ScioDC #16: Crowdfunding–for science!

The Storify of this event is available here.

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ScioDC #15: Copyright and Fair Use- How to deal with scientific intellectual property online

Intellectual property is one of the most challenging areas in online media today, especially for those within the scientific community. Scientific content is being used for education, branding, marketing and sharing of data, but there is a lack of clarity about what is allowed and what is forbidden. Should anything paid for by government funding be usable by anyone? Is private content shareable to the world once released online? And what exactly is “fair use”?

At our next ScioDC event on Wednesday, June 1, from 5:30-7:30 PM, we will explore how copyright is being used (and abused) when dealing with scientific content online. In particular, we want to examine:

  • What do science folks know (and need to know) about copyright?
  • What is fair use? How is it being applied with respect to scientific content?
  • How have other industries tackled this issue?
  • How can you tell when you can reuse something you’ve found?

To discuss these issues, we have lined up several expert panelists:

This event will be of particular interest to those in publishing and media fields. We invite anyone to come share their viewpoint as either a content creator or a user.


5:30  Gather for pizza and refreshments

6:00  Discussion starts

7:30  It’s a wrap!

As always, ScioDC is free to attend. See you there!

Eventbrite - ScioDC #15: Copyright, Fair Use, and Online Usage

And be sure to follow the ScienceOnlineDC (@ScioDC) organizers on Twitter:

ScioDC #14: Videos and #SciComm, Ep. 2: Cutting Through The Noise

The Storify of this event is now available!

Online video is experiencing explosive growth, and Mark Zuckerberg recently predicted that “the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video” within a few years. Video has become a powerful tool for science communication, and YouTube channels like AsapSCIENCE and Vsauce are reaching millions of viewers with entertaining, educational videos about science. Everybody from teachers to TV networks are trying to launch their own successful online video series. But with more than 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do you create science videos that can cut through the noise?

To find out, come to the next ScienceOnlineDC event on Wednesday, March 30, from 5:30-7:30 PM. For this session, we’ve assembled a panel of creators that have reached millions of viewers with compelling, sharable videos about science. The panelists will share recent work, as well as lessons they’ve learned making online video content over the years. The panelists include:

  • Adam Cole, Producer/Creator of Skunk Bear – NPR
  • Adam Dylewski, Executive Producer of Reactions – American Chemical Society
  • Joss Fong, Senior Editorial Producer – Vox
  • Lauren Saks, Programming Director – PBS Digital


5:30  Gather for pizza and refreshments

6:00  Discussion starts

7:30  It’s a wrap!

As always, ScioDC is free to attend. Use the link below to register. See you there!

Many thanks to our guest organizer,  Adam Dylewski (@AutoRockDC)!

Eventbrite - ScioDC #14: Videos and #SciComm, Ep. 2: Cutting Through The Noise

And be sure to follow the ScienceOnlineDC (@ScioDC) organizers on Twitter:

ScioDC #13: Who Are You? Anonymous Expertise

The Storify of this event is now available! Or you can watch the whole thing if you’re so inclined.

At our October gathering for ScienceOnlineDC, we talked about the power and pitfalls of being an expert and/or relying on experts in the social media universe. But how do you trust an “expert” when they’re anonymous? As an expert, are there benefits to remaining anonymous? How do you establish your credibility if you are only known to the world through your pseudonym?

Please join us, along with Chemjobber and Bethany Brookshire (aka Scicurious), on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 5:30-7:30 PM as we explore these questions about anonymous online personas.

Our two panelists have unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of anonymity. Chemjobber blogs about the chemistry job market. You won’t find out his identity at our event, but the duck will make an appearance via video conference. Bethany used to be known only as Scicurious but revealed her identity a few years ago. She is now a writer at Science News and Eureka! Lab.

And if you have used or currently use a pseudonym, please join in the conversation! 


5:30  Gather for pizza and refreshments

6:00  Discussion starts

7:30  Wrap up and head into winter hibernation

See you there!

Eventbrite - ScioDC #13: Who are you? Anonymous Expertise

ScioDC #12: Who’s an expert?

The Storify of this event is now available!

Expert analysis and opinion are central to science communication, from peer review of research to policy development to public outreach to media reporting. And social media opens a direct channel of communication between experts and the public. But… what does it really mean to be an “expert”? In social media engagement, we are often left to define, communicate, and sometimes defend our own expertise.

At the next ScioDC, we’ll talk about the power and pitfalls of being an expert and/or relying on experts in the social media universe, such as:

  • How expertise is defined in different arenas (e.g., journalism, policy, outreach)
  • How we signal our expertise and establish credibility
  • How we identify and verify experts
  • What responsibilities we have when we present ourselves as experts
  • How we build, promote, and support diverse networks of experts

We have folks from Capitol Hill, national media outlets and local universities joining us. Hope to see you there, too! 

Thanks to our guest organizers, Gretchen Goldman (@gretchenTG) and Melissa Vaught (@biochembelle)!

Eventbrite - ScioDC #12- What makes an expert?

ScioDC #11: The Powers and Limitations of #socialgov: Social Media and Government Scientists

Many science communicators worry about how our social media use might impact our professional image. This issue is particularly acute at federal scientific agencies, whose employees must maintain a fine balance between sharing their opinions and adhering to official government policy. So what can the online scientific community do to help promote increased engagement from federal employees on social media?

Join us for our next ScioDC event on Wednesday July 22 at 6 PM as we discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of being a scientist on social media who works for a federal agency, a topic we covered at our very first event back in 2013. We’ll hear from Gretchen Goldman (@GretchenTG), who will discuss an updated report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that grades 17 federal agencies on their social media policies, and analyzes how these policies have changed (for better or worse) since the initial UCS report was published two years ago. What are the best and worst agencies when it comes to allowing their scientists to freely speak on social media? How do agencies differ in their use of social media?

Following the presentation, we will have a robust discussion of the challenges and opportunities of government scientists on social media. We are especially interested in hearing from scientists at federal agencies who are active on social media, so come and bring a friend! This event will be a great opportunity to introduce your colleagues to the world of online science communication.

Read the 2013 and 2015 UCS reports.

As always, ScioDC is free to attend. Click here to register:

Eventbrite - ScioDC #11: The Powers and Limitations of #socialgov: Social Media and Government Scientists

ScioDC #10: #Scicomm Failures (and how to learn from them)

Ever sent an awkward tweet? Tried to start an online campaign that died instantly? Posted something that got completely taken out of context? Stymied by fear you’re going to do one of these things?

We’ve all been there–not everything we do can be a success. Failures are inevitable, occasionally damaging, and oftentimes embarrassing, especially on social media. But such failures shouldn’t deter efforts to communicate science on digital platforms. Instead, they should be teachable moments that help us learn how to get better at communicating online effectively and strategically.

We invite you to come celebrate ScioDC’s two-year success by sharing your own story of failure at our next event on Wednesday, May 6, from 5:30-7:30 PM at the American Chemical Society. As a group, we’ll look at different science-themed online efforts that didn’t work, and ask not only why they failed, but what lessons were learned, and how the people and organizations behind them have moved on.

Update: Susannah Locke (@susannahlocke) from Vox will be joining us to talk about how they work through fails.

Use this form to submit your own example:


5:30 Gather for pizza and refreshments

6:00 Video viewing and discussion starts

7:30 Wrap up and head to DCSciTweetUp at Irish Whiskey Public House

Eventbrite - ScioDC #10: #Scicomm Failures (and how to learn from them)