By Alli Coffin, Science Talk President
We live in a crazy time. I’m writing this post from home, having just opened my emergency COVID-19 bottle of wine after the Governor of Washington State announced that all bars and restaurants are closed for at least the rest of March. Glad I stocked up on wine!
While current events seem like something from a bad scifi movie, they aren’t...and we need real science to provide the best information. In our rapidly changing world, science communication is more important than ever before. Therefore, the Science Talk Executive Board decided to proceed with Science Talk ‘20 as a virtual, live-streamed event.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Some of my favorite parts of Science Talk conferences are the informal networking - meeting people in line for coffee (it’s Portland - gotta have coffee!), greeting old friends and making new ones, and of course, the post-conference dance party. But I also love the excitement around scicomm, the exchange of ideas, the collaborations, and the community. Science Talk is the scicomm community and we are committed to bringing the community together on March 26-27. Dr. Kiki convinced me that a virtual conference is the wave of the future and I’m excited to experience Science Talk ‘20 using new technology.
Once you register for the virtual conference, you will receive a secret link to enter the conference “facility” (like a secret door, but with more scicomm). From there, you can watch the keynote, panel discussion, and other sessions while simultaneously participating in the text chat during each session. We’ll have moderators for each session to keep the conversation moving. Watch for the secret link in your inbox on March 25th (and check your spam folder if you don’t see it - somehow spam filters don’t like us).
The breakout sessions will be moderated chat rooms around specific topics, such as online media, landing your first scicomm job, and evaluating the success of your scicomm project. No need to register for these sessions in advance - just select your breakout each day and join the conversation. We will also have moderated chatrooms for coffee (or other beverage) breaks - just bring your own beverage.
The virtual conference is an experiment for us and we ask your patience as we develop each component and bring them together. Our goal is a seamless virtual experience with the excitement, networking, and community building of our regular face-to-face event. Only thing missing is the dance party...
See you online on March 26th!
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