure that there is plenty of bandwidth for all the participants to be able to go online at the same time, to have some or all sessions (moderators permitting – some are pseudonymous) live-streamed and recorded, and to have a portion of the conference also paralleled in SecondLife. Thus, even those who cannot be present in person will be able to participate virtually in parts of the conference.
If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring an aspect of the conference (a meal, an event, a tour, travel-grants for students, etc.) please let us know.
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