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Monday, 20 April 2009

COLUMN: Out and about

An incomplete and rather random guide to forthcoming events

Whether you're after hot stories, interesting scientists, networking opportunities or just free booze, there are plenty of upcoming events to appeal to ABSW members. Of course, the jewel in this glittering crown is the World Conference of Science Journalists from the 30th June to the 2nd July - book your ticket now to ensure your place at this year's booze fest... err, I mean premier event.

Elsewhere, there are other attractions. On the academic side, there's the fourth annual Science and the Public Conference at the University of Brighton on the 13th and 14th May, on the theme of “Science and the public – uncertain pasts, presents and futures”. And the freshly-rebranded British Science Association bring us the 2009 Science Communication Conference, taking place on the 22nd and 23rd June at the Kings Place in London. The theme is “Behaviour and Choice”, and your humble correspondent is hosting a session entitled “Public engagement with science on the web”.

There's also a symposium on "Science, Communication and Policy" in Strathclyde on June 15th-16th, focusing on "the production, communication and use of scientific knowledge, particularly as it relates to matters of public policy and public controversy." Web-based information about the conference is elusive but email Penny Taylor if you're interested.

For members with a mathematical bent, the Maths-Art seminar on the 12th May at the London Knowledge Lab might tickle your trigonometric synapses. “Can Science save art? Moves towards a wider mathematics of art” is hosted by Clive Head and Michael Paraskos, and starts at 6pm. It's free but please reserve a place by email.

The Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics and the Parliamentary Space Committee are hosting a free seminar on “Space: Exploration and exploitation in a modern society”. It’s on the 20th May from 10am in the Attlee suite in Portcullis house, if you’d like your space to be explored or exploited. Email to register.

On 18th and 19th of June the Zoological Society of London is hosting a symposium on “Biodiversity monitoring and conservation: bridging the gaps between global commitment and local action.” See the ZSL website for more information, and details of other interesting meetings and seminars.

From zoo-dwellers to political animals, science policy think tank Newton's Apple are running a”An introduction to science policy” workshop on 13th May at the Royal Astronomical Society in London, from 4-6pm. More info and booking forms available from the Newton's Apple website.

Looking further into the future – and simultaneously into the past – the John Innes Centre in Norwich is putting on a History of Genetics day on the 9th September. Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Paul Nurse will give a lecture in the evening, and I expect the probability of fascinating anecdotes - and free booze - will be high. It's part of a longer symposium honouring “Genetics 100 years on” and more details can be found on the John Innes Centre website.

And here's an advance warning of the European Association of Science Editors conference from 16th-19th September in Italy, focusing on “Integrity in Science Communication”. Register by 30th June for a discount, via the EASE website.

Late additions:
A must for any journalists wanting to jump on the cyber-bus as it zooms past. The next ABSW event will be "Journalism 2.0" - taught by Mike Nagle. It will be a training session where members are invited to bring their laptop so they can be brought up to date with some of new methods of working and collaborating using the internet.

RSS feeds & readers. Twitter. Pimp your Browser. Collaboration with Google Docs and more. In fact, anything you want - just email Mike your questions beforehand (It isn't intended for broader hardware or software problems with laptops). To take full advantage of this session members need to bring a laptop equipped with working wifi. The event will be on the Tuesday 26th of May, at one of Wellcome's meeting rooms on the Euston Road. Please check the ABSW blog for further details of this event, and ways of signing up.

Also there's a lovely-sounding series of curator talks at the Horniman Museum (no tittering at the back...). Take your pick from "Darwin and the Caribbean" on 13th May, "Musical Instruments during the age of Darwin" on 10th June, "Aquatic adaptations" on 15th July and "From Slow worms to Stag beetles – London’s Capital Creatures" on 12th August. Email the museum for enquiries and bookings.

Finally, if you go to any of these events, please consider submitting a short summary for the ABSW blog. Whether you want to comment on the content of the event, or the quality and/or quantity of free booze, that's up to you.

Kat Arney
Vice Chair, ABSW

Please send details of upcoming events to us at TSR and also let us know if you'd like to write it up after attending.