If you attended ScienceOnline2010, either physically or virtually, you know that Anil Dash was there, leading a session called Government 2.0.
Anil Dash is a pioneer blogger (and of course twitterer) and the very first employee of Six Apart, the company that built blogging platforms including MoveableType (which is used by Scienceblogs.com) and Typepad.
Just before ScienceOnline2010, Anil made an official announcement that he will be leading Expert Labs (also on Twitter) which is a new project funded by AAAS to facilitate feedback by the experts (including scientists, of course) to the Obama Administration and other government officials.
Read the press release, the early media coverage (this one is much better) , an interview with Anil (pdf) and a video. Interestingly, Anil got this job due to writing a blog post stating that the executive branch of the federal government of the United States was the “Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009”.
The main purpose of his session was for Anil to get feedback from the leaders of the science and Web community on how to make Expert Labs work the best it possibly can.
Now it is all ready to go and the President – through Anil – needs you to act!
Yes, you – the scientists, engineers, physicians and other experts out there. It is time to use the online tools to give feedback to the Administration about the great challenges in science and technology and how to tackle them.
So, first, get informed, of course! Go to ExpertLabs and look around. Read the AAAS explanation, then go to the White House site (and/or the White House Facebook page) and send in your thoughts.
Then go to Twitter and retweet and reply to this tweet (just click on this link and you are ready to go). If your thoughts take more space – post them on your blog or elsewhere online and tweet the link to it as a reply to that tweet.
The White House is looking for scientists to help determine what Grand Challenges in science & technology should be a priority for our future. The President has identified a list of eight or so, but if you know of more, or think your area of expertise could inspire a great challenge, make sure your voice is heard!
The good news is, giving feedback couldn’t be easier; You can simply submit your suggestion via Twitter by replying to @whitehouse, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of the goal here is to show the White House that using social networks to get our feedback can be effective.
If you’d like to find out more about the effort or the technology behind it, the AAAS project Expert Labs has an explanation on their site at http://expertlabs.org and a YouTube video about it:
So, please participate yourself, and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same. And also help spread the word online and offline, using whichever communication channels you are comfortable with.