Category Archives: Housekeeping

Tentative 2011 calendar

I am really bad with using my various Google and other calendars, so this is mostly a Note To Self, so have it handy if/when I get invitations etc. to know when I am actually free….

January 24th – final move to a new house.

January 25th – Sigma Xi pizza lunch about bed bugs with Coby Schal

January 31st – Guest-lecture at Nicholas School for Environment at Duke.

February 5th – a very special dinner

February 7-8 – monthly trip to NYC

February 17-21 – AAAS – my panel on 21st at 9:45am: Social Networks and Sustainability

March 5-8 – monthly trip to NYC plus TEDxNYED

March 14th 3-6pm, Skype into science education class

March 20-25 – NYC

March 26 – NCWC (BIO101 lab)

April 2 – NCWC (BIO101 lab)

April 9 – NCWC (BIO101 lab), also adv.board meeting for the UNC j-school medical program

April 11-12 – NYC monthly trip, #NYCscitweetup

April 16 – NCWC (BIO101 lab)

April 18-19 – Passover

April 23rd – Washington DC – D.C. Science Writers Association

May 3rd – Boston – annual meeting of the advisory group for PRI/BBC/NOVA/SigmaXi Science.

May 7th – an important wedding

May 12-13th – Wake Forest University workshop on science writing in the Biology department

June 25-28th – Cairo, Egypt new location is Doha, Qatar – World Conference of Science Journalists

September 2-3rd – London, UK – Science Online London

October 14-18th – Flagstaff AZ – CASW/NASW Science Writers 2011

November 5 – an important wedding


Best of December

I posted 67 times in December. I reviewed the entire year yesterday, but here is just the last month.

This is usually a busy time for me. There is ScienceOnline2011 to organize, Open Laboratory to edit, to upgrade, and SciAm blogging network to build. Oh, and holidays and family!

That does not leave too much time for writing original pieces. But I did write one in December – and it’s a big one: The line between science and journalism is getting blurry….again, my first article at Scientific American, also cross-posted at Science Progress.

I was interviewed by a Staten Island Academy student for their Extreme Biology blog – read the interview here.

The latest two in the series of interviews with the participants of ScienceOnline2010 came in December – with Kelly Rae Chi and Princess Ojiaku.

The big event of the month in science was the brouhaha over arsenic in bacteria – so I collected a linkfest of the key articles and blog posts on the topic.

We closed submissions for Open Laboratory 2010 on December 1st, you can see all the entries here.

I went to NYC again and lived to tell about it.

While I may not have written much myself, I certainly made sure that the SciAm Guest Blog kept busy all month. Here are the December posts there – check them all out:

Excuse me, Sir. There’s a moss-animal in my Lake By Jennifer Frazer
Texas “Tea” becomes the Texas “E”? By Melissa C. Lott
Breaking our link to the “March of Progress” By Brian Switek
How to stop a hurricane (good luck, by the way) By Casey Rentz
Carnivore crossing: How predator species dominated mammal diversity on the Kuril Islands By Anne-Marie Hodge
Waste to Energy: A mountain of trash, or a pile of energy? By Melissa C. Lott and David M. Wogan
The worms within By Robin Ann Smith
5 things you never knew about penguins! By Daniel Ksepka
Scientific accuracy in art By Glendon Mellow
Pimp My Virus: Ocean Edition By Jennifer Frazer
I don’t have a 28-day menstrual cycle, and neither should you By Kathryn Clancy
How to name a dinosaur By David Orr
Mixed cultures: art, science, and cheese By Christina Agapakis
Habitable and not-so-habitable exoplanets: How the latter can tell us more about our origins than the former By Kelly Oakes.

2010 in review

Probably the best way to review one’s year is to dig through one’s blog’s archives and see what is written there. Our Blogs, Our Memories.

So, how was 2010 for me? Let’s dig through the archives together and see…. Of course, there are many posts there – I hit the 10,000th post about halfway through the year – and many of those are cool videos, quotes, announcements, linkfests, and a number of interviews with cool people. But this retrospective is more personal – what I did, what happened to me, what I thought (and how that changed over time).

January was, of course, all about ScienceOnline2010, the preparations, last-minute announcements, and then coverage afterwards. At the end, I wrote my own summary of the meeting, pretty long, and I think still pretty relevant for ScienceOnline2011.

February was really busy on the blog. The biggest event, of course, was the publication of the fourth annual anthology of the best writing on science blogs – Open Laboratory 2009.

I published a scientific paper and blogged about it.

I went to the AAAS meeting and made them uncomfortable with a post about lack of online access and other backward ways of defining who is media.

I saw Megalodon teeth,

There were three posts in a row about young science bloggers:
Very young people blogging about science and Very young people blogging about science – let’s welcome them and Explaining Science to the Public.

Finally, two more provocative posts – Why is ‘scientists are bad communicators’ trope wrong and Using Twitter to learn economy of words – try to summarize your research paper in 140 characters or less!

In March I was really on a roll with posts about old and new media. See Why it is important for media articles to link to scientific papers and New science journalism ecosystem: new inter-species interactions, new niches and What is journalism and do PIOs do it? And what’s with advertising? and What is Journalism? and Push vs. Pull strategies in science communication and the critique of a journal article about science blogging – Science blogs and public engagement with science.

I reviewed ‘Spring Awakening‘ at DPAC.

I was also thinking about conferences – see On organizing and/or participating in a Conference in the age of Twitter – and I did a radio show about organizing an interactive conference. Of course, as that month I just attended Raleigh Ignite and co-organized TEDxRTP.

In April I attended the WWW2010 conference which I subsequently blogged about. I also went to the NYC edition of The 140conf.

I reviewed a student rendition of ‘Rent’ at Duke.

Other notable posts from April include For the millionth time: bloggers vs. journalists is over! and Twittering is a difficult art form – if you are doing it right and More on mindcasting vs. lifecasting.

Probably most notable for April was that I actually did real science blogging again: Evolutionary Medicine: Does reindeer have a circadian stop-watch instead of a clock?

In May I was busy going to local book events and talks – Scott Huler – ‘On The Grid’ at Quail Ridge Books and Serious Gaming at Sigma Xi and Cory Doctorow in Chapel Hill.

In June I went to a vaccination meeting in Philadeliphia and blogged about it.

I reviewed ‘Bonobo Handshake’ by Vanessa Woods, ‘On The Grid’ by Scott Huler and ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ by Deborah Blum.

I got interviewed on topics I usually do not get asked so it is an interesting one…

And then, of course, a bunch of posts about the media, blogging and related stuff, e.g., The continuum of expertise and No, blogs are not dead, they are on summer vacation and Why is some coverage of scientific news in the media very poor? and Am I A Science Journalist? and ‘Going Direct’ – the Netizens in former Yugoslavia, altogether some interesting stuff.

And I tried to collect as many books published by science bloggers as possible.

That was the placid first half of the year. And then….then all hell broke lose! July was the time of #Pepsigate, #Pepsimageddon! The seismic event that moved around all the tectonic plates of the science blogging world.

I collected the PepsiGate linkfest.

Then I wrote my own post – A Farewell to Scienceblogs: the Changing Science Blogging Ecosystem – that really got stuff moving around. I heard it in good confidence that the post was read (as required reading) by students in at least two science journalism programs in j-schools in the USA this Fall.

That post had a few follow-ups that added more links, more information about the events, and more thoughts about the future: Thank You and Science Blogging Networks: What, Why and How (essentially a How-To-Build-A-Science-Blogging-Network manual).

A certain Virginia Heffernan wrote a bad piece on science blogging in NYT, so I collected the reactions.

And I did write some science as well – Are Zombies nocturnal?

And had a great guest post by Dr.Marie-Claire Shanahan: UC Berkeley Genetic Testing Affair: Science vs Science Education.

In August I continued the post-Pepsi series of long posts, with Links ‘n’ Thoughts on emerging science blogging networks and Branding Science Blogging: Cooperatives + Corporate Networks.

Two new networks launched – so I introduced Scientopia and Guardian blogs. This proliferation of new networks prompted us to build a new aggregator site – Drumroll, please! Introducing:

I wrote a science post – Food goes through a rabbit twice. Think what that means!

And wrote two ruminations: Why republish an old blog post? and Origins of Science Writers…but am I one?

In September I announced Some Big And Important And Exciting News! – my new job! And new blog. And new blogging network-to-be.

Speaking of new networks, two more appeared – PLoS Blogs and Wired Science Blogs.

I went to The Most Awesome Wedding and to the Block By Block conference and to see the Mythbusters – yes, I got to meet Jamie and Adam.

I guess I had enough excitement for the year, so October was pretty calm.

I did two interviews – radio: Skeptically Speaking show about Science Journalism and video: Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour 68: Taking Science Online.

I reviewed ‘Social Network’.

And we announced ScienceOnline2011.

In November I gave a talk at Sigma Xi, which inspired a blog post – Blogging. What’s new? which in turn was the seed for one of my epically long posts – and my first Scientific American article – The line between science and journalism is getting blurry….again – that was already in December.

I was on a panel at the NASW meeting (you can scroll down this page to watch the video).

We opened ScienceOnline2011 for registration and had to close in 45 minutes as the conference was full! A little later on we posted some updates and a Thanksgiving message.

The big event in science in December was the brouhaha over arsenic in bacteria – so I collected a linkfest of the key articles and blog posts on the topic.

I went to NYC again and lived to tell about it.

I was interviewed by a Staten Island Academy student for their Extreme Biology blog – read the interview here.

And throughout November and December, I made sure that the Scientific American Guest Blog had good, fresh posts almost every day.

What does the next year bring? Who knows, but I am optimistic in many ways – personal, professional, global. Happy New Year everyone!

Best of November

I posted 58 times in November – the record low for me in years!

Blogging. What’s new? was the only original, creative, thoughtful post all month!

I went to the NASW meeting (you can watch my panel if you go here and scroll down to “Rebooting science journalism: Adapting to the new media landscape”).

I gave a talk – Sigma Xi pizza lunch lecture – Science in the current media environment.

His book just came out, so it was a good time for a little bloggy Q&A: Written In Stone: interview with Brian Switek.

And another science blogger published books – ZooBorns!

Another interview in the series: ScienceOnline2010 – interview with Marla Broadfoot

We opened ScienceOnline2011 for registration and had to close in 45 minutes as the confernce was full! A little later on we posted some updates and a Thanksgiving message. Then I started introducing this year’s participants.

The end of the month saw a frenzy as people used the very last moment to submmit their submissions for Open Laboratory 2010.

There is a cool new blog in town – Introducing: Science of Blogging.

Finally, I hosted Encephalon #82, the neuroscience blog carnival.

And over on the Scientific American Guest Blog, I summonned a bunch of great writers for an exciting month of blogging – check them all out:
Apple, meet Orange By Carin Bondar
We all need (a little bit of) sex By Lucas Brouwers
Bacteria, the anti-cancer soldier By James Byrne
Hold that door, please! Observations on elevator etiquette By Krystal D’Costa
Glia: The new frontier in brain science By R. Douglas Fields
To catch a fallen sea angel: A mighty mollusk detects ocean acidification By Kevin Zelnio
Ecologists: Wading from nature to networks By Jennifer Jacquet
Synthetic biology: Building machines from DNA By S.E.Gould
Now in 3-D: The shape of krill and fish schools By Hannah Waters
Food for thought: Musings on sustenance and what makes us human By Diana Gitig
I’m not a real scientist, and that’s okay By Steven Wartik
Science Cafe spreads understanding of bacteria over beers By Tyler Dukes
The Iguanodon explosion: How scientists are rescuing the name of a “classic” ornithopod dinosaur, part 1 By Darren Naish
The explosion of Iguanodon, part 2: Iguanodontians of the Hastings Group By Darren Naish
The explosion of Iguanodon, part 3: Hypselospinus, Wadhurstia, Dakotadon, Proplanicoxa…. When will it all end? By Darren Naish
Don’t leave it to the experts: Why scientists have a few people to thank! By Hannah King
Forgotten dreams? A call to investigate the mysteries of humanity By Lawrence M. Krauss
Divine intervention via a microbe By James Byrne
A primatologist discovers the social factors responsible for maternal infanticide By Eric Michael Johnson
Mauritius kestrel: A conservation success story By Khalil A. Cassimally
Felt up or blown up? The psychology of the TSA, body scans and risk perception By David Ropeik
Power from pondscum: Algal biofuels By David Wogan
Turkey talk: The social cognition of your Thanksgiving dinner By Jason G. Goldman
Epiphany from up high: Can a suburban family live sustainably? By Robynne Boyd
The decade the clones came: Beware the mighty Marmokrebs! By Zen Faulkes
The antidepressant reboxetine: A headdesk moment in science By SciCurious

Best of October

I posted 75 times in October.

We have made the first announcement – What will ScienceOnline2011 be? and you can try to get a travel grant: Blog about evolution, come to ScienceOnline2011!. Also see ScienceOnline2010 – interview with Anne Jefferson.

Two interviews in October – The recording of the Skeptically Speaking show about Science Journalism is now available online and Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour 68: Taking Science Online (video).

Science? I edited and republished an old post: Why are dinosaur fossils’ heads turned up and back? (repost)

The series of interviews with people who are leaders in the science blogging community continues: Scienceblogging: – a Q&A with Mark Hahnel, Scienceblogging: SciBlogs NZ – a Q&A with Peter Griffin, Scienceblogging: LabSpaces – a Q&A with Brian Krueger, Scienceblogging: The Lay Scientist (and The Guardian) – a Q&A with Martin Robbins, Scienceblogging: Field of Science – a Q&A with Edward Michaud and Scienceblogging: Scientopia – a Q&A with SciCurious and Mark Chu-Carroll.

My brother will have his book published soon – you can pre-order Serbian Dreambook: National Imaginary in the Time of Milošević

I saw ‘Social Network’, the movie and wrote a brief review.

The BlogTogether Birthday Bash was awesome.

Best of September

I can’t believe I forgot to do this on the 1st of the month! But better late than never….

I posted 75 times in September 2010. I bet half of those were ‘Quick Links’ and videos…but there was other stuff as well:

Of course, I had to share with you Some Big And Important And Exciting News!

Ecosystem is rapidly changing: PLoS Blogs – the science blogging network! and Introducing Wired Science Blog network!

And in order to see just how the ecosystem is changing, I started a series of Q&As with people who are most actively involved. I started with a Q&A with Andrew Thaler of The Gam.

I went to The Most Awesome Wedding and to the Block By Block conference and to see the Mythbusters – yes, I got to meet Jamie and Adam.

On my very last day working at PLoS, I made my last Blog Pick of the Month.

I got a couple of more of the ScienceOnline2010 interviews – and hoping to get a few more still. Read the Q&As with Jennifer Williams and Morgan Giddings

If you are local, I hope you come to The BlogTogether Birthday Bash

And I hosted Berry Go Round #31.


This is, tentatively, where I plan to be over the new few months. If you are in the same town on the same date, let me know and we can perhaps meet:

October 6th, 2010, Raleigh, NC. Maryn McKenna reading/signing ‘Superbug’ at Quail Ridge Books (I may also go on the 7th for the second reading at Regulator shop in Durham).

October 12th (most likely), 2010, NYC. #NYCscitweetup – if you are there, join us.

October 19th 2010, Durham NC. The BlogTogether Birthday Bash, I would not miss it for anything!

October 21st 2010, 9-11am at Duke Perkins Library, Room 217, Durham NC. Open Access Publishing. I’ll be on a panel with several other people and we will talk about our experiences with open access publishing and its impact on scholarly communications.

November 3-4, 2010, Greenville SC. 2010 Conference on Communicating Science. I will do the session “New Tools for Communication (Use of “New” Media)” on the 4th in the morning.

November 5-9th, 2010, New Haven CT. ScienceWriters2010 co-organized by National Association of Science Writers and Council for the Advancement of Science Writing’s New Horizons in Science Briefings®. I will be a part of a panel on November 6th, Rebooting science journalism: Adapting to the new media landscape, together with Emily Bell and Betsy Mason, organized and moderated by David Dobbs.

November 23rd, 2010, Morrisville, NC. Pizza Lunch at Sigma Xi. I’ll be the speaker, about the ways WWW is changing the nature of science communication.

December 2-4th, 2010, Raleigh NC. W.M.Keck Center for Behavioral Biology Alumni meeting. As I am an alumnus, I will definitely attend to see all my old friends from grad school.

January 13-15th, 2010, Durham, NC. ScienceOnline2011. Of course.

March 19-20th 2011, Deidesheim, Germany. 4th SciLogs conference. I’ll go to meet with European science bloggers.

June 27-29th, 2011, Cairo, Egypt. World Conference of Science Journalists 2011. I’ll be on one panel and moderate another panel (see preliminary program). This will be fun.