"It is the unhappy fate of the scientist today that he must play the role of Cassandra in the body politic, sending his fellow men to bed with nightmares in the hope to be heard in time."

- Arthur von Hippel, in "The Molecular Designing of Materials" (h/t @upbeatprof)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Second Life Journal Club

I have an opportunity to set up a journal club in Second Life.

I would like to base it on journal club at U of Chicago, with a quarterly focus, starting each quarter with a general topic, beginning with review papers and moving historically through the topic to current controversies. I'd expect participants to have a degree in a physical science; either an advanced degree or ongoing work toward one is preferred. This will cost me a little money which I'll pay out of pocket the first year if there is sufficient interest. If we get enough momentum I'll take up a collection for the second year.

Topics might include pleistocene paleoclimate (the last 2 million years, the interesting ones with the ice sheets coming and going), climate dynamics, glaciology, biogeochemistry. I am interested in mathematical and statistical rigor. I am totally not interested in hockey sticks and century to millenial temperature reconstructions; this is the only climate science topic I will exclude up front.

Also, this is not an occasion for policy nattering. (I have no trouble managing that; keeping up with the literature is much harder.)

Membership in Second Life is free; it requires access to a decent computer and a fast internet connection. We'll try to get the audio channel working. I'd like to get on the order of a dozen participants.

The time will be weekly, either 07:30 or 21:30 GMT, on a weekday to be determined. The idea is not to be in the middle of the night in Australia/Japan, western Europe or North America.

Please let me know if you are interested. Contact mtobis@gmail.com

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