4S Day Two

Oct 30 2009 Published by under Conferences

Today was a little better. To be honest, it’s probably just that I was a bit more tolerant after I slept in a couple of hours before showing up in the middle of the second session.

I started out in: Scientific Practices in Research and in Learning: Cyberinfrastructure Meets Cyberlearning chaired by Christine Borgman from UCLA.  I came in a little late, during Curtis Wong’s demo of Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope – that thing is super cool. Seriously. It can display all sorts of data in layers and then link out to external information including stuff from ADS. After him, Alyssa Goodman of ADS talked more about how scientists use this. She made quite a few good points. She said something that came up in my talk: the fancy tools created specifically for scientists are totally unusable – as in usability-wise/hci-type, so the general purpose tools with good usability are pretty attractive. ADS helps astronomers find articles, and there are other tools to help with the data, so I guess her thing is that this will help link the data to other data and to the literature.

Next, I went to hear the NSF STS program managers talk. They gave out a lot of advice and tips, so if I’m ever in that boat, it might be useful.

The last regular session I went to was: Expanding the Vocabulary of Science Policy. This was pretty interesting, but clearly not about “vocabularies” per se. There were things on measuring intangibles and on the RAE and how it has caused adaptation in the departments – but not the same in the life sciences as the arts and humanities. Two other of the talks were on ethics and teaching ethics. Schienke from the Rock Institute (not, apparently, about geology) had this ethics framework that divided them into procedural, extrinsic (broader benefit to society), and intrinsic.

The day ended with a plenary, which was basically speeches read by some famous STS folks.

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