We had out meetup this evening and it was fun. A special shout-out has to go to Bruce Thompson for driving 90 minutes to get here (and thus 90 minutes back) and regaling us with stories of flying fast and low over the ground.
PZ or GrrlScientist may have photos later …
One of the thinks that surprised me when I first started attending history of science conferences was how many (virtually all) presenters just stand up and read a paper. No visuals. Nothing. Sort of boring. I used to therefore think that in general, scientists were better communicators (at least to their peers). Boy am I wrong.
After this morning, I think I’ve realized that some scientists should never, ever, ever, be allowed to make any sort of presentation, slides or no. They talk to the slides, they mutter, they put too much information on a slide, they try to say everything in 25 minutes (rather than attempting to say one thing well), they don’t realize that you need to speak into a microphone.
For the sake of their students, I hope some of these folks don’t give lecture classes.
After an early night, I awoke to an unusually dark and cloudy (and cold .. .only 50 degrees) Phoenix. I blame the out-of-towners for ruining our perfectly good weather!
This morning it’s a toss-up between Key Transitions in Evolution and Evolutionary Morphology. The former wins. Highlight of the day will probably be the mid-day Town Meeting on Evolution – Kevin Padian, Patricia Princehouse, and Stephen Harvey (of Pepper Hamilton LLC) will be discussing the Kitzmiller decision.
More later, no doubt.
So overall I think the workshop on blogging went well. Turnout was, apparently, as expected and we answered questions for just under two hours. All in all, a good experience. Tomorrow we have the meetup in the evening and, eh yeah, some science.
SICB (pronounced ‘sick-bee’) is certainly a smorgasbord of science and it is somewhat difficult to decide which sessions and/or talks to attend. I had originally intended spending the day with the Linking Genes with Morphology in Vertebrates symposium, but a combination of factors had me instead hopping from talk to talk. For those interested, PZ has summarized the morning portion of the symposium.
(I did manage to attend the first afternoon talk of the symposium – by Cohn on the evolution of cartilage and un-paired fins in vertebrates … good stuff).
I spent the day so far with topics as diverse as mandibular ontogeny in carnivores, skull morphology of hyenas, the role of life history and geology in speciation, evidence that penguins have a sense of smell, and the integration of paleobiology and developmental genetics. And now my head hurts!
The poster session starts in fifteen minutes, so I’ll probably wander over to that as a couple of titles have caught my eye. Then it’s probably dinner before our media workshop at seven.
Somewhat weirdly, the workshop (though correct online) is MIA in the printed program and in its place is a session by Disney animators. Umm. Someone is going to be disappointed.
That aside, I spent the evening with Grrl and PZ catching up, drinking beer, talking blogging, evodevo, loris, evolution and other stuff.
Science sessions start tomorrow – more then.
Friday 6th around 6pm, we’ll be meeting at Seamus McCaffreys fairly close to the conference hotel. Contrary to PZ’s suggestion, I wont be forcing anyone to drink Guinness (the drink is only barely drinkable here in the US) and therefore wont be buying the beer PZ’s got tenure … he’s probably got more cash than me anyways! We should be easy to spot at the bar – GrrlScientist looks like a lori, I’ll have a posse (some luck!),
and PZ will be dressed as his Satanic Majesty (no, not Dawkins), horns and all.
Saturday 7th between 5:30 and 8:00 is the meetup at Jim Lippards house. See here for details and RSVP to Jim. .
Like PZ, I hope to offer some blogging along the way.
I’ve noted before that the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) will be meeting in Phoenix next week and also that PZ, Grrl Scientist, and I will be participating in a media workshop on blogging. We’ve decided that this might also be a nice opportunity for Scienceblogs readers to get together,
so here’s what we’re proposing:
- Friday January 5th @ 6:00pm. Meetup at a wateringhole near the conference (Hyatt Regency). Wander over to PZ’s announcement, holler if you can attend, and suggest a place.
- Saturday January 6th @ 5:30pm. Phoenix-area skeptic Jim Lippard has kindly offered to throw his house open to rabble like us. See here for details. You’ll need to contact Jim for directions.
You’d think that after 13 years in the Valley of the Sun, I’d know of good bars in Phoenix. But no. Now Tempe …. that’s a different story.
As PZ notes, some of us ScienceBloggers will be at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting which occurs this time around in Phoenix. PZ, GrrlScientist and I will be the talking heads at the Media Worskshop on Thursday January 4th:
Media Workshop: Hey, Wanna Read My Blog?
Blogs are online “diaries” that are growing in popularity. Popular political and social commentary blogs are making the news, but is there more out there than chatty gossip and collections of links? How about some science? Can this trendy technology be useful for scientists? Come to the Media Workshop and find out! Experienced science bloggers P.Z. Myers (Pharyngula), Grrl Scientist (Living the Scientific Life), and John Lynch (Stranger Fruit) answer your questions about how blogging works, setting one up, finding things to write about, and using the medium for your classes, for research, or for educating the public.
Like PZ, I’ll be trying to blog the conference. Also like PZ, I doubt that a boxing match between us is likely to occur. Beer and discussion will, however, be on the cards.
So, any readers going to be at the meeting?
Still catching up here – class preparation for tomorrow and some other material to deal with. I will, however, note that Janet has posted one of the less incriminating photos of the SciBlings at the conference. See us in our meatspace glory here.
Well, it’s just past midnight here in Vancouver and Day One of HSS is winding down. Janet, John, David and I spent a pleasant evening at a French restaurant enjoying good food and discussion of everything from the state of pre-college education, programming languages, and why philosophy of biology may not appeal to biologists. In other words, we geeked out. All good stuff, trust me.
Oh, and it started raining again! No surprises.
Tomorrowing morning I’m up early for the ISHPSSB Education Committee who are meeting about sessions for the upcoming Exeter meeting (July ’07). So I’d better get to bed …
The meeting is a joint one between the History of Science Society (HSS), Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and is this probably the largest collection of science studies people in the continent. Anyone who is anyone is here. Interestingly, I haven’t been able to locate any of the “philosophers” from the Discovery Institute (which after all isn’t that far from Vancouver) … gee, I wonder why. The closest I’ve come to brushing with such intellectual greatness is to note that Steve Fuller (of Kitzmiller fame) gave a talk (for the 4S) titled “From the Spirit of Capitalism to the Capital of Spiritualism: The Discovery Institute as a Neo-Liberal Institute for Our Times”. Unfortunately this was given yesterday morning while I was en route to Vancouver so I haven’t a clue what pomo ravings were featured.
You can imagine John Wilkins’ exclamation when I showed him the talk title.
It the first morning of the HSS meeting here in Vancouver and as usual I spent yesterday evening reconnecting with people. Highlight was, of course, meeting Janet, John, David and Ben for cocktails. There will be pictures, I promise you.
My morning is full – indeed I have to head to a session on science & religion in a few minutes – and my afternoon has a Philosophy of Science Association session on organisms and models. The evening will no doubt feature fine dining and good beers.
Oh, and it’s raining … a lot.
More later as needed.
A red squirrel runs through the Lazienki Park on a crisp autumn morning in Warsaw, Poland.
Like this little guy, I’m heading out of here. Later on this week, I’m off to the History of Science Society meeting in Vancouver. The meeting is held with the Philosophy of Science Association so I’ll get the opportunity to hang with some of my SciBlings: Janet, John, David & Ben. Janet is chairing a session at the PSA and I’m doing likewise at the HSS – the others, to the best of my knowledge, are are there to
socialize contribute to the rich academic environment that is a meeting. For this reason alone, cocktail hour has already been arranged.
In any case, what this means is that things are going to be quiet here for a few days. I may get to blog from the conference starting Thursday … depends on how much the hotel wants to stiff me for access to the tubes.