This weekend I am in the Raleigh-Durham area for the Science Online 2010 conference.
The ScienceOnline 2010 conference is a collection of science writers, bloggers and researchers gathered to discuss the dissemination of scientific information in all its forms online. Of course, I think one could make the argument that almost all scientific communication is now online. How many scientific publications aren’t available online? None come to mind.
More specifically, topics at the conference relate to some of the new forms of communicating science (to the public and among scientists) – blogs, twitter, new forms of scientific journals, software applications and more.
I spend a large part of my time at work teaching undergraduate students about how scientists communicate with each other – teaching them to tell the difference between news stories aimed at the general public and scientific articles, teaching them how a review article is different than a primary research article.
One of the things I struggle with is how we teach students to deal with the new and exciting changes that are developing in science communication. How can students evaluate a comment on a journal article over at PLoS ONE? How can they locate a journal article that is available free in an institutional repository but not on the publishers web site? Where does a blog post about a primary research article (like those at ResearchBlogging.org) fit in with news articles, primary research articles or review articles?
So far I have only attended one workshop and the opening keynote address, both of which have been excellent. This conference is a great opportunity to discuss some of these issues with other folks who are thinking about the same things – I’m really looking forward to the sessions over the weekend.