Sunday, 23 August 2009
Unfortunately I only made it to the first few sessions of this conference as I had already made plans to visit Body Worlds (I shall blog about this later). The conference had a good share of skeptics and science bloggers and from what I saw (and heard after) it was a pretty awesome event.
In addition to the programme, the vent was mainly held in the Faraday Thatre of the Royal Instiution (home of the Christmas Lectures).
The parts that I saw were as follows:
Jack of Kent (lawyer and blogger) and Petra Boynton (sex educator, agony aunt, academic and blogger) talked about the ethical and legal issues of blogging. Some good stuff here - although as Jack says, the legal advice should not be taken as legal advice - just a few sensible pointers as to how to behave. The fact that something posted online is deemed to be published by the law in some ways shows how the law is ahead of the ICZN.
The next asession was 'Blogging for Impact' - or how to manage blogging and a career. Again, some good stuff and some good examples of when it pays off. Unfortuantely some institutions are way behind the times when it comes to thinking of blogging as a productive activity.
The break-out session om 'What is a Scientific Paper' raised many issues that have been being raised for a long time. Different disciplines have different requirements, but making data citeable was considered important, as was a new metric for recognising the impact of data.
I work on projects related to technology and taxonomy at the Natural History Museum, and as an advisor for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. My interests are in entomology (stick insects, cockroaches and insect acoustics) and how technology can change the way research is done in biology and museums. Big fan of open access, open data and open hardware.
Copyright Ed Baker