Best way to prepare for the biobarcamp?

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John Cumbers

Aug 4, 2008, 2:13:23 AM8/4/08
I'd be interested on the best way to prepare for the biobarcamp? as this is the first barcamp I've been to, or any advice on how to get the most out of it?  Prepare your biggest idea?  prepare details?  go with the flow?

John Cumbers, Graduate Student, SETI Institute

NASA Ames Research Center
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Graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
Brown University, Box G-W Providence, RI, 02912, USA

Deepak Singh

Aug 4, 2008, 2:21:32 AM8/4/08
A bit of everything.  Come prepared to talk about something if you really want to, and go with the flow :)

Aug 4, 2008, 2:44:21 AM8/4/08

One of the reasons IFTF offered to donate space to BioBarCamp is that we're working on a project on the future of science, and BioBarCamp seemed like a good place in which to hear some interesting things. There'll be a couple IFTF people hanging around, but it would be great to hear directly from participants about what they think is interesting, novel, potentially disruptive, etc.

We want to understand what the future of biotech could be, and how it could affect us. We want to know what you see coming, and what impact it could have. So while you're on the plane or otherwise in route, think about the following question:

What will be the most important innovations or disruptions—or roadblocks—in biotechnology and life sciences in the next 20 years?

These could include

Innovations: New research areas opened up by new instruments, analytical methods, ways of organizing research or collaborating, etc.—things that there aren't revolutionary, but will still change the way you do science.
Paradigm shifts: Outlying ideas might turn into revolutions in your field.
New fields: Entirely new fields that are going to be important, and might emerge from today's specialties, subfields, etc.
Social trends: Connections between biotech, society, law, policy, culture, etc.

And while I say "biotechnology and life sciences," I really mean the whole range of things that people in BioBarCamp are interested in. Indeed, it would be really interesting if people came up with a new term to describe those varied interests-- if it turns out there things that unify all of them.

Alex Pang

Attila Csordas

Aug 4, 2008, 2:50:53 AM8/4/08
My only unconference experience so far is SciFoo and almost every session I attended there started with an intro talk with slides, sometimes short and informal with much discussion, sometimes regular, lengthy and technical, leaving not much space for discussion. I prefer interruptions during "presentations" (ideally suited for 10-20 people) and interactivity, but I think at BioBarCamp people can be technical too and give longer talks if that's what they prefer. The key is to have enough options to choose from and properly synchronize together the different session suggestions during the introductory session and here I would really rely on the SciBarCamp fellows' experience.

The other - psychological - key is to be as much on the receiver side as on the donor side concerning talk/attention distribution: to put it bluntly: ask at least as much as you claim

and there are other options than talks like 'performance, panel, forum, demonstration, etc'

8:00pm - 8:45pm:  Discussion of the program, further mingling.  People make proposals for sessions by writing them down on one of the proposal sheets available throughout the room.  They describe what type of session they're proposing (talk, performance, panel, forum, demonstration, etc) and how long they want (20 minutes, 40 minutes, or 60 minutes).  They then tape them up to one of the flip charts.  People will be encouraged to write comments in the comments section, but asked to refrain from voting.

8:45pm - 9:15pm:  The MC announces that people should start filling in their "votes".  The MC will explain that the "votes" are primarily going to be used to allocate rooms, and that we will do our utmost to accomodate all sessions.

9:15pm - 9:30pm:  People mingle and talk while we do a quick count of the votes, and work out which session will be first thing Saturday morning.  We then announce this, and people head off to the Duke, to other venues, or home.


On Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 11:13 PM, John Cumbers <> wrote:
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