[On the move] Open Science at USC

I’ll be speaking this Sunday at the Science and Tech Forum at USC in Los Angeles. The event kicks off today, led by Llewellyn Cox from USC’s School of Pharmacy.

The event also features Pete Binfield (PeerJ), Elizabeth Iorns (Science Exchange), Barry Bunin (Collaborative Drug Discovery), Mark Hahnel (figshare), Brian Nosek (Center for Open Science / Open Science Framework) and more. Check out the agenda here.

You can tune in to the livestream or follow the conversation online at #scitechLA.


[On the move] ISEES and the role of software in environmental science

I just landed in Oakland, where I’ll be participating in a two-day workshop exploring the role of software and training for earth and environmental science. The meeting is convened by the Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES), and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Over the course of the meeting we’ll discuss the needs of the community and the evolving role of software as an enabler in advancing the field, with the aim of honing a vision for a “software institute” for environmental science. Whether that’ll be modeled after the Software Sustainability Institute in Edinburgh, I’m not sure – but looking forward to seeing how the conversation unfolds. Also keen to hear if/how training may fit into their vision as a cornerstone for supporting better practice in the discipline.

This is the last in a series of workshops convened by ISEES (with an impressive group behind it, including Trisha Cruse, Peter Fox and Bruce Caron). Stay tuned for more about the event, and for information on ISEES, visit their website.

[On the move] What to teach biologists about computing?

This week, Greg and I are in Annapolis for a workshop convened by Software Carpentry comrade and Michigan State professor Titus Brown on what to teach biologists about computing and data. You can read the full background of the meeting here in the proposal, or a distilled version here. One of the main focuses will be how to extend Software Carpentry, but also looking at assessment, motivation, other comparable projects (and if/how to join forces).

The hashtag for the meeting is #w2tbac, and Greg (@gvwilson) and I (@kaythaney) (and others) will be live tweeting.  We’ll be posting our notes following the meeting. Stay tuned for more. And feel free to add your thoughts here in the post.

[On the move] Education reform, the White House, and learning Git

The last week has been chock full of interesting meetings and travels, starting in Washington, DC discussing how to transform STEM education and now wrapping up at a Software Carpentry bootcamp in Cambridge, MA for women in science and engineering (more on that later).

The first stop was the AAAS in DC for a small workshop on transforming STEM education at the university level. The event brought together funders, institutional heads, and practitioners, working to push systemic change in the university. There was a strong focus on retention rates (there’s a steep dropoff in STEM undergrads after year 2), diversity and curriculum design. More on that to come in another post.

Then, on to the White House for the Champions of Change event on Open Science, where 13 stellar members of the community were recognised for their contributions. The Mozilla Science Lab was honored to be a part of the day’s celebrations, co-hosting the Open Science poster session and reception in the Indian Treaty Room with the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Many have written about the day’s event, but perhaps my favorite post is by my former colleague John Wilbanks, about making “open” stand for something. We’re thrilled to have been able to support the event (and getting to throw get togethers in the White House doesn’t hurt for a Thursday either. 😉 )

Then, on to Boston. To round off the trip, I participated in a Software Carpentry (part of the skills portion we’re building out at the Science Lab) workshop for women in science and engineering, held this past Monday and Tuesday. The two-day bootcamp provided training on using shell, Git, iPython (lesson taught in the iPython notebook) and SQLite. Over 120 women participated in the event, one of their largest to date. Stay tuned for a separate post. Needless to say, I head out today with a brain well-exercised and buzzing with ideas from the last 10 days.