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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Open Notebook Science Case Studies SFLO Session

Just a reminder that the ONS case studies session on SciFoo Lives On is tomorrow Sept 24, 2007 at 9:00 PT/12:00 ET/16:00 GMT.

The idea here is to get our hands dirty and look at the guts of our operations. What is working/what is not -what technologies are we using and where you can get them.

Cameron Neylon and I will be presenting but we hope there will be lots of discussion.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

ChemBioFoo Area First Poster

Ding dong - one of my bells emailed me today.

Someone was at the gate of the BioChemFoo area on Nature Island in Second Life and wanted assistance with setting up a poster.

When I logged on I found Lali Ewry (a researcher) and Bronwen Pizzicato (from Nature Precedings) still waiting there. Since there were no posters yet in the ChemBioFoo area I took them over to the adjacent SciFoo Lives On section to show them examples of what posters can look like in Second Life.

Lali had some slides available so I gave her one of Hiro's boards and showed her how to upload, re-size and move the poster. (By the way Hiro's boards have the nice feature that, as a presenter, you can go backwards in your presentation and the boards reset to the starting slides after a few minutes of inactivity)

We took her board to the ChemBioFoo area and Lali positioned it at poster #1. She also put a bell so others could summon her to discuss her work on "Transcription of Inflammatory Genes in Crohn's Disease". There are wonderful images in that presentation about the mechanics of the disease and Lali is still adding more. She had some animations that have to be converted to still images before posting.

Lali's real name is Laura Ferrero-Miliani and she is at Herlev Hospital, Medical-Gastroenterology Lab 54O3 in Denmark.

This is a perfect example of what I had in mind for ChemBioFoo. In keeping with the SciFoo un-conference, the SciFoo Lives On area has some great posters to promote and discuss Open Science and new Science Communication Technologies. However, I think there needs to be a place to host domain-specific scientific discussion as perpetual poster sessions in Second Life.

This is actually very much in keeping with the format of the Nature journal itself. The articles are typically high level and are collected from various scientific fields. I am starting with Chemistry and Biology because I feel that these areas have a strong potential for improving human lives directly (in terms of affecting disease processes for example). Also these areas are most closely related to my domain specific research of organic synthesis and drug design. (And we only have 36 booths in this area for now). Of course I would be happy to assist anyone in creating a poster area with another scientific focus.

I often tell people that they should only enter Second Life if they have a good reason for doing so. By putting posters that are similar in format and content to those that the typical researcher is likely to find at the physical conferences that they attend is probably a pretty good way to attract traditional scientists to media platforms like Second Life. If they see a poster that is interesting they can ring the bell, talk with the presenter then decide how that experience compares with a physical meeting.

So I am asking for anyone interested in contributing to let me know (or Lali - she is trained now to help the next presenters after all).

My presentation is coming up - I have a few more slides to put together. Tony Williams from ChemSpider also sent me a presentation that I'll put up shortly.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

PodCamp Philly at Drexel

For anyone in the Philadelphia area, PodCamp Philly starts this weekend Sept 7-9, 2007. Topics include anything related to podcasting and social software.

I'll be doing a session on Drexel Island and Second Life.

The event is free but you must register.

Ring for SciFoo Service

If you wander around the SciFoo Lives On area, you will notice that some of the poster booths have bells.

If the text above them is green, it indicates that the presenter is somewhere in Second Life. The visitor can then just click on the bell to summon the presenter with a quick message.

If the text is red, the presenter is not in world. However, a message can still be sent and it will show up the next time they log in.

Now this can be problematic for users who created a Second Life account exclusively for the purpose of presenting or attending a SciFoo Lives On session since they are unlikely to login again and retrieve IM messages. There is a trick around that: in SL hit control-P and turn on the setting to forward IM to email.

This effectively transforms the SciFoo Lives On area into a perpetual session with the cumulative content of all prior sessions, which now include "Tools for Open Science" and "Medicine and Web 2.0". We are now getting ready for the "Definitions in Open Science" session on Tuesday Sept 4, 2007 at 16:00 GMT and there are still slots available to present.

The bells can be purchased for 150L (about 60 cents) on PixelTrix Island (SLURL) - thanks to Ron Comer for help in locating these!

The location and list of all upcoming SciFoo Lives On sessions can be found on the SFLO wiki.

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