Tuesday 29 June talk on science blogging at University of W.A.

Tomorrow... No, wait, just gone past midnight... Today at 11am, I'll be giving a talk at the University of W.A. about science blogging. The official title is "Inside a communication revolution: Science, blogs and the public". Basically, I'll be talking about how blogging is changing the way we communicate science and chronicle the rollercoaster ride that has been Skeptical Science. I'll be handing out my Android phone with the beta version of the Skeptical Science Android app for people to sample (but if the phone doesn't come back, I will be frisking everyone on the way out). I'll also include some sneak preview screenshots of the sexy new technology Shine Tech have been working on. Here's details of the event plus a brief introduction:

Date: Tuesday 29 June
Time: 11 AM
Venue: Myers Street Lecture Theatre (2nd Floor)
                                Myer Street Building
                                Wheelchair accessible off Myers St.

Scientific communication is currently undergoing a revolution, with individual citizens, as bloggers, being able to claim an increasingly influential role. Without any official endorsement or funding, based purely on their own motivation and interests, some bloggers have quite literally shifted the course of (scientific) history. This is nowhere more apparent than in the area of climate change, where a Canadian blogger has triggered two Congressional enquiries in the U.S. and has recently testified in front of a parliamentary committee in the U.K. Notwithstanding the undeniable importance of bloggers, next to nothing is known about how blogs “work” and why and how they attract so much public attention. Australia has at least three climate blogs that communicate the peer-reviewed science or seek to debunk climate “scepticism”. One of those influential websites, with more than 10,000 visitors a day, is www.skepticalscience.com. John Cook is the blogger responsible for this website and also various “apps” for mobile phones and browsers that are currently in development. This talk will present a thumbnail sketch of the rapid and seemingly inevitable, but poorly understood, transformation in science communication.

In keeping with the theme of using new technology to communicate science, I'll be using my shiny new iPad to run the slideshow. Could be cool, might be a train wreck. Bring popcorn.

Note: hopefully later today, I'll give a blow by blow account of last night's forum on climate change. Suffice to say, a fun time was had by all, including the skeptics (one even confronted me with the tropospheric hot spot).

Posted by John Cook on Tuesday, 29 June, 2010

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