Category Archives: Technology

ScienceOnline Events Update

As we reminded you a couple of weeks ago, ScienceOnline community and the organization are busy preparing a number of upcoming events. Today, we need to give you some important updates on the planning, program and registration for the three major events coming up soon, so you can start planning today: ScienceOnlineClimate, ScienceOnlineOceans and ScienceOnlineTogether 2014. Head on to the official SciO blog to see the details.

Quick Programming Note–#SciFoo and #WCSJ2013/#sci4hels

Just a quick note. If you will be at Science Foo Camp (a.k.a. SciFoo) on June 21-23, find me and say Hello. I last went to this meeting in 2007 and I am happy to go back after a long break. Not sure what the event rules are, but I expect to livetweet quite a lot (at @BoraZ).

Likewise, if you will be at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Helsinki, Finland, on June 24-29th, find me and say Hello as well. On the 26th, I’ll be on a plenary panel – The Rise of the Science Blog Network: Lessons from All Corners of the World at 09:00-10:30am, and then immediately after that enjoying the other panel I organized – The ‘killer’ science journalists of the future at 11:15am-12:45pm. But you already know all about it, as I have blogged about that panel several times.

During those 10 days or so, I will be online pretty sporadically (except to livetweet from my phone), so be nice to the other bloggers on the network!

#sci4hels – What makes one a “killer” (science) journalist of the future?

It is only four weeks till the World Conference of Science Journalists commences in Helsinki, and our #sci4hels panel has been hard at work, for months now, at preparing for the event. We had discussions on Twitter (account, list, hashtag), set up the Google + and Facebook pages, and put together a website/blog.

Over the past few months, we also engaged the community with our questions. The first question was about the need for specialization (also see), which also feeds into the question of a need for specialized skills, like coding (see this and this).

The second question was “What does a new science journalist do to get noticed? How do you get people to read your work, give you assignments, follow you on Twitter, and generally just know who you are?” This provoked a lively discussion on Twitter.

The third question, upon noticing that all the panelists are female (and many of the upcoming science writers are, too), was a discussion about breaking the glass ceiling in the media organizations.

We all pitched in together for the Question #4: How Should Science Journalists Deal with Breaking News?.

The final, fifth question was: “What is the obligation of a science journalist when it comes to education?

Obviously, we covered a very broad range of topics. But now we need to focus. We’ll only have 90 minutes in Helsinki, and the attendees will come to hear and learn from “killer” science journalists of the future, hoping to get some advice on how to join their ranks and become one of those “killers”, successful in the fast-shifting world of modern media.

On Thursday we will publish our final post and open it up for discussion. Here, I want to make some quick, broad, Big Picture thoughts of my own.

What are the characteristics of a “killer science journalist of the future”?

Understanding that being in print, on radio, or on TV is sweet, still pays better, and still carries a cache with some audiences, but that this picture is changing fast. These 20th century types of one-way broadcast media are rapidly losing audiences, while new generations are essentially using only the Web for information, education and entertainment. Thus, it is smart to focus primarily on the online world, while still occasionally getting some money from the old media when possible.

Understanding that the currency of reputation in the new ecosystem is trust. As the readers rely less and less on the banners on top of the page and more and more on the names in the bylines, it is essential to build one’s own personal reputation and not to rely entirely on the institutional reputation of the media outlet for which one writes.

Understanding that, for one to gain the currency of trust in an online world, one has to constantly use the currency of trust – the hyperlink. A killer science journalist of the future profusely peppers one’s articles with links. Every place in the article that makes a statement should contain a link. Every such spot that does not have a link automatically is a red flag for the modern reader. What is the author trying to hide? Is the originator of information not credited properly?

If information is gained from a document, the document should be linked. If it comes from an article or a blog post, it should be linked. If it comes from a scientific paper, that paper should be linked. If there is a two-sentence quote, presumably taken out of an hour-long interview, it is important to link to the complete interview – transcript or audio or video recording. Every link is a gain of trust. Every lacking link is a loss of trust. Digital natives understand this almost instinctively. Modern online journalism is in many way just like science, including the importance of proper citation and credit for the past ideas on top of which one builds one’s new edifice.

There is no expectation that most readers will actually click on the links. The links are there as a proxy, a sign to the readers that the author has done the due diligence of actually doing the necessary research and finding the relevant sources (what quotes used to do in the old media, but now have the opposite effect online), and generally understands the way the Web requires proper credit of all sources of information. In cases of controversial statements, a small proportion of readers may click on links (even if they are behind paywalls – some readers will have access) and tell the other readers in the comments if the links actually support the statements in the text.

Understanding that the new media ecosystem is an open system. An open system is much stricter and faster in enforcing both the traditional journalistic ethics and the additional online ethics, and much harsher and faster at meting punishment on transgressors of such ethics than the old-style, closed ecosystem. Feedback is instantaneous, and often devastating. The best way to deal with criticism is complete transparency, humble admission of errors, and civil countering of incorrect information if such is presented in the feedback.

A digital native does not take harsh feedback personally, is used to harshness of online comments, shrugs it off but does not ignore the feedback – understanding that it is always a learning experience that helps one get better at the job. It is also understood that responding to feedback and involving the readers in the learning process is one way of getting better, earning trust, and gaining good reputation.

Understanding that self-promotion is not a dirty word the way it was in the 20th century. With a glut of information, and glut of overall online communication, it is necessary for the author to be seen and heard above the din. The only way to do this is to have the link circulate widely online, especially on social media. For the link to appear on social media in the first place, the author has to place it there first. If the piece is accurate, well documented, and well written, it will be spread around. For the link posted by the author to be seen, the author has to have sufficient number of people to send it to, particularly people who already trust and respect the author. Thus, building and nurturing one’s own community of friends, colleagues and readers, and being a part of other people’s similar circles, reciprocating the goodwill, is essential. This is the essence of the principle of horizontal loyalty (or “Friends In Low Places”).

Understanding that all of the above is still not enough. Doing it all correctly, diligently discovering information, linking to all the sources, not stealing ideas from bloggers and then linking only to traditional sources, being humble, respectful and transparent, and generally making a coherent article day after day, week after week, is still not enough. One day soon, everyone will be doing it technically correctly. How does one get noticed in such an environment then?

Yes, sometimes you’ll have to write a dull article for money. Perhaps too often. But the pieces that will really take off – and the pieces that will bring the reputation and trust, not just traffic – are pieces that are written with passion. So, follow your own curiosity and find your passion. Find your own obsession and turn it into your beat. Become a Go-To expert on the topic of your obsession. Ditch the boring old inverted pyramid (it was invented due to space limits of paper, something that vanished online) and start writing in an exciting way.

Or, if your passion is not any narrow topic, then your expertise – or your signature stuff, something for which people will keep coming back over and over again to check your work – may be something else: absolutely beautiful writing, or amazing visuals, or stunning art or photography, or video, or animation, or hand-coded interactive infographics, or whatever makes you excited. If you are excited, your readers will be excited, too. They will support you, tell their friends about you, and make you successful in the process. As long as the basic journalistic ethics and the additional online ethics are met, it is this added passion that will make the difference between successful writers and those who are…not so much…

Let’s Not Spring Forward.

Cross-posted from Zocalo Public Square.

Even cows don’t like Daylight Saving Time. Come Sunday morning, when the milking machines get attached to their udders a whole hour too early, the otherwise placid bovines on dairy farms around the United States will snort in surprise and dismay. They may give less milk than usual. They could take days or weeks to get used to the new milking schedules.

We are no different. While most of us won’t be hooking ourselves up to udder pumps, our bodies next week will experience a disturbance very much like the cows’ – one that can affect our mental and physical health. The reason lies in the clash between sensitive, eons-old biology deep within our cells, and human-imposed time-keeping traditions that are barely a century old. Twice every year, when we “spring forward” and “fall back,” our bodies must do battle between “sun time” and “social time.”

Before the mid-19th century, time was more flexible. Each town and village maintained the local church clock more-or-less in sync with the natural light-dark cycles of the sun. The spread of railroads changed all that. The need to keep trains moving in and out of stations at predictable times forced the adoption of a standardized time. That, in turn, led to the formation of time zones.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)—the resetting of all clocks twice a year—was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson in 1895, for quite selfish purposes. He was studying daily cycles in insects and wanted to be able to do more of it during daylight hours. But his idea of maximizing daylight soon spread. The first country to adopt DST was Germany in 1912. Most other countries soon followed, including the United States, which instituted DST in 1918.

The leading argument in favor of DST has always been that it saves energy. Back in the early 20th century, most energy was used for lighting. So, the argument went, placing work and school schedules within daylight hours would save electricity. People wouldn’t need to use light bulbs to navigate around their homes, offices, factories, and fields in the dark, and they would have more time in the evening to indulge in commerce and entertainment.

Today, the situation is very different. The proportion of total energy that is used for lighting is miniscule compared to other, time-independent uses like factories, computers, nuclear plants, airport radars, and other facilities that run 24/7. Energy companies themselves have measured the effect, and have concluded that DST does not save energy.

With this knowledge, some nations have started re-thinking the concept. Russia, for example, abandoned the clock change in 2011, keeping one time all year round. Iceland and Belarus did the same. On the other hand, in 2007, U.S. Congress, clinging to the notion that DST saves energy, moved the onset of DST three weeks earlier than before. That change, I think, makes a difficult transition even more stressful.

Although Congress can impose these changes, it’s a bit unclear who exactly has the right to determine whether DST is implemented. Until very recently, a large number of individual counties in the state of Indiana refused to go through the clock-changing ritual. Arizona doesn’t change its clocks at all—the only state in the union (apart from Hawaii) to defy DST altogether. This lack of clarity about who is in charge may be one of the reasons why a more sustained effort to abolish DST has been unsuccessful nationwide.

Whether or not DST saves energy is the least of the reasons why it’s a bad idea. Much more important are the health effects of sudden, hour-long shifts on our bodies and minds. Chronobiologists who study circadian rhythms know that for several days after the spring-forward clock resetting – and especially that first Monday – traffic accidents increase, workplace injuries go up and, perhaps most telling, incidences of heart attacks rise sharply. Cases of depression also go up. As the faint light of dawn starts preparing our bodies for waking up (mainly through the rise of cortisol secretion), our various organs, including the heart, also start preparing for increased function. If the alarm clock suddenly rings an hour earlier than usual, a weak heart can suffer an infarct.

The reason for negative health effects of DST is that, in essence, the entire world is jet-lagged for a few days. Unlike some animals, like honeybees and reindeer, humans have a very robust circadian clock system that resists abrupt shifts.

Every cell in our bodies contains a biological clock which coordinates the events in those cells—for example, when gene transcription turns on and off, or when specific proteins are made. When we are exposed to a light-dark cycle that is different from what we experienced the previous days, some types of cells synchronize to the new environmental cycle faster than the others. Cells in our eyes, for example, may adjust in about a day, while cells in our brains take a couple of days. Cells in the digestive system and liver may take weeks. So, for weeks after the DST clock change, our bodies are like a clock shop in which each timepiece cuckoos at a different time of day—a cacophony of confusing signals.

Our bodies are constantly being pulled apart by conflicting demands of the natural ‘sun time‘ and culturally imposed ‘social time‘. People living in urban areas may be better shielded from the sun time than their rural counterparts, because of artificial lighting and the skyglow it produces, but nobody is completely isolated from its influence. Twelve noon according to the clock is not twelve noon according to the planet. Citizens of Barcelona and Bucarest are almost two hours apart in their perception of sun time, yet live in the same social time—the same time zone that encompasses most of Europe.

Even those of us who are lucky enough to work from home and can generally set our own work schedules are not completely immune to the effects of DST. I still have to drive my daughter to school at the time prescribed by the local clock, not by local sunlight. My colleagues have expectations about when I will pick up the phone for a teleconference or respond to their emails. I am supposed to show up for my dental appointment at 7am, not “two hours after dawn”.

But if I ever buy a cow—and that is not as crazy as it sounds since I live next door to a dairy farm—I have a plan. Of course I’ll ignore the bi-annual clock changes, which I hear many smart dairy farmers already do. But I’ll go a step further and ignore social time altogether, milking her at the sun time her nervous system can understand, probably the crack of dawn. Whatever I do, I will never make her suffer through the sudden shift of DST. And none of us human animals should suffer it, either.

Image: Dirk Hanson

ScienceOnline2013 – interview with Karyn Traphagen

Every year I ask some of the attendees of the ScienceOnline conferences to tell me (and my readers) more about themselves, their careers, current projects and their views on the use of the Web in science, science education or science communication. So now we continue with the participants of ScienceOnline2013. See all the interviews in this series here.

Today my guest is Karyn Traphagen, the Executive Director of ScienceOnline (blog, Twitter).

Welcome to A Blog Around The Clock. Would you, please, tell my readers a little bit more about yourself? Where are you coming from (both geographically and philosophically)? What is your (scientific and other) background?

I was born in New Jersey (please don’t hold that against me).

I suppose, in retrospect, I was one of the Apollo generation kids and that has affected me more than I realized. I clearly remember being a very young child and standing by some adults who were debating whether or not we would really get to the moon and back. I grew up with the Gemini missions and Apollo missions. My entire elementary school would gather in the gymnasium around one television to watch launches and splashdowns.

After I started kindergarten we stayed in the same house until I graduated from high school (remarkable when you learn that I have moved 26 times since then). I was the oldest of four girls. My father was part of my life until I was in middle school (and then he entered my life again after I had my own children), but it was my mother who really instilled in me the interest and discipline and confidence that make me so curious and adventurous.

One of my favorite memories is constructing furniture with my mom. In those days there were no IKEA designers with clear instructions. We had all those foreign diagrams and crazy languages to guide us. I learned at an early age how to persevere, tinker, and make it work. I guess you could say we had a Maker culture and DIY house before the terms were popularized.

I also had an amazing chemistry set (which no doubt is illegal these days).  Of course, all the illustrations were of boys, but that didn’t bother me one bit. I had a picture of my mom before she was married and she was working in a lab with all manner of science glassware. I thought that was the best picture ever of my mom. Even though she stopped working in the lab to get married and have us kids, I thought it was perfectly normal to want to do science. It didn’t even occur to me that I couldn’t figure these things out. I also had a small mirror microscope that was nearly impossible to get to work. But I still had slides and slides of samples I collected. Even today my office is full of geologic and botanical specimens I’ve collected.

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized we were really poor growing up because I always thought we had the most amazing house. It was a tiny rental duplex. But we had file cabinets full of paper, pens, glue, tape, crayons, cardboard, glitter, and all sorts of creative stuff. What I didn’t realize was that it was all cast-offs from mailing rooms and offices (the paper was discarded stationary and onion skin paper for carbon copies). So, again, my mom was ahead of the times with re-purposing and recycling even before the first Earth Day had been organized.

Speaking of Earth Day, I can remember as a young girl how much I loved that first festival. My best friend and I were so impressed that we started our own Anti-Pollution Club. I doubt we really did very much to affect the trash and pollution in our town, but I know it did change us.

Another thing that changed me was the monthly arrival of the National Geographic magazine. Someone must have given us a subscription, because I’m sure we couldn’t have afforded it. But I (absolutely) loved reading about Jane Goodall. I wanted to go sit in the jungle and be like her. I would lose myself in the photos of space and dive in the ocean with Jacques Cousteau. I would crawl down into the earth with the stories about insects and their habits. And volcanoes! Who knew, at that time, that I would live in Hawai’i for a while and get to walk on newly cooled lava and then watch red hot lava flow into the ocean? My love of science owes a debt of gratitude to NatGeo for the visual imagery and stories they brought to me.

In high school, I was part of the “advanced track.” This meant that I had double periods of math and double periods of science every year. Double periods of math! I was invited to be part of the school’s Math League team. I hardly noticed that there were only two girls on the team. Double periods of science meant lots and lots of labs. Let’s just say that having a lab partner who sutured our fetal pig back together each night should give you a glimpse of the kind of classmates I had. But I also played violin, taught myself guitar, and sang in the choir. I became a thespian and loved drama (apparently, both on stage and off). You see, it was just the beginning of my interest in everything. I owe it to my mom that I always thought that if I was interested in something I could just go out and learn it and do it. So, I just kept doing that.

I graduated from high school early. In part, because of a dare/challenge. There were three of us who thought it would be great to graduate early (no idea why we thought that at first). The school told us “No, you can’t do that. It isn’t allowed, it’s never been done.” Hmmpff. That’s one of the surest ways to get me to try to make something happen. So, we looked at the specific policies and rules in place, and found a loophole that would allow us to graduate in three years (by doubling up on some coursework). We appealed to the school board, and they agreed. We were the first to do that. It also meant that I was in the graduating class of female students who were first invited to apply to West Point. I didn’t go to West Point, or any of the other amazing opportunities I was offered. Instead, my education and career “trajectory” began to look more like I was tacking in a sailboat.

The short story is Life and Family (capital L and F) became priorities for various reasons. The result is that along the way I got married, had 2 daughters (both awesome), had my 2 youngest sisters come into our house under our guardianship, had my other sister live with us for a time while she finished her undergrad degree, ran several entrepreneurial endeavors, learned a lot of new things, and moved a lot.

Tell us a little more about your career trajectory so far: interesting projects past and present? And future?

Trajectory assumes a smooth path that obeys the law of gravity and as I’ve already noted, my journey has taken a rather torturous, meandering route. But (and please forgive me for this), as Tolkien’s oft-quoted poem says: “Not all those who wander are lost.”

While meandering, I hiked and backpacked all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks (becoming an ADK46er along with my husband and our 2 daughters). I have taught physics to high school students, undergrads, & grad students. I did research with cadavers to help develop a tibia index to make more biofidelic crash test dummies. I coded. I studied (and taught) ancient languages and their writing systems, like Ugaritic, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, and Babylonian. I studied Tolkien linguistics (and created a Tengwar Primer). I created miniature medieval calligraphy pieces (with period techniques for pigments and gilding). Less academic, I taught myself how to make molds of my own ears so I could design elf ear prosthetics. Yes, really.

I coached a cross country team. I bicycled a few century rides. I went to South Sudan to help train teachers whose lives had been disrupted by decades of war. I studied in Stellenbosch, South Africa. I taught English during some summers in Hungary. I took students on week-long sailing trips in the Bahamas. I worked at the Museum of Life and Science (Durham, NC) with the Animal Department—lemurs and snakes and bears, oh my!

And, then my life also took a turn back to Space. I’ve been to several NASATweetups (now called NASAsocials) where I was able to meet people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson (& amazing NASA people) while we watched rockets launch missions to the moon and Mars. My name is on a chip on the Mars Curiosity rover! I absolutely love how NASA has re-invented itself in the public eye.

Eventually, all the experiences and education came together in a kind of perfect storm that led me to Bora and Anton and ScienceOnline.

What is taking up the most of your time and passion these days? What are your goals?

ScienceOnline! It’s an amazing privilege to represent the ScienceOnline community and work to build the projects, tools, and resources that create the opportunities for conversation, community, and collaborations. I’m so grateful for my friendship with Bora and Anton and for their trust in me and their encouragement to take the momentum from the last 7 years of conferences and move forward, as an organization, in new and exciting directions.

We have topical events (ScienceOnline: Oceans; ScienceOnline: Climate and more) being developed. Regional events around the world are springing up. Tools and resources (such as ScienceSeeker are being developed. And then, of course there are the logistics of a new organization to work on.

I think the distinctives that characterize our events are our focus on conversation and relationships. There are many valuable science conferences and associations that are more presentation focused, but we prioritize face-to-face meetings between people who have met or work together online so that they can build relationships which will lead to new collaborations and better science communication.

What aspect of science communication and/or particular use of the Web in science interests you the most? You are obviously a veteran blogger. And you’ve been using Twitter for at least two years longer than I have. What platforms and what types of online activity you found most useful, or most gratifying to use? How does blogging figure in your work? How about social networks, e.g., Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook? Do you find all this online activity to be a net positive (or even a necessity) in what you do? What new platforms or method of online communication, if any, are you excited about?

I don’t blog as much as used to, or as much as I would like. My current personal blog is stay-curious.com and I still have all these ideas, but a lack of time. I’ve been writing for ScienceOnline (organization documents, grants, policy, copy for projects, etc) but it’s not the same! I miss having time to introduce people to aspects of the world they live in that they may not have noticed.

Twitter has been a wonderful way to stay involved online with content creation when I don’t have the time to do long blog posts. I think the various social media platforms are invaluable for data acquisition, data sharing, data analysis, science outreach, professional development, community, and communication. I like to explore ways to exploit the tools in ways their creators never imagined. A good example of this is how Fraser Cain (of Universe Today) took the Google+ hangouts to a completely new level with virtual star parties. I don’t think the Google developers ever dreamed that telescopes would stream live images of distant worlds into our homes via G+ hangouts. This excites me for the future because there are tools we haven’t even created yet and new ways of sharing information and community still to discover.

I’m most excited about the platforms we have yet to create.

I can’t imagine not being online. But I do sometimes need to unplug (albeit briefly). I love to get out in nature to hike, explore, collect small things. I like to be alone. I like to think. I’m training for the Rocketman Triathlon which will have the bicycle portion go through the launchpads at Kennedy Space Center! Oh, and I’ll be doing the triathlon with Camilla Corona, the NASA mascot for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). She’s a rubber chicken. After that, I’m looking forward to exploring Alaska in May.

What is the best aspect of ScienceOnline for you, now that you are the Executive Director? How is it different from when you were just an attending participant?

Well, I’m an introvert (amazing how many of the attendees seem to claim this trait). It has become much easier to talk to people because they all know who I am now. It is harder for me to remember all the new people though! I have some ideas for next year to help with this (but I’m not telling yet!)

I love the creative details that I’ve been able to bring to life at the conferences, but I’m so excited to be thinking big picture, to draw in all my previous experiences/skills and work to enable others to bring out their own potential and skill.

I’ve been most surprised by the opportunities to mentor. I guess I keep thinking “Who am I to give counsel or advice? I’m still growing up!” But apparently, I guess I have lived a fair bit and done a few things and it may be helpful to a handful. So, yes, I do enjoy encouraging and listening to some of the members of our community who have come to me in that way.

I know you always have surprises for all of us – including some that even Anton and I don’t know about until the conference starts! Is there one of those little surprises that you are willing to reveal in advance, right now?

I do love to surprise and delight people. At tweetups I often bring toys (as you know!) to give people something fun to try out and play with. For the conference(s), I try to think of ideas to keep it fresh, to make it fun, to make people more likely to think creatively. I work hard at cultivating an atmosphere that allows conversation. Sometimes breaking down the “professional” barriers by playing with some origami or LEGO blocks at a table helps people to interact in a more casual and engaging way.

What does the future hold?

If I knew that, do you think I would tell you? All I can say is that I’m always ready for an adventure.

Thank you so much! It is exciting to see ScienceOnline move into the new future under your leadership.

 


Science Studio update – and a new challenge

The other day I gave you a quick update on various projects and events, including the update on Science Studio – the multimedia version of Open Laboratory project. With eight days to go, our Kickstarter project is only $500 shy of the $5000 we need to get the podcasting project funded. As the response from the community was so strong, Rose, Ben and I thought we could do more – include video if we can crack $8000. Do you think we can do it? I bet we can, but we rely on you, and your ability and willingness to spread the word. Here is what Rose says:

Oh man, people, you are awesome. We’re so close to our goal I can taste all the amazing audio we’ll be bringing you. It kind of tastes like electricity.

But you know what, we’ve still got eight days left. And Ben, Bora and I want to make this the best thing we possibly can, so we’ve decided to up the ante a little bit. Right now, we’re focusing on audio. And, like we said, there’s a ton of that. But there’s all sorts of other stuff out there too, video, animations, graphics, interactives, maps, the list goes on. We didn’t think we’d be able to do it all, but if we get a little more of your help, we can chip away at that giant pile of amazing content.

So here’s the challenge. If we can crack $8,000, we’ll add video to the mix. That’s right, from Minute Physics to TED Ed to Vsauce to Instant Egghead to Creature Cast to Vi Hart. We know you love video, and we love it too. Let’s make this happen together, everybody.

What do you say? Are you up for the challenge? Let’s play.

Quick updates: #scio13, #wjchat, Science Studio, @scifri

As you probably know, last week was ScienceOnline2013 – I still need to wind down, and catch up, before the regular blogging will resume. For those of you who missed it, you can catch up on coverage on the Scio13 Information Central page, see the media and blog coverage to date, or watch the recordings of morning Converge talks (a number of other recorded sessions will be available at the same link later). Or join us in the still very active conversation on Twitter using #scio13 hashtag.

During the event, last week, I was also a guest on the NPR Science Friday show with Ira Flatow, mostly discussing the paper (and my post about it) on the effect of blog/article comment threads on the audience understanding of the articles. You can listen to that radio segment here.

One of my projects, the Science Studio (the podcast/multimedia version of Open Laboratory) has only 9 more days to go on Kickstarter and still needs $1214 to reach the goal. Take a look….

Finally, today at 8pm EST, go on Twitter, set up a search for the #wjchat hashtag, and participate in the discussion on science journalism, science blogging and more, with myself acting as the host.

Photo: Dirk Hanson