Where I was the other weekend

ScibloggingM@, supercool editor of Nature Network London, has posted his report of the meeting which I attended a week and a couple of days ago.

"The internet spilled out into the real world last Saturday, when 130 science bloggers, communicators, and scientists assembled at the revamped Royal Institution on 30 August for Science Blogging 2008: London, organized by Nature Network. The conference had a unique hybrid format, in which part of the programme was left open for attendees to fill in that day with 'unconference' sessions proposed and voted on in the morning. Nine ideas were proposed before the conference got started and were voted on by the delegates during the first morning break. This was Europe's first science blogging conference, and it couldn't have found a better venue than the Royal Institution within whose laboratories 10 chemical elements were discovered and 14 Nobel Prizes earned. Speakers took to a stage previously occupied by such luminaries as Michael Faraday and William Bragg.

Keynote speaker Ben Goldacre is probably the most famous scientific blogger in the UK, tackling pseudoscience and quackery in his Bad Science blog and weekly Guardian column. His eloquent, entertaining and expletive-filled intro provided a strong set of examples in which the traditional press have been hoodwinked by claims of 'miracle cures', whereas specialised elements of the blogosphere successfully scrutinised, attacked and demolished such bogus assertions. Ben, and bloggers like him, are increasingly discrediting peddlers of dubious products, filling holes of accountability that mainstream media lacks the time or expertise to address." (see more here.)

The meeting was also "live blogged" over at the Friend Feed group set up for the purpose. It is quite scary to moderate a session and have people typing it up onto the internet as you go, and ask questions that are beamed in from Australia and all points inbetween (luckily I did not realize this was all going on until the next day, Sunday, when I checked out my web subscriptions, or I probably would have fainted). More than 300 pictures have been uploaded to Flickr (tag, sciblog) and the sciblogosphere has been reverberating with excitement. There is a lovely set of four posts (starting here) over at Clare Dudman's Keeper of the Snails blog.  There is also a very nice meeting-report post here, on Nature Network, by librarian Frank Norman.

(Photo credit: Lisushi.)

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