ScienceOnline: As the Minnesotans Say, "Uff da!"

I’m just back from ScienceOnline 2010, a conference unlike anything I’ve been to before. I usually go to conferences where my role is the journalistic fly on the wall, gathering story leads from presentations and hallway chats. Sometimes I go to meetings of fellow science writers, where it’s mostly hard-core job talk (with sporadic wailing and gnashing of teeth). ScienceOnline was a strange merging, where scientists talk about how to blog from a research vessel in the middle of the Pacific and journalists talked about how to teach Hollywood producers about quantum physics.

It is futile for me to distill all the stuff I learned into a blog post. There’s just too much, from the inspiring to the mundane. For example, for good podcasting sound quality, why not sit in a closet with a towel draped over your head? I’m also spending much of today surfing around to new web sites I heard about. Allow me to give a shout-out to fellow Discover-ite Darlene Cavalier’s newly launched Science For Citizens. It’s like Amazon.com for all sorts of possibilities for doing cool citizen science (such as studying fireflies).

Fortunately, later this week you can watch just about all the sessions on this YouTube channel. In the meantime, some audience members have already started uploading their own recordings. Embedded below is my seven-minute spiel. I was part of a panel on “rebooting science journalism.” Moments before I stood up to dispense my wisdom, I decided that nothing summed up the situation today with science journalism better than duck sex. And, as I discovered, ScienceOnline is just the sort of place where the audience gets it.