Nature's Martin Fenner has blogged a summary of what he heard and saw at SciBarCamp'09 in Palo Alto a couple of weeks ago. Cameron Neylon was there too—in fact, I'd be willing to bet that a healthy number of attendees posted their experiences in some form or another. Maybe the next challenge for scientific publishing is something that will aggregate and summarize disparate reports of such events?
What I'm most interested in, though, is figuring out what's needed to make that kind of reporting happen. Mark Tovey has been reporting on the Software Carpentry course in near-real time at FriendFeed, but there have been very few comments or contributions from other students. Is his record complete enough that no one can think of anything to add? As quickly as he types, that still seems unlikely, and even if it was true, I'd expect people to have questions or to want to add more detail. Is it the classroom setting, and all the behavioral baggage that brings with it? I had the students in my software engineering class last term write up lectures as wiki pages to earn 10% of their course grade; perhaps that kind of stick has to accompany the carrot of social good?
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