On BioScience and Life and Such

Tweeting and blogging from conferences – get real

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm

post to news.thinkgene.com

Why does everyone completely miss the point on blogging/tweeting/friendfeeding from conferences.

Is it intentional because they feel unease in the face of our science 2.0 future ? I think so.

This is not about invading private scientific discussions between peers. Anyone arguing this must be having a separate agenda of some sort.

I’ve attended “advanced courses”, “subject gatherings” and “internal seminars”, – naturally, reporters were never invited….. and I wouldn’t tweet from those – who would ?

It is about drawing a clear line between such private discussions and appearances in public meetings. A public meeting is where invitations goes out without particular restrictions on who can attend (for much more thoughtful categorization, go here). In such venues no one has the right to censor what is reported. We (the free world !?) have gone to wars to defend similar rights. Pre-approval is what the CSHL meeting demanded of the journalists there, and the basis of the original post from Daniel. Such demands are unacceptable. You either invite reporters and define your meeting as public or you don’t, – restrictions on what is published from a public meeting is censorship – period. A thousand blog-posts, news-pieces , tweets and comments arguing otherwise is not going to change that.

If all this openness scares you so much, please feel free to follow the example of Dr Isis and

“start clamming up”

Good riddance.

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  1. I have to disagree with this.

    The whole point of web 2.0 is that the line between public and private is eroding. And rather than artificially enforce rigid lines between the two for meetings such as this, maybe a more granular approach would fare better?

    As to “free world”… this seems a bit simplistic. Ideology gets unwieldy when applied to any highly impacting sciences. Whether we do, or do not censor isn’t as important as what would HAPPEN with that infomation.

    IOW, becuase of a PC culture, the media could hijack some rational inquiry and turn into garbage; if they’re successful it could derail something useful based on ‘pulic opinion.’ eeek. Better to be safe than sorry.

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