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Universe is, like, seriously huge (33c3 Talk von Michael Büker)

Jedes Mal, wenn ich Michael irgendwo etwas erklären höre, bin ich wunderbar unterhalten und in der Regel mit einer gewissen Faszination zurückgelassen. So ging’s mir auch bei seinem Vortrag beim 33c3:

Es lohnen sich natürlich auch die anderen seiner Vorträge auf den vorangegangenen Kongressen, oder seiner Science Slams. Und selbstverständlich auch sein Buch Ich war noch niemals auf Saturn: Eine Reise durchs Universum.

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Open Science 101 and my first Mozilla Science Global Sprint (#mozsprint)

This is a crosspost from You’re invited to join the discussion – please leave any comment under the original post (comments here are closed).

mozilla-research-fox My first Mozilla Science Global Sprint is over. It was not only the first one I participated in, but we also participated with our own project. It was quite intense, and two days of hard work, but it was a truly valuable experience. This post is meant to give you an impression of such an event and encourage you to participate in this or similar events.

But let’s start with a bit of history. As you might have recognized, especially if you’re following me on Twitter or listening to the Open Science Radio, there have been a couple of events and related activities I have been involved in. Among other events, we as the Open Science Radio, participated in the Barcamp Science 2.0 (and the related Science 2.0 Conference) and published a couple of episodes related to the events.

Barcamp Sparking the Idea

During this barcamp I participated in a session about „Teaching Open Science“, moderated by Andreas Leimbach1. This session had basically the same mix of people as the whole barcamp – people from different backgrounds – scientists from various disciplines, librarians, but also people from the industry. Many of them had quite different experience with teaching open science – as basics lessons to fellow colleagues, as introductory lessons to students (embedded in another course), or even more extended courses to students. It became quite clear that all of them had a slightly different angle and „method“ how to teach such a broad concept and motivate and encourage their trainees to actually really think about putting science into practice. Besides the undoubtedly important question of motivation and incentives, the question of (high-quality) teaching material was touched a couple of times, especially regarding which aspects of open science to include. Related to that question, Andreas mentioned the example of Software Carpentry (SWC) and their method of teaching computer programming to scientists (a quite narrow-focused and practically-oriented training program). The SWC, and other carpentries like the Data Carpentry, the Author Carpentry, or the Library Carpentry, work along the lines of providing training material via Github, which can be forked, adapted to the individual context (training within a certain discipline or institutional context), and finally pushed back to the initial repository so that over time quite a substantial collection of teaching resources is being developed. The difference of course is that the material is quite specific in its scope, which is to practically train scientists what they can to with programming. However, it was then that the idea was born that we could think about providing something similar – a collection of training and teaching material that can be used to train/teach the principles of open science to a variety of target groups. I suggested that within the monthly call of the AG Open Science, the German-speaking Open Science working group of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Throughout the short discussion in the call it became quite obvious that others thought along the same lines and thus I quickly found Andreas and Konrad as partners in crime to initiate this as a project and see where this was going.

Open Science 101

This is how the „Open Science 101“ project was born. We decided very early on that we wanted to work along the methods of initiatives such as the SWC (using e.g. Github as the basis for developing and providing the resources), however there are a couple of differences that were clear right from the beginning:
* In contrast to the carpentry initiatives we don’t want to focus on the practical use of tools enabling open science2. We aim for a more general scope and want to provide teaching resources explaining the basic principles underlying the many facets of open science.
* We want the material to be as open as possible and thus lower the barrier of using it or contributing to it. That is why we have chosen the Creative Commons CC0 license which essentially means that we publish any material under the public domain. However, this also means of course that it will raise the complexity of the development process of the material itself since it makes it more complicated to find material that we can directly use. Instead we will probably face the challenge to develop most of the material from scratch as original material within this project.

An initial project repository under the name of Open Science 101 (which is kind of preliminary) was quickly setup at Github and it didn’t take long to collect the first 20 something of what we wanted to do. Thanks to Andreas and Konrad for quickly jumping „on board“ with me and instantly putting energy into this matter! 😉

Within the above-mentioned monthly call of the AG Open Science, one of the participants (I think it was Daniel Mietchen) came up with the idea to try to use the upcoming Mozilla Science Global Sprint (roughly 2-3 weeks ahead at that point in time) to basically make this project public, find contributors and collect ideas. The submission of our project to Mozilla Science was quickly done and honestly, this was a great way of kickstarting a community-driven project like this.

Mozilla Science Global Sprint (#mozsprint)

I don’t know if any of you readers out there have ever participated in a hackathon or the Mozilla Science Global Sprint. This

„…event brings together researchers, coders, librarians and the public from around the globe to hack on open science and open data projects in their communities.“<

Even though Konrad and probably Andreas might have had some experiences with hackathons, it was the first time participating in the #mozsprint for each of us.

The #mozsprint runs for basically 2 days around the globe and Mozilla likes to have somebody from the project available at the main working times for questions of contributors, coordination etc. Many of the #mozsprint participants are probably around virtually, but there are usually quite a number of sites around where people meet in real-life and discuss/hack/work together. For Germany there was at least one local site for the #mozsprint in conjunction with the Open Science Meetup group in Berlin that was hosted at the ScienceOpen offices in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. Thanks to Jon and Julien to organize this and to ScienceOpen to provide your space! Since Konrad, Andreas and me are also at very different locations within Germany we decide that I was going to Berlin and attend the #mozsprint there for the first day and Andreas and Konrad would meet in Würzburg (since Konrad is affiliated with the Würzburg University). Even though we could have done this whole sprint completely virtual it was actually a good idea to have local sites running since it helps to make this sprint more „graspable“ (I’m not entirely sure whether this is an actual word). It was also a very nice experience to meet the people at the sprint site in Berlin and see what they are working on, directly discuss ideas or get inspirations.

So, how does that work with the sprint? Since it was the first day with for me I was also curious and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As I said, submission of a project to Mozilla is easy. If you want to become a featured project (don’t know if it is really called that way), there are a couple of criteria to meet, i.e. that you have to provide a couple of things in your repository such as a code of conduct, personas, a roadmap or issues you wanna work on, etc. In the days before the sprint (roughly 1,5 weeks) we’ve been working on these criteria and at the same time sorting issues into a sprint milestones that we wanted to achieve throughout the 2 days.

By the way, one can of course participate in the #mozsprint without submitting a project of your own. There usually is a list of projects for each sprint from which you can choose the project(s) you want to contribute to. Depending on the individual project there are a couple of issues outlining what kind of contributions the project is looking for and probably anybody will be able to find something to work on, independent from your own background. Despite the fact that the sprint method probably comes from the programming world and the #mozsprint is mainly organized using the social coding platform Github, you actually don’t need to be a programmer to participate and contribute. Of course, there are also a number of projects looking for programmers to contribute, but there are usually a number of projects looking for other types contributors. This year there have been e.g. design and curriculum strands where non-programmers where highly welcome to contribute.

Back to our own project. Since we wanted to meet the criteria Mozilla set, we’ve worked our way through developing the necessary resources. Mozilla is providing guidance on pretty much any of these points and for us as a project it was also quite helpful to think about things like a code of conduct, personas or the ways people can contribute to our projects. This way we’ve been (positively) forced to make up our own minds about these issues.

Once we’ve managed to provide all of the „required“ resources (though you can start a project without them too), the #mozsprint itself was already close. As I said, for the first day of it I travelled to Berlin to participate in the meetup/sprint site there. You can’t imagine what a sprint site is or looks like? Well it was the normal offices of ScienceOpen with a number of office tables and chairs to accommodate people and by the time I arrived there, many others have already been working.

First thing to do after arrival, accommodation and a bit of chatting with the people hanging around there, was to get into contact with our own „project team“ and start working. As I said Mozilla is mainly using Github to organize the #mozsprint, but they are also using various other tools for real-time communication such as the video conferencing tool Vidyo or the chat tool Gitter. Since the main Mozilla Community channel is quite populated over the sprint, we’ve decided to setup our own Gitter channel for the sprint and use Google hangouts to have meetings from time to time. It was actually quite useful to work along these lines – set smaller goals in hangout meetings, then work on them, clarify any questions via the chat, make contributions on Github via issues, comments, or commits and get together again via hangout to discuss ideas and set new goals. And I would say, that over the two days and with the help of all the contributors we’ve achieved quite a bit.

Speaking of contributors. This is one thing that I find absolutely fantastic about the #mozsprint. You can find support for your projects from people around the world, people you’ve probably never met, who are as equally enthusiastic about the topic as you are. And we’ve had quite a number of contributors, which I think is absolutely awesome. Thanks to all of them for their ideas, the fruitful discussions and their energy they’ve put into the project so far.

By the way, of course you’re not working 24h, so even a #mozsprint day will finally come to an end. Hm… actually, now that I think of it, it actually does not come to an end, since it takes place around the world and as soon as we end our day, the day on the west coast of the US (for example) starts. 😉 Anyway, of course #mozsprint is not only about working, it is also about networking, meeting people, exchanging ideas (apart from your project) and having fun. 😉

As I said in the beginning, I participated in the first day of #mozsprint in Berlin and Konrad, Andreas and Markus opened up a local site in Würzburg for the second day. Thanks to Konrad, Andreas and Markus for doing an awesome job organizing the work of the second day! Over the 2 days and with the help of all the people we’ve managed to progress quite a bit so that we can start working on the more detailed stuff now.

I have to admit, that this was quite an experience. As I said, it is awesome to see people from all over the world coming (virtually) together and working on various projects. It is equally awesome to see that you can participate in such events and do good no matter what your background is – it simply is not important whether you are a programmer, a scientist, or somebody from „outside“, nor is it important if you are used to something like hackathons or experience with working with something like Git(hub). There are things you can do, and there are people who can help and support you! If we hadn’t our own project, I could have easily found a project worth contributing. Since we had our own project to work on, I would say that this is truly a great way of kickstarting a project and look for ideas and contributors this way! But I also have to admit that it has been two intense days and working with these distributed tools and locations can also be exhausting. In this respect it is good that #mozsprint ends after two days and things are getting back to normal.

If you want to, you can also have a listen to a short round-up of #mozsprint that Konrad, Andreas and Markus recorded at the end of the second day and that you can find published as episode 53 of the Open Science Radio.

The road ahead

Question is, what remains? Where will Open Science 101 go from here?

Well, we will definitely continue, since this was just the beginning and the project is by nature rather long-term. We have a lot of things ahead that we need to think about. For the time being, we’ve managed to solve a couple of issues, first of all to boil down the vast field of possible topics and identify those ones we would like to start with (where we found also maintainers). For many other aspects of the project we still have many open questions and we will continue working on that – each at their time and hopefully together with many contributors.

We’re also not sure about the name of the project and whether to change it to something that „speaks more openly“ and refers better to what we have in mind. Let’s see how that goes.

If you wanna read up about the current progress of the project, have a look at the repository. And of course, if you wanna contribute you are happily invited!


There are probably two recommended ways of coming to and end. Either you state something utterly clever to release the readers with something they can think about, or you give thanks. And even with the danger of repeating myself, the latter one is what I go for. So let me (again) take the chance to thank the people for this awesome experience:
* All of our contributors for sharing your ideas and helping us!
* Jon Tennant and Julien Colomb for organizing the Berlin site and welcoming people there!
* ScienceOpen for providing the space and cold beverages!
* Konrad and Andreas for being partners and crime and the amazing work over the 2 days, and the time before!
* And finally, Mozilla Science for putting up these awesome events, bringing people over the whole world together and investing so much energy into doing good!

  1. If you wanna have a closer look at the session, you will find a short summarizing interview of the Open Science Radio with Andreas Leimbach, as well as the session’s pad
  2. This is why we also refrained from the goal of providing a list or database of tools as this a) has already been done in other projects and initiatives and b) will be really hard to maintain over time. 

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Putting Open Science into Practice at the Barcamp Science 2.0 #s20bar

This is a crosspost from You’re invited to join the discussion – please leave any comment under the original post (comments here are closed).

OSR_Sonderlogo_2016_s20bar_iTunesAs you might have recognized, we’ve attended the Barcamp Science 2.0 and the first day of the Science 2.0 Conference on Monday and Tuesday this week. Background was, that Konrad and me (or: the Open Science Radio) has been invited/asked to participate and report about the Barcamp Science 2.0 (and if possible the following conference) in Cologne this year.

Both events are organized under the umbrella of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0, which also has approached us if we could imagine to accompany mainly the Barcamp with the Open Science Radio. Indeed we could since this year’s barcamp topic was „Putting Science 2.0 and Open Science into practice!“, hence our interest.

After a bit of brainstorming we figured that an introductory podcast before the event and a couple of smaller episodes with a few session hosts directly from the event may be a good way to do it. So we did an introductory podcast with the main organizer (and research coordinator of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0), Guido Scherp, ahead of the barcamp and 10 episodes (both in English and German) with session moderators directly from the event. We are also still planning to wrap-up the whole barcamp-related episodes with another one with Guido to look back at the event and draw some conclusions.

If you are interested, please head over to the website of the Open Science Radio and give it a listen. The rest of this blogpost will be a short review of the Barcamp Science 2.0 from my very own perspective.

The Barcamp

Before really getting started, let me give you one last preliminary remark: I myself am not a scientist. Quite some years back I have worked for about 5 years within one of the big German research association, specifically within research communication (call it research PR). However, science has always been one of the subjects I was and am interested in. When I was still working within the academia I always asked myself why communication is mostly closed, even though there is some fascinating stuff happening. Over the years I more and more got the impression that not only communication should be more open, but pretty much anything could and should in most cases be more open. That’s pretty much my turn to the whole open science issue(s) put into a few sentences. Anyway, even though I left the academic system and started working in the industry (or private sector, free economy, or whatever you like to call it), my fascination for science and the practices of open science in particular did decrease. It grew even stronger, I got more interested and also more involved within the open science community – up to the point that I launched this blog and the Open Science Radio nearly 4 years ago. Even in my current job, which is somewhat still related to academia (especially with regards to learning), I am increasingly experiencing the advantages of open science. In my case that mainly is being able to access scientific literature freely. To cut a long story short, my views are often a mix of both worlds – my insights I gained from within science, but growingly also my insights from a company that might benefit from a growing openness of science. Maybe this explains my argumentation at some point. 😉

If you are not familiar with the event format of the barcamp you might want to read a short article about it. But in general it is an unconference format, which means that the content (presentations, discussions, etc.) is planned mainly in the beginning of the event itself.

Unfortunately I was only able to attend a few sessions since we also had to concentrate on recording, editing and publishing of the Open Science Radio episodes, but I actually was able to attend a few sessions and others have probably been equally filled with intense discussions, nice chats and useful insights. Because that’s what it has mainly been for me – the diverse crowd coming from various scientific disciplines, various scientific stakeholders and even from non-scientific institutions (and companies as in my case) has provided an interesting mix of views, interests and objectives. That absolutely fostered interesting discussions and made the whole barcamp a generally very enjoyable experience.

Hence, the offered sessions have been equally diverse within the open science context. Luckily the barcamp organizers had also set up a pad for each session so that you can have a look inside and see what has been discusses in each session. Here’s the sessions with their respective pads linked:

11:30 – 12:15
Session 1: Incentives for Open Science
Session 2: Preregistration for publications
Session 3: Jupyter Notebooks

12:30 – 13:15
Session 1: Is Open Science bad for Science?
Session 2: Peer Review
Session 3: Wikipedia & Wikidata as a workbench

14:15 – 15:00
Session 1: Tools for Open Science
Session 2: Infrastructure for Open Science
Session 3: Package Management for research projects
15:15 – 16:00
Session 1: Data formats for Open Science
Session 2: Teaching Open Science
Session 3: SciHub good or bad

16:30 – 17:15
Session 1: Practicalities of data sharing
Session 2: Analyzing scholarly tweets
Session 3: Structuring research and publications

I don’t really want to give a summary of what has been discussed within the session I’ve attended. On the one hand I won’t be able to recall all the strands of argumentation and on the other hand the session pads can provide this much better. But I want to discuss a few things – a few aspects from sessions, as well as a few general remarks about the barcamp, the topic or related stuff.

First of all a general remark. Indeed I wished that there would be more interest of the private sector (e.g. of those so highly-valued SME’s all the funding calls refer to). I think the perspective of the „business“ on a topic such as open science can be a valuable addition to such an event. Let me explain. I think one argument of open science, and a drive for science in general, has always been that an increasing openness will foster an increasing knowledge transfer from science into the economy, causing a higher innovation potential and finally leading to more innovation. Or seen from the other side (and from my own experience): a more open academia will increasingly become a more reliable and used source of either a) information to help building businesses and products (journal articles, reports, etc.), b) data to build products (open data, etc.), or c) talents (HR). But apart from that rather abstract level, there is a growing number of businesses build around scientific infrastructure and targeted to the scientific world, offering services to ease quite different problems within science on many levels – starting from (collaborative) article writing, to the issue of metrics, to „workbench-related“ services such as web-based lab notebooks and workflow description services. At this year’s barcamp Xpansa was a nice example. Roman of Xpansa used the opportunity of a barcamp session to introduce their new product Sci.AI to the audience and collect some feedback. Perfect match. I am not saying that we should turn the barcamp into an advertising event, but I think that the business side has also something to offer in such events.

What more? This year’s ignition talk (some what say keynote, but for me such a presentation should ignite some discussion, hence the name) was given by Felix Schönbrodt, post-doc at the LMU Munich and also involved in a „taskforce open science“ (my formulation) at the university. From the program:

Putting Open Science into practice: Simple but powerful steps for researchers, universities, and journals
Even if I embrace the values of research transparency – where should I begin? How can I move my institution a little towards openness? This short talk highlights some recent developments and practical examples that enable researchers and institutions to put Open Science into practice.

As I’ve already said in the first Open Science Radio episode regarding the barcamp, I really liked that Felix brought „simple“ into the title of his talk, because that is what we need to provide. Open science is quite a complex area of different topics along the research process. This raises the entry barrier, so if we wanna convince people to inhale and put open science into practice we need to lower the barrier and show them simple steps first. Simple, but as Felix also said, powerful. Felix also stressed that we need to leave our open science bubble. Of course, once you’re interested in a certain topic, we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people. This is necessary to find and form a community. But it holds also the danger to stay within it and get stuck in a „preaching to the converted“ state. This is for sure nice, but it will hardly change something. As Felix said, we need to get out of the bubble, turn to those who haven’t met open scientists yet, who haven’t much encountered this fascinating subject. We need to address those people at their events in order to get the idea spread.

One of the interesting question to Felix was what price he paid for his openness. If I understood him correctly, his answer was tow-fold. On the one hand he invests quite some time to do his research openly, so due to this „sacrificed“ time he might not be as effective as he could be if he would use all his time only for the classical approach of doing it. That might of course result in e.g. something like publishing less papers in the long run. But the more interesting part of the answer refers to the indirect concept of the career path. Felix stated that he didn’t just try to „master the game“ to make progress on the academic career ladder and that maybe his openness has cost him one or the other career chance. Actually this „mastering the game“ aspect he mentioned is something that I find absolutely intriguing. I don’t wanna go into too much detail at this point because in this respect I am lacking experience from insight this system. But I very much hope (and Konrad too) that we might get the chance to speak to Felix again and in more detail in another OSR episode.

I’ve also attended two sessions regarding the more infrastructural aspect of open science. With plans for an European Open Science Cloud (that are still rather unclear to most extent), this is a hot topic at the moment that was also mainly addressed at the Science 2.0 conference. However we constantly came back to the same points in our discussions: if we want to publish and openly share scientific data we need to have a infrastructure that is trustworthy and long-term available, but also fundable. And the modes of funding are not fixed yet. There are different options on the table, but there is not yet a common agreement. However it seems that the position of a dedicated research data manager seems to be increasingly important. Of course this is something that libraries could partly take over, but data and methods are so diverse and different that data managers might need to be implemented on lower levels (disciplines, research lines or even smaller). Furthermore, publishing data is not enough. To foster reproducibility, re-use, etc. we need to publish the tools for data analysis, methods and workflows. This needs to be regarded when planning a research infrastructure and some of these aspects still have a major question mark over them. Listeners of the Open Science Radio already know it, but infrastructure is such a broad topic that we usually pretty much fail to shed light on it entirely. But we hope to have a guest in one of the upcoming shows who can provide an overview.

One of the other sessions I attended was the session on teaching for open science, moderated by Andreas Leimbach. This session was quite interesting because most (or even all?) of the participants actually see a need for a thorough open science education for either fellow researchers, or as early on as students. There are quite some approaches how to do it, but it seems that nobody has actually a clue for a „golden way“, if something like that exists. This seems to be particularly difficult with students who are hard to motivate besides forcing them with marks. It actually came down to a question that also came up in other sessions: what incentives to do open science can we offer? It’s the old „What’s innit for me?“ question. This question can be answered on thousand different ways depending on the individual situation and it can even be answered to a certain extent on a general level. But we still seem to lack a systematic answer to it; an answer that we can formulate as a motivation for those who we want (and need) to convince to do open science. Especially since many of the incentives are rather in the long-term and even a bit abstract. Many of the incentives (advantages of open science that is) will only be fully effective once many researchers turn to open science. Because only with a critical mass of researchers the positive network effects and increased efficiency of science (e.g. through re-use of existing data) will be significant. So how do we motivate researchers (and future researchers) NOW to do open science where most of the system is not yet recognizing these efforts, of even worse punishing them by disregarding open scientists in career decisions.

Introducing open science early on in university with students certainly is a way we need to go. But even there it is hard to give it enough room. A single or even two lectures are probably not enough to introduce this wide topic and to connect all the various facetted aspects of it. And how do we teach it best? Andreas brought up Software Carpentry as a good example. Yes it is, but with SC the case is a bit different. It focuses on teaching how and with what means can I do computing within my specific subject. Hence, it rather a specific approach aiming to solve a certain problem in a rather hands-on manner. With teaching open science the case will be a bit different in my opinion. Of course, there are hands-on aspects and tools are a major aspect of it too. But there are also quite a number of rather complex non-technical issues such as legal aspects, economic aspects, maybe even systems theoretical aspects. Maybe an open science basic education needs to be much more of a mix of theory, best practices, hands-on tools, etc. This definitely needs more thought and much more community effort – in this respect, Software Carpentry is a good example. By the way – we had an interview episode with Greg Wilson (co-founder) of the Software Carpentry in episode 38 ofd the Open Science Radio.

There is one last aspect I want to mention, actually coming back to the general barcamp format. This year’s Barcamp Science 2.0 was the 2nd edition (Barcamp 2.0 2015) and it probably won’t be the last one. One of the drawback is, that often with recurring events with changing audience (at least a bit) one is stuck in a topic loop. Of course, projects evolve, new technologies arise, stories happen (as with Sci-Hub this year). But there is always the danger that we discuss the same general aspects, the same questions over and over again. So maybe there is a way how we could turn this and also evolve in our discussion through paying attention to last year’s findings? Without referring to something like a „barcamp proceedings“ or something like that, but maybe there is a way to build are discussions on the foundations of last year’s.

And connected to this: such events will only have an effect if discussions and arguments turn into activites. So it would be great to see some activities arise from the barcamp, or from ideas we’ve discussed there.

The Role of the Open Science Radio

I want to come back to the beginning of this lengthy blogpost and finish it by referring again to the Open Science Radio. For us as the Open Science Radio this was an experiment since we did not accompany any event in such a manner. The Open Science radio is a fully voluntary project, we have no commercial interest. All donations by listeners through Flattr are usually re-donated (last year we donated equally to Wikimedia and Open Knowledge). Hence we also did not charge any remuneration for reporting from the barcamp (disclaimer: our travel and accommodation costs have been taken over by the research alliance).

I think, all in all, this was a successfull experiment with a number of episodes. Our aim was to provide a quick insight into the event while it still takes place. Hopefully our episodes together with the tweets provide exactly that – an informative overview of the 2016 Barcamp 2.0. However we quickly recognized that accompanying an event of this type is not an easy thing to do if you want to a) follow the activtities and discussion so you can relate to them and b) participate in the sessions and actively take part in discussions. This „dual role“ certainly made it more difficult for us. It would have been much easier if we could juts concentrate on one, but honestly we are just too interested in the topic to not go full on. 😉 Also the relative short time between session (15min were planned , but with a few delays this time shrinked, you know the reality) made it quite difficult to speak to session moderators or participants without holding them back too long from the next session. By the way, as mentioned in the beginning, we also participated in the first day of the Science 2.0 Conference (follow the tweets of #sci20conf). Just in case you wonder why there are no episodes from the conference: well, a conference is something totally different. Since it is even more stringent so that it wouldn’t have been possible to get interviews after presentations in the same way as at the barcamp. But we will soon do an episode on the conference to share our experience.

For the very last, I want to do 2 things. First of all, I want to thank the Leibniz Research Alliance (especially Guido Scherp) for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to meet and talk to so many great people! It was our pleasure! And finally I want to ask a few short questions in particular (but not exclusive) to our regular Open Science Radio listeners. It would be great if you could share your opinion in the comments:

  1. How did you like this experiment and publishing the event-related episodes within the normal Open Science Radio feed?
  2. Did you think that these episodes have been labelled clearly enough (with the OSR logo version including the #s20bar hashtag and a special episode image)?
  3. Do you think we should repeat reporting from events (I’m actually not thinking about 10 times a year, but rather 1 or 2 times)?

Thank you very much for your attention! You’re invited to discuss or share any insights in the comments!



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Die ISS erkunden

Ich mag es ja in komplexe Dinge hineinzuschauen. Ich durfte mal auf ein kleineres Containerschiff, ins Cockpit eines Linienjets und beim Besuch des ESOC in Darmstadt mal das Rosetta Engineering Model (leider nur durch die Scheibe) betrachten – alles schon ziemlich imposant ob der ganzen verbauten Technik.

Aber manche Dinge sind entweder so exklusiv, oder so fern, dass man keinerlei Hoffnung hegen darf jemals auch nur den eigenen Blick direkt darauf oder hinein zu werfen. Ein solches Objekt ist die ISS. Zum Glück hat Samantha Cristoforetti1 kurz Ablauf ihrer Zeit auf der ISS noch ein paar Fotos von den einzelnen Modulen gemacht und die ESA hat dankenswerter Weise ein bißchen Zeit investiert um daraus eine virtuelle Führung durch die Raumstation zu basteln. Lohnt sich natürlich besonders im Fullscreen-Modus:

Screenshot ISS Virtual Tour (ESA)

Screenshot ISS Virtual Tour (ESA)

Derzeit geht die Tour über die Module Kibo, Columbus und Destiny bis zum Node 1, dem Unity Modul. Der russische Teil der ISS soll aber bald folgen.

  1. Über Ausbildung erzählt sie in Folge 11 des Raumzeit Podcast, was sehr zu empfehlen ist. 

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Tanzendes Licht

Aurora Borealis, by Fredrik Bølstad on (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Aurora Borealis, by Fredrik Bølstad on (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Als ich 2006 in Schweden studiert habe, hatte zweimal über den Winter die Zeit mich in den Zug zu setzen und in den wirklich hohen Norden zu fahren. Zugfahren ist im tiefen nordskandinavischen Winter übrigens eine der angenehmsten, aber aus skurrilsten Arten der Fortbewegung – wenn sich das tonnenschwere Gefährt in Temperaturen um die -20 bis -30 Grad Celcius durch die eingeschneite Landschaft wälzt. Aber das ist eine andere Geschichte. Abisko und Jukkasjärvi in Schweden, Narvik in Norwegen und auch in das nördliche Finnland hab ich so erfahren können.

Neben der Erfahrung von Tiefsttemperaturen von -37,4 Grad Celcius, Eisfischen in Norwegen, Wale im Fjord, Hundeschlittenfahren und schlafen im Iglu, war eines der imposantesten und nachhaltig in meine Erinnerung eingebrannte Erlebnisse das Beobachten der Polarlichter. Was in Narvik mit einem zufällig erhaschten Blick auf dieses elektromagnetische Phänomen begann, konnte ich in Nordfinnland voll auskosten. Auf der zweitägigen Hundeschlittentour inklusive Nächtigung unter freiem Himmel hatten wir sternenklaren Himmel und damit die besten Bedingungen. Und es ist unglaublich ein paar Meter abseits der wohligen Wärme des Feuers im Lager, im dunklen kalten Wald auf dem Boden im Schnee zu liegen, den Blick schnurstracks in den Himmel gerichtet, und über einem dieses tanzende Licht. Zum Greifen nah, himmelsfüllend. Atemberaubend.

Kein digitales Produkt kann dieses Erlebnis in der Natur ersetzen, oder kommt auch nur annähernd daran heran. Dennoch sind die Bilder solcher Phänomene nicht minder faszinierend. Schön, dass man Polarlichter jetzt auch bei Google Maps erkunden kann, eine kleine Sammlung gibt es bereits in dieser Galerie

Übrigens ist dieses Jahr das Internationale Jahr des Lichts.

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