21ST Century Scientists Working Group

March 30th 2016

Registration Now Open!

The 21st Century Scientist working group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is excited to invite you to our 2nd annual workshop on science communication and community!

The 21st Century Scientist Workshop: Representation
April 29, 2016
8:30 AM – 5 PM
Beckman Institute

We hope to challenge each other to discuss questions such as: Who is represented in science? How is science represented in the media? How can you better represent scientific results? How can we represent a more diverse and inclusive version of science?

We welcome Danielle Lee as our keynote speaker as she reflects on how identity has shaped her career and outreach trajectories thus far. Dr. Danielle Lee, aka “The Urban Scientist” at Scientific American, is a postdoc at Cornell who studies how ecology and evolutionary components contribute to the behavior of animals. In addition to providing our keynote, she will lead a workshop on bringing your identity into your science outreach and science communication. Danielle Ruffatto, Education & Outreach Specialist for the Prarie Research Institute at the Illinois Natural History Survey will lead a workshop where we learn how to visually represent data for a variety of outreach and communication formats. Diana Yates, from the University of Illinois News Bureau, will present data and lead discussion on which types research stories from the News Bureau press releases are picked up and reported in the New York Times.

During lunchtime (lunch is included), you will have time to chat with one another about all of the cool things that you are learning. We also are inviting campus outreach organizations to help spark ideas for attendees and open door.

This exciting conference is being put together by a dedicated team of faculty, graduate students, and staff across departments at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. This effort is financially supported by the Beckman Institute and the UIUC Focal Point Initiative.

Please register here: http://bit.ly/1F40lXe

March 14th 2016

Upcoming talk: Jessica Hekman

This Friday (3/18/16) Jessica Hekman will be giving a talk entitled “Building Your Audience: How a graduate student became a Dog Zombie”.

The talk will begin at noon in 109A Davenport. Everyone is welcome to join!

March 14th 2016

Recap: Journal Club- Who’s been blogging?

“Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information” Shema et al., 2012

Shema and colleagues wanted to examine what types of people were writing scientific blog posts and what topics were drawing the most attention. They collected information from an online aggregator of science-related blog posts. The results showed that writers most likely to blog were men, had a Ph.D. or were graduate students, and were affiliated with an academic institution. Shema also examined the topics of these blog posts and the academic journal articles the authors cited. While most of the academic papers published in 2010 were in medicine, sciences, and computer science, most of the blog posts were written about life sciences and psychology. Although the paper has many inherent biases and is a bit out of date it begins to ask some interesting questions about bloggers.

    March 10th 2016

    Journal Club meeting on 3/11/16

    We will be meeting in 109A Davenport Hall at noon on Friday 3/11/16 for a journal club discussion lead by Sarah Banducci.

    The article we will be discussing is “Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information

    Everyone is welcome to join!

    March 10th 2016

    Recap: Journal Club- Outreach and academic seniority

    “Scientists who engage with society perform better academically.” Jensen et al., 2008

    Jensen 2008 analyzed if popularization (i.e. outreach) correlated with academic activity. They found that there was a positive correlation between academic activity (i.e. publishing) and popularization. They also found that individuals with higher academic positions were more involved in popularization.  Although they used this as support that outreach does not negatively or positively influence career promotions, there are other possible explanations that were not addressed. Individuals may be pressured to wait until after promoted to become actively engaged in outreach.