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Science blogging

When I'm under deadline pressure of any sort, I tend to stop blogging. That's the case this week. It's already Thursday and haven't written about the NC Science Blogging conference that I attended in Chapel Hill last weekend. Gotta fix that.

The NC Science Blogging conference was put together by the BlogTogether crew, the same group of Chapel Hill bloggers that organized PodcasterCon last year and BloggerCon the year before - Bora Zivkovic, Anton Zuiker, Brian Russell and others. Again they put together a wonderful un-conference and drew a crowd from up and down the east coast and beyond.

The days started with a Science Blogging 101 session by Bora himself. Next up was Hunt Willard, director of the Duke's Genome Sciences & Policy institute. He's not a blogger but he had good advice for science bloggers and stressed the importance of science writing, engaging the public and making science more accessible to lay people. Brian Russell posted audio of Hunt's entire talk. Popular science blogger Janet Stemwedel was up next. She talked about her personal experiences as a science blogger and also stressed the importance of engaging the public and making science more accessible. Here are her slides (PPT).

In the afternoon, I went to a session on blog illustration, which focused mostly on copyright issues. I was a little surprised to hear no mention of SVG and MathML. The last session I attended was devoted to helping the Museum of Life and Science (Durham, NC) figure out how to use blogs to engage and educate the public about nano-technologies (they've got an NSF grant to do things like that).

After the talks wrapped up a big crowd headed over to Carolina Brewery and Penang for dinner and I got a chance to hang out with the Chapel Hill blog mafia. That's something I always enjoy, plus I got to meet congressman Brad Miller again. All and all a great day. Thanks to the BlogTogether folks for putting it all together.

Update: I forgot to mention the blogs. If you'd like to read more about the conference, there's a big list of blogs and news stories about the Science Blogging conference on the BlogTogether site.


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