The Best of Starts With A Bang: Top 10 for 2011

Starts With a Bang is my favourite science blog. Ethan does a great job of spelling out, in (literally) graphic detail, all sorts of difficult but fundamental topics. He’s very prolific and funny, too.

Here are his top 10 science stories of the year, as described on his blog:

  1. We Think Our Universe is Just One Tiny Bit of a Multiverse.
  2. How the Entire Universe Could Have Come From Nothing, to Give Us Everything!
  3. The First Atoms ever Formed in the Universe: Found, Direct from the Big Bang!
  4. The James Webb Space TelescopeSaved from the Brink of Termination.
  5. The Smallest Mini-Galaxy in the Universe: its Discovery and its Dark Matter.
  6. Why Claims of Cold Fusion Don’t Stand Up to Science.
  7. The Closest Supernova to us in a Generation.
  8. The Saga of Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos: Are They Real?
  9. The First Earth-like Exoplanets: Habitability and Size-wise.
  10. The Large Hadron Collider’s First Evidence for the Higgs.

Guardian Science Blogs Network

I’m back! My recent move – coupled with static IPs and my lack of Cisco IOS proficiency – conspired against me, and I’m only now just getting fixed internet service back at home. Honestly, the ‘net withdrawal WASN’T THAT BAD! HONEST!

In science news, I see that the Guardian is getting enough nerd traction that they’re starting their own Science Blog Network. I think that’s great, since I love that paper’s online science blogging. Having it presented in one place is very handy.

You can read Alok Jha’s introduction to the network here.

Music Alliance Pact: February 2010

From top music blog Eardrums Music:

It’s the 15th of February, Music Alliance pact day! Music Alliance Pact (MAP) is a collaboration between 34 blogs from all over the world, and every month, each of us present a new band from our country. All presentations are put together in this huge blogpost, and presented on the same day in all the MAP blogs. Massive promotion for the bands!

Read more, and see and listen to all the songs from all the nations here.

EMI Australia’s music blog

I just stumbled across The In Sound From Way Out, which is a music blog by folks at EMI Australia. It looks enjoyably wacky to me, and I’m going to give it a thorough read.

TISFWO was – according to them, and granted by Wired in an article – the first blog done anywhere by one of the major labels, back in early 2009. It’s a bold name choice, given that it was originally the name of the first mainstream electronic album, and later a Beastie Boys album. But it seems full of Aussie fun and brashness and isn’t overly commercial, so I’ll add it to my feed for a while.

 

Science and music from the southern hemisphere

I leave London in a couple of hours; my wife and I are emigrating to Australia. Blog posts for the next few days will be scheduled ones I’ve recently written. I don’t know how quickly I’ll get myself sorted out and blogging again in Sydney, but I expect it won’t be too long. There’s all sorts of upside-down music and science Down Under, you know.

Science and music from the southern hemisphere

I leave London in a couple of hours; my wife and I are emigrating to Australia. Blog posts for the next few days will be scheduled ones I’ve recently written. I don’t know how quickly I’ll get myself sorted out and blogging again in Sydney, but I expect it won’t be too long. There’s all sorts of upside-down music and science Down Under, you know.

Science Online London 2009: the sessions

I attended Science Online London 2009 on Saturday.

As I mentioned before, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to make the social events before or after. Because I don’t actually work in science it’s not so important for me to network, but it is fun.

The sessions I did attend were interesting, though. Highlights for me:

  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Science Blogging. I’d heard a lot of this before at a London Bloggers Meetup last year, but it’s always good to hear real-life case examples.
  • Online communication of science by institutions and organizations. I liked hearing what the Nobel org, Cancer Research UK, and Ask a Biologist do to overcome organisational inertia and measure what success is for each of their online ventures.
  • Citizen science – How the web enables anyone to be a scientist. Good talks from people from Wikipedia and GalaxyZoo on how most contributors are amateurs who like being part of something original.
  • Some participants attended via Second Life, and this worked better than I thought it might.

You can get some other views on the conference from Nature Network or from checking out Twitter.

Science Online London 2009

Tomorrow I’m off to Science Online London 2009, the follow-up to Science Blogging 2008 that I attended last year. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to make the pre-conf pub crawl last night. I won’t be able to stay after to hob-nob with folks, either, so I’ll try to make the most of the daytime sessions.

Here are the programme sessions I’m planning to attend:

Blogging for impact
Dave Munger, Daniel MacArthur
Can blogging help your next grant proposal and if so, how? How can blogging be used to increase the visibility and impact of published research? Tips and tools on how to balance the competing demands of blogging and a scientific career, and how best to use blogging as a career-boosting activity.

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Science Blogging
Petra Boynton, David Allen Green (“Jack of Kent”)
Science blogging exists within a ethical and legal framework. This session, presented by two prominent bloggers, will chart the legal and ethical boundaries of blogging and what you can – and cannot – blog about. Topics to be covered include professional obligations, confidentiality and privacy, and libel and copyright. The session will also address your personal wellbeing in the face of any potential complaints and legal threats, and also how to engage with blog comments in a professional manner.

Breakout 2: Online communication of science by institutions and organizations
Ed Yong, Henry Scowcroft, Paolo Viscardi, Simon Frantz
How can research and educational outreach organizations use online tools such as blogs, Twitter, etc. to communicate science? In this audience participation session, the speakers will use real-world examples to spark discussion about some of the issues involved, including overcoming resistance in the institution, tone of voice, and constraints around talking about animal research or other sensitive topics.

Cat herding: The challenges and rewards of managing online scientific communities
Arikia Millikan, Corie Lok, Ijad Madisch
This session will provide you with an inside look into how online science communities are built and maintained. We will discuss how to manage expectations, social/cultural issues, the role of moderation, differences between science communities and ‘other communities’, and how to encourage diversity/debate whilst maintaining some sort of order. You’ll come away with tips on how to successfully build community and maintain it throughout flame wars and other tribulations.

Breakout 4: Citizen science – How the web enables anyone to be a scientist
Arfon Smith, Mike Peel
How can citizens be involved in doing and communicating science? We’ll take a look at practical examples from Galaxy Zoo, BioBlitz Bristol, and Wikipedia and discuss the obstacles and potential.