I’ve got an Art History exam in the morning which has been consuming my time, but I wanted to get some kind of post up. Especially since it almost looks as though I just don’t post on Thursdays. I swear the recent several weeks of “no post on Thursday” is purely coincidental.
I’m still waiting to hear if This Week In Science got the audio file I sent them and whether or not they liked it. I did manage to find a legally-free embeddable flash-based audio player that I can use, so I’ll probably post it for listening to online or for downloading soon.
Meanwhile: One of my competitors in the College Blogging Scholarship 2007 competition had an interested post up the other day. Famous neuroscientist Shelley Batts of Retrospectacle posted about a bunch of computer people getting together to have a “hackfest”, where they all work on their projects and exchange ideas. She wonders if something similar might not be possible for scientists.
I have regularly found myself thinking about the possibility of a similar gathering for scientists. I wonder – would an international society of Peripatetic Scientists be feasible? What I envision would be a combination of “Science Cafe’” and “Semi-spontaneous field trip” (or even perhaps a “Flash Mob of Nerds”).
I picture groups of scientists, engineers, and other interested people converging on relatively short notice (say, no more than a week or so) to explore something together, whether it’s a section of a national park, or an observatory, or a grocery store, or even to just wander around in a public space discussing some topic. Rather than a carefully planned and organized event where people take turns “giving presentations”, I tend to suspect a more spontaneous exploration by a group of diverse people like this would result in much better horizontal meme transfer potential. It’s so much easier to participate and listen when one isn’t busy focusing on one’s own presentation material…
How many of you reading this might be interested in participating in this sort of thing?
(UPDATE: TO clarify, I mean how many of you, if you heard something like this was happening where you are, would be interested, not how many people are so incredibly impressed by me that they would travel across the world to be where I am…)