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Science Online '09 Conference

Science Online logoArati Bechtel and I attended Science Online '09, which JMP sponsored for the third year running. The small size (capped at 200 attendees) and session format encouraged discussions rather than lectures, which helped everyone see from lots of perspectives. The issue of open access publishing was a central theme that came up in multiple guises, including various tools that have sprung up to help organize and link journal references and a new site that summarizes closed access research papers.

My favorite part was the stream of 15-minute demos on Sunday. I really just wanted to see Jean Claude Bradley's use of Second Life to visualize molecules, but getting short doses of different topics proved quite enthralling, and I stayed to hear the others.

The conference wiki includes a table of registrants and an Export button to get the data in various formats. It was nice to see the table open directly in JMP when I selected CSV (comma separated values) export. The data provides a good use for the Recode command, which let me easily clean the data for variations in spellings (such as "NC" versus "N.C." for the state column). Recode is a great feature, but there's always room for improvement -- what other data cleaning issues does JMP need to better address?

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Arati Bechtel wrote:

I was really impressed with the ScienceOnline attendees. People came from all over the world and from lots of interesting organizations, and the ages ranged from teenagers on up.