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December 31, 2009

Science Blogging in London?: If you are in London, this is a great chance for networking for PostDocs!

Science Blogging 2008: London forum: topic

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Conference Programme

Matt Brown

Tuesday, 01 July 2008 09:33 UTC

Saturday 30 August at the Royal Institution

Please find below the official programme. We will update this first post if any changes are introduced, so this information will always be up to date.

8:30 – 9:45 Coffee/Breakfast; Proposal of unconference sessions

9:45 – 10:00 Opening remarks Naomi Temple, Royal Institution; Matt Brown/Corie Lok, Nature Network

10:00 – 10:30 Keynote: Ben Goldacre
(title to be confirmed)

10:30 – 11:30 Panel: The scientific life, exposed.
Jenny Rohn, Grrl Scientist, Anna Kushnir. Moderated by Mo Costandi.

Mistrust of scientists is common, and misinterpretation of scientific results rampant. Science blogs can serve as a bridge between scientists and the general public. Blogs build a community of scientists in which they can discuss the peculiarities of their jobs, their work, and their results. More than that, science blogs have the power to demystify the scientific process for the public and to reverse deeply held stereotypes of scientists. In this session, we will discuss how science blogs can change the public’s perception of scientists and provide a support framework for scientists themselves.

11:30 – 11:45 Short break; Voting on unconference sessions

11:45 – 12:30 Morning breakout sessions. Three parallel sessions of 45 minutes, with option to go 15 minutes longer.

Breakout 1: There’s a giraffe on my unicycle: Can blogging unlock your creativity?
Claire Dudman, Brian Clegg and Henry Gee
PoincarĂ© talked about ideas like gas molecules colliding in the room of his mind; Einstein talked about dreams; and Archimedes was in his bath when it hit him…that lightbulb going on, that great insight, that EUREKA MOMENT when two apparently unrelated ideas come together. Can blogging be a useful catalyst for creativity? Using a few examples from our own experiences as a springboard, we intend this to lead to a workshop/discussion on how blogging can help us create. Please bring your giraffe and your unicycle along with you.

Breakout 2: How to make friendfeeds and influence people
Matt Wood
An introduction to microblogging and aggregation services (such as Friendfeed, Twitter, Tumblr etc), before opening things up to a discussion on their use in science, open notebooks, etc.

Breakout 3: How to enhance your blog
Maxine Clarke and Euan Adie
Once you have decided to blog, what kind of blog do you choose? Blogging within a network, blogging on a stand-alone platform, group blogging, or microblogging all have advantages and disadvantages, as we will outline.

However you blog, it is all about communication and conversation, and we’ll be revealing some of the things you can do to increase your internet presence, whether you are just a bit of a magpie (Maxine) or a bedroom coder (Euan), or at some point in between. We hope to have a lively discussion with participants about these topics.

12:30 – 1:45 Lunch and networking; Announce afternoon unconference sessions

1:45 – 2:30 Afternoon breakout sessions. Three parallel sessions of 45 minutes, with option to go 15 minutes longer.

Breakout 4: Science in Second Life: a virtual tour
Jo Scott
Jo will take you on a tour of the key sites of relevance to scientists in the virtual world Second Life. A group discussion will then look at how useful such environments are (or could become) for disseminating scientific ideas and holding virtual conferences.

Breakout 5: Science blogs and online forums as teaching tools
Martin Fenner, Oliver Obst, Jeff Marlow
We will discuss the role that science blogs and online forums are having in teaching science today. In a panel discussion we will look at practical examples and examine their potential as well as their shortcomings. To foster the use of these online tools in teaching, we hope to come up with a list of suggestions for both educators and software developers at the end of the session. (Other panellists to be decided.)

Breakout 6: Communicating Primary Research Publicly
Heather Etchevers, Jean-Claude Bradley and Bob O’Hara
New web technologies afford unprecedented opportunities to share scientific data and results before official publication in a traditional journal. What are the benefits and drawbacks for a scientist to use these tools? Could the role of traditional publishers change as more scientists adopt increasingly diverse mechanisms to disclose research? How might this change the way science is done in the future?

2:30 – 3:15 Coffee and networking

3:15 – 4:15 Unconference sessions: 3 parallel sessions to be decided on the day by vote. If you’d like to speak, or lead a discussion, pitch your ideas in the morning before the first talk. You can begin discussing potential sessions in the conference forum.

4:15 – 5:30 Embracing change: taking online science into the future
Richard Grant, Cameron Neylon and Peter Murray-Rust. Moderated by Timo Hannay.
The panelists summarise the key themes of the day and provide a look into the future of online communication and collaboration in science. The goal is for attendees to come away with things they can do to enhance communication of science online.

5:30 – 5:40 Closing remarks Matt Brown/Corie Lok/Royal Institution

5:45 Drinks and networking at the Ri, to be continued at a local pub (location to be announced).

For any questions or concerns regarding the programme, please email network [at]

Updated 22 August 2008 16:30 UTC

December 18, 2009

Deans of Universities:- Why are they Scared about PostDoc Unions!!??

Deans advice research universities of more PostDoc Unions, as per the following report published in higher ed newsletter. Are these Deans are scared now of loosing powers!?. If universities and the Chairman/CEO's, Heads of Depts and Deans of the Student/PostDoc affairs did their duties right and took responsiblities of helping and uplifting PostDocs from their poor plights, PostDocs would have been satisfied with the efforts of the administration, they did not have to look for help elsewhere, but the reality suggests otherwise. However, they failed so far in restructuring academic handling of postdocs, Postdocs finaly end up finding better approach to this problem by seeking Unions Help.

Hello Deans, I have a question for you?. why are you so afraid?.
Why these people paint a bad picture of Union by twisting the truths about
the good principles of unions.

Do you know that Unions do not bother the faculties about hiring a PostDoc or to relieve a PostDoc from jobs, but Unions want the faculties to be mindful of their treacherous behaviors in mistreating PostDocs, Unions want the PIs to take care of PostDocs instead of abusing them. But, look what is happening all over the academic circles, the reality is there is so much of abuse of the current academic system by PIs, Deans and Chairman of research institutions, this is where voice of PostDocs become important, naturally they go to Unions to have a voice for PostDocs. Most of the University staff, faculties themselves are all already part of various unions but do not they want to see PostDocs to be forming Unions, why?.... Why?.

Not just these Deans and Univerisity Presidents, but also some outsiders and individuals 500 try to damage the good causes of Unions.

Where were these so called group of Deans all these years? what were they doing while they had the opportunities to solve problems related to PostDocs issues??.

Anyways, thought this news piece might be of some interest to Postdocs who are in the Unions already and to those who are thinking of following the Uconn, UC and Rutger's path................, Union is the best solution for Postdocs, just remember when you fight for your rights, you need justification, and do not stop your agitation until PostDocs gain their dignity.

Here is the News: Oh those funny Deans?
Deans Advise Research Universities to Prepare for Postdoc Unions

Research universities should prepare for the possibility that postdoctoral researchers will work to form unions by developing consistent policies on how postdocs are treated and establishing student support groups as alternatives to unions, a panel of deans said on Thursday at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools.

Postdocs have only recently started to organize into unions at American public universities, starting in Connecticut, California, and New Jersey. The push for postdoctoral unions may extend elsewhere, forcing universities to deal with a variety of academic and workplace issues at the bargaining table, the panelists said.

Featured Post

Univerisity of Washington PostDocs Forming Union- Latest University PostDocs to Unionize!

University of Washington, yet another top notch higher education/research institute known for an impressive history and record setting, rig...

UNION yes!!!

UNION yes!!!
Hello Grads-Say Yes to Union!

Here is the PostDoc Wheel of PRO/UAW, this is like the Wheel of Dhamma of Lord Buddha's that is a symbol of justice and liberation. The latest news from PRO/UAW is very promising to the 5000 or more postdocs in different campuses of University of California System.

The Union for Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California
PRO/UAW is the Union for over 5,000 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California. By signing up a majority of Postdocs, we can exercise our legal rights to bargain with UC. Postdoc representatives we choose will survey us to determine priorities and will then negotiate a contract with UC. We can negotiate for improvements in wages, hours, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment. Postdocs will then have an opportunity to democractically approve the agreement that UC and our bargaining team reach, before it becomes a binding contract.