Category Archives: ScienceOnline

ScienceOnline Needs our Help

From the ScienceOnline website:

As a young nonprofit, we are charged with demonstrating broad public support for our organization so that we can maintain our 501(c)(3) status. So, in addition to seeking larger individual donations, and applying for grants, we need donations from a broad donor base. Here’s how we can do that. We are asking for donations of $20.14 from 2,014 individuals before the beginning of the year 2014. Will you be one of the 2,014?


ScienceOnline® is a non-profit organization that facilitates conversations, community, and collaborations at the intersection of Science and the Web. We do this through online networks, face-to-face events (both global and grassroots), and projects such as ScienceSeeker (our online tool to find science content on the web) and The Open Laboratory (our annual anthology of the best science writing online).

Our conferences bring together scientists, journalists, and other stakeholders for meaningful conversation so they can build trust and learn to understand each other. This results in better communication about the science to the public and to policymakers – from both the journalist and the researcher.

We build and support this community that encourages one another, networks, brainstorms, mentors, learns and is generous about sharing data and information. This results in joint projects, leads for job opportunities, and information about potential funding sources.

We enable connections between researchers in diverse fields of science by bringing them out of their specialized conferences and tapping into their shared experience of using the internet to do and communicate science online.

In January 2013, we had 450 attendees present at our annual conference (we keep attendance small to ensure good interaction). But there are currently 5,699 unique Twitter users who continue the conversation online with the conference hashtag! This community stays in touch via the hashtag all year.

We are looking for ways to include more people in the conversations about science communication and doing science on the web. There are three areas we are currently working on: local satellite groups (both in the US and abroad); regional events and topical events (e.g. ScienceOnline Climate in DC in August, ScienceOnline Oceans in Miami in October), and resource tools for professional development.

This year we also added 24 global Watch Parties to our flagship conference, multiplying the number of people adding content to the conversation. We are looking to increase our global reach with creative ways to include distant groups.

Our website maintains an archive of videos captured from our various events so that we can serve and empower the community with an ongoing, free, resource.

We’re all in this together. Our goals overlap. We (and you, we think!) want science to be done well, to be communicated accurately, to effect change, and to be accessible.

The conversations, relationships, collaborations, and communication that come out of the ScienceOnline projects, events, and community will do that.

We think you want to see science communicated effectively. You can ensure that we are able to create the atmosphere and provide the tools needed to allow the ScienceOnline community to grow and be effective. Come join us!

Please be one of the 2,014 and contribute $20.14. Click here to donate.

ScienceOnline Project Postcard

I have a little project for the ScienceOnline community (consider yourself part of that community if you talk about Science somewhere online). Here’s a great map of where Twitter users who are talking about #scio13 live. Thanks Comprendia for generating this for us!

View Larger Map

Each of those markers represents a pretty amazing person and place. SO… what I want you to do is start to flood our new ScienceOnline Post Office box with postcards from where you live and travel. Talk science to me! We’ll be using the postcards at ScienceOnline2013. Help me get the word out! Who will send the first postcard? How many different countries will we get postcards from? What’s the craziest picture on a postcard that we will receive (I’ll bet it’s either from the #DeepSN folks or Ed Yong). There may be prizes 🙂

Send those postcards to:
PO Box 52447
Durham, NC 27717

Wanted: Team for Top Secret Mission!

I received an email from the Chief at Operation Experimonth (see here for previous Experimonth project). Experimonth is a project of the Life and Science Museum which usually tackles month-long experiments. Here’s all the info I have on the current challenge:

“Your mission, if you chose to accept it, is to electronically pass a secret word across the country with the help of your friends. Once your word reaches the destination, a clue will be revealed. This clue will point to a prize, which will be hidden in plain sight somewhere in Durham, NC on July 1st. The prize will self-destruct on August 1st, 2012.”

“In order to participate you will need a team of exactly eleven other people to help you. We were thinking you might find those conspirators within the ScienceOnline community, but anyone with a reasonable level of cleverness and responsibility will do.”

“If you sign up to participate, you will receive further instructions along with your secret word on July 1st.”


So… I’ve accepted the challenge, but I need to find my 11 co-conspirators. I’m looking for:

  • people who will be available on July 1st
  • people who respond quickly via Twitter, G+ and/or email (not sure what method we will be using)
  • people spread across the country… Ideally, I think we want a line of folks from NC (me) to CA.

Will you accept the challenge with me? To jump in for one of the 11 slots on my team, please email me, or get my attention on Twitter!

Yours in top secret confidence,

PS – I suggest you follow @experimonth on Twitter

Stay Curious is at TEDMED this week

In my role as Executive Director of ScienceOnline, I’m attending the TEDMED conference in Washington DC this week.

What do ScienceOnline and TEDMED have in common? Well, for starters, there are quite a few TEDMED delegates who are members of the ScienceOnline community (including Bora, Anton, and Karyn). There are also several TEDMED speakers from our community, including Ivan Oransky, Diane Kelly, and Jonathan Eisen.

The next four days will be filled with inspiring talks, engaging conversations, and discussions about which of the 50 Great Challenges of health and medicine should be selected for the top 20 Challenges to focus on.

Back to what ScienceOnline and TEDMED have in common. Both are looking for new ideas and creative ways for communities to work together on problems. In order to do this, both need to cultivate an atmosphere of creativity and imagination. Innovation can only happen when imagination is fully engaged. To solve the Great Challenges that will be discussed at TEDMED, we need to think differently, think boldly, and take risks. We aren’t always used to doing that. Just as I encourage people to “stay curious” about the world around them, I will encourage people to cultivate their imagination.

So, my question for delegates will be “How do you exercise your imagination?”

I’ve got some imagination/creativity jumpstarters in my bag that I will share with folks to encourage folks to exercise their imagination with play and puzzles.

I’ll be live-tweeting with the #TEDMED hashtag and I’ll blog and post a photo-journal a little later. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen to be a virtual part of the action!