SpotOn #solo13 #solo13hack “What the hack?! Science Hackdays”

I should have blogged this earlier …

Today 2013-11-08:1030-1130 UTC Ross Mounce and I are running a 1-hour session “What the hack?! Science Hackdays” at SpotOn 2013. SpotOn has been running for ?6 years and used to be called variously “Science Blogging” and “Science Online” (hence the #solo13 tag). But there has been a name clash and it’s now SpotOn – so it goes. It’s at the British Library but I think it’s sold old – have a look. It’s two days, with fringe events (in pubs, where else?) and probably 250 ppl. Wonderful!

Ross and I have invited two outstanding speakers to kick off our session:

  • Martin Fenner, now with PLoS. Martin helped run the recent hack4ac hackday (1-day, first time)
  • Helen Jackson. CellCountr , helped to run the recent NHSHack at Cambridge (2-day, 5th in series)

Both were fantastic events. There’s a lot of contracts between an initial 1-day hack and a 2-day (or longer) hack in a series. The organizers are always committed and work much harder than it appears. The delegates come with very varied expectations and there are very variable outcomes (almost always positive).

We’ll be online, streamed (I think). If you are online in the time slot you can contribute. The tag is #solo13hack. The day will work like this:

  • We’ll start at 1035 exact, regardless of whether people are seated. 1 hour is very short.
  • ALL verbal contributions are brief. The speakers get 300 secs (5 minutes). Delegates on the floor get 60 secs max. PMR gets ca 20 secs purely for admin and to announce Helen. After the time limit, Chuff the Okapi, gets bored at , like Miss SweewtiePoo at the Ignobel awards starts seriously misbehaving. Don’t let it happen to you!
  • I shall run an Etherpad which will be display6ed except during Martin/Helen. Anyone can contribute. We’d like a spontaneous volunteer to act as scribe.
  • I shall feed Twitter and listen for questions. Anyone REMOTE should add [REMOTE] to any question they want asked. PMR will try to intersperse real-life discussion with remote questions.
  • Ross will introduce the session and Martin.
  • Martin will speak.
  • I shall introduce Helen.
  • Helen will speak
  • We’ll then take contributions from the floor and remotely. Maximum of 60 secs for everyone. Every so often Chuff will ask a question from REMOTE.
  • It will be fast-moving so don’t blink. Ross may steer the real-life discussion if required. I shall do the twitter questions.

We’ll capture the tweets. If you don’t get to speak your contributions on Twitter will still be great.

There’s no set questions and *we* don’t want to drive it. You can raise anything – what subjects, where, cost, size of hack, length of hack, continuation, etc. We may ask for show of hands from time to time.

And *we* can’t predict how it will work out – that’s part of the spirit of a hack.