January 27, 2008

Science Blogging Conference: Saturday morning sessions

Open Science: how the Web is changing the way science is done, written and published. Discussion leader is Dr. Hemai Parthasarathy. Very fine presentation and unconference format discussion. After giving a brief background on her career, the presenter talked a bit about whether or not the subscription model makes any sense any more in the internet age. But, is open access a viable business model either when editorial costs need to be paid up front? The web has transformed all communications business models, so why not scientific communications? Certainly OA has advantages to freelancers, to researchers at small or subject based institutions as they can get access to a wider variety of information that otherwise. It is also possible to rethink the publication process and get some of the waste and duplication of effort out the peer review process as the same papers are reviewed multiple times for multiple journals until they find a home. Perhaps we can de-emphasize where a paper is published.

There needs to be a balance of topdown and bottom-up publishing programs, let the community do the filtering, the paper is just the start of the conversation. But can science really work by crowdsourcing? There are trust issues, we still need to rely on gateways and search algorithms to find the information we need. Some fields may not have the critical mass to get the crowdsourced reviews they need to filter out crackpots and pseudoscience. Perhaps we can use social networks to create a new oligarchy. How to you browse in the new open science/web paradigm? There is also a new kind of open source education getting new ideas in the process, a new kind of citation analysis not just impact factors. Need open data to catch fraud. China is also an issue: the internationalization of science, Chinese are pressured to publish in English. The web 2.0 needs new kinds of incentives to make science work. According to Bill Hooker: "Toll access journals are the walking dead as of today."

Teaching Science: using online tools in the science classroom. Discussion leader is David Warlick. A truly terrific presentation and discussion, with ideas bouncing and crackling back and forth across the room. Warlick did a great job framing the session and guiding the interactions. Probably the best of the sessions I went to.

First of all, we must recognize that what it means to be an educator is changing. We must use new technologies to engage our students, but: How do I manage in large classes, How do I find time to learn & experiment, How do I cope with the very real digital divide, How do I find the open content I want and need? The last 10-15 years have changed the nature of information and how we use it. How does this affect how and what we teach? Three forces are converging on our students/scholars: 1) Dramatically new info landscape, 2) Student social info experience and 3) and unpredictable future. These forces are being mediated by a networked curriculum, social networking tools and a radically different learning style where students must learn how to teach themselves.

Discussion: Science & Religion course: For blog assignments, get students to post, one blog for the class where students comment and post. Only a private blog on Science & Religion course, students really contributed and really engaged.

Bora gave his experience with posting class notes on his blog; unable to get adult students to participate much but notes have had a long life attracting lots of traffic long after they were posted.

What do you tell teachers, how do you turn people/kids into scientists, getting to teaching vs. memorizing and communicating how you learn science. Try teachertube and scivee.

Blog and Media coverage for links to session videos.

1 comment:

Christina said...

Interestingly, I just happened on the neuroscience consortium that will (if the author requests) forward reviewer reports from one journal to the next. This is great for articles that are good, just not in scope. I hope that minimizes duplication -- at least a little. Plus, it's research area organized instead of publisher organized.