Graduate school study of parasite inspires passion for teaching science Jun 9 Credit: Hadley Leggett Sandeep Ravindran advanced the understanding of Toxoplasma. For Sandeep Ravindran, one of the best parts of being a Stanford graduate student had nothing to do with the lab. InRavindran participated in the 'Stanford at the Tech' program, which lets graduate students spend one morning a week teaching the public about genetics at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
The way we tweeted What does a tweeter like me add to a meeting like ScienceWriters? As promised, you can compare the twitter vs. To make this easier, here are the tweets from one session Get the Numbers Rightincluding mine and others'.
And for comparison, Sandeep Ravindran's blog post of the same talk. Obviously Sandeep's is easier to read post-meeting, with its luxuries like full sentences and organizational structure.
My biggest question, after a full day of tweeting, is this: Who are we tweeting for? For those who couldn't make it to the meeting? Twitter users from afar have been replying to meeting tweets, RT ing choice lines, and thanking attendees for tweeting.
For those who are in other sessions and need to time-shift? I had high hopes to use the tweets this way myself, but it relies on good transcript tools.
I'm not convinced that the right tools exist For those who are in the same session and want to discuss it? In other words, a backchannel.
A few of us were using the tweets this way. I was a programmer before I was a science writer, so it's interesting to compare the twitter coverage here to IRC backchannels from technology conferences.
In those cases, people's comments were rarely just repeats of what the speaker said; usually they were critical, questioning, or providing more information. Groups of people would get into a discussion of a related subject, and yes, they might be IRC-ing with each other instead of listening to the talk.
Today's tweets often just propagated pithy quotes.
Hey, what is twitter for if not pith? One typical selection was Tom Siegfried's comment that the red flags for wrong science first report on something, hot topic, contradicts previous knowledge are the same as the recipe for newsworthiness. Another was the question put to the panelists of "Building the Big Book": If all books on earth disappeared and you could save just one, which would it be?
Whenever a speaker said something surprising or funny or beautiful, a spray of tweets would appear all at once repeating it.
Live tweeting was an interesting experience for me: I had to decide, before I forgot what the speaker said, whether it was worth repeating. I tended to err on the side of "yes" - stats show me as the day's most prolific tweeter.
It's not easy to know what to tweet. Several times during a talk, the presenter would introduce a topic - like "reporters often get odds ratios wrong" or "statistical significance doesn't mean what you think it means" - that it took a while to explain.
I wanted to tweet the idea, but how to do that when you haven't digested the explanation, and aren't sure if you'll understand it by the time the speaker finishes explaining? One audience member missing the point isn't a big deal, unless they're trying to report it live.
You can see this happen in the transcript: I tweeted anyway, about Gelman's sex ratio study. What if you forget to tweet something? Like the full name of the speaker who I referred to by initials for the next half hour - oh well.Sandeep Ravindran.
freelancer Please note that PIOs are welcome to pitch freelance story ideas to the panel, however, they must not be stories that come from, or involve, the institution in any way. F Science + Science Writing: Science, climate change and the presidential election.
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Former Popsci writer Sandeep Ravindran likens it to "whacking an egg with a golf club," which could send chunks of the moon hurtling toward Earth, and potentially jeopardizing life on Earth as a.
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