convos on the commonAug 15, 2023
Balancing trailblazing and tradition
In this podcast interview, we learn from Lennart Nacke, a professor of Human-Computer Interaction in Games at the University of Waterloo. Being so interdisciplinary, he has an interesting perspective on what kind of work is recognized within a department, which we explore in depth here, in addition to considering the impact technology has on disciplines and the importance of balancing “trailblazing ideas” with the core tradition.
Go to Commonplace to engage with an interactive transcript of this podcast and to check out our articles1
Nurturing non-traditional science
In this installation of Convos on the Common, our host chats with "Roger's Bacon," one of the founders of the journal: Seeds of Science. As a former biologist turned independent researcher and teacher, Roger's and his team created this new journal to address the many issues around gatekeeping and review in scientific publishing. In this conversation, he and Sarah talk about reviewing speculative research, stewarding a community, and the aesthetic value of communication.
Find the transcript on Commonplace.
The State of (Scientific) Innovation
In this installation of Convos on the Common, we chat with Matt Clancy an economist by training who runs New Things Under the Sun, a living literature review on innovation. This conversation investigates what living literature reviews are, the ever-changing science of citations and disruptions in publishing, and some interesting correlations and emerging ideas within the exciting topic of innovation.
Read the enhanced transcript over on Commonplace.
If you’re an academic interested in starting their own living literature review on their own topic, Matt would love to hear from you! His work email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go for Double: on the "Read & Let Read" Model
In this installation of Convos on the Common, we talk with AJ Boston, a scholarly communications librarian at Murray State University, about the “Read & Let Read” model, a library-publisher agreement that would alter how everyone, not just university libraries, access paywalled scholarship. AJ shares some of his thinking on logistics, gaining momentum and support, and how this could change how and what articles are accessed.
Read the enhanced transcript on Commonplace.
Shifting Scientific Behaviors
Welcome to Convos on the Common, a Commonplace podcast. In this episode, we chat with Bart Penders, an Associate Professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands about his recent publication: “Process and Bureaucracy: Scientific Reform as Civilization.” Our conversation focuses on different reform movements, pre-registered reports, how shame motivates publishing behaviors, and the plurality found at every level of bureaucracy.
You can find an interactive transcript of this podcast on Commonplace.
Towards Equal Footing: Building community with rurality in mind
A conversation about communicating amongst scientists, clinicians, policy makers, and rural communities with the communications specialist of the Northern New England Clinical & Translational Research Network. Read the transcript here.
I (sarah kearns, host) get to chat with my friend and college Dr. Ellen Brennen. The topic emerged out of one of her tweets that I thought was an important part of the discourse around media literacy and actually understanding communities that scientists/policy makers try to serve. The Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network connects researchers, clinicians, and the public with the resources they need to conduct clinical, translational, and community health projects. While there are many Clinical and Translational Research Networks around the country, what makes this one unique is that it serves and works with predominantly rural communities in their community outreach which serves as a unique challenge. As their communications specialist, Ellen is responsible for managing the networks online presence, supporting researchers in communicating their science effectively, and helping network leadership develop strong applications and strategies for research impacting community health. We really dive into the use of jargon (“science speak”), how to foster healthy discourse amongst different community types, the particularities of addressing rural communities and dismantling assumptions, and the policy and infrastructural changes needed to best provide resources equitably to everyone.
Layers of Trust: Creating data provenance standards to combat misinformation and human rights crises
In this podcast episode, Jacobo Castellanos, the Technology Threats and Opportunities Associate of Witness, talks with me about tackling misinformation using digital specifications that add layers of information and trust to images and videos. We met at the Rights Conference where he lead a session about “Tackling misinformation with authenticity and provenance infrastructure that works for all.” After the session, I wanted to know more about how the specifications were designed and implemented so I reached out to Jacobo to learn more from him about this collaboration. Here we talk about the design principles, accessibility, pitfalls and limitations, and the hope of using technology and deep fakes to address issue of misinformation and humans rights crises.
Go to Commonplace to read the enhanced transcript.
Poetry in the Stacks: The Wanderverse Project
The Wanderverse Project is a collaborative poetry project in MIT's Hayden Library. Each co-created poem is called a “Wanderverse.” The purpose of this project is to draw the MIT public in to explore spaces in Hayden Library they wouldn't otherwise get a chance to visit, and to promote stack browsing.
I (sarah, your host) became interested in this project out of the intense feeling of FOMO. Living in central New York, the Hayden Library — and thus the immersive and exploratory experience — is not accessible to me (and most people on the planet) without some amount of planning and traveling. As events wane from being fully remote and back to physical spaces, I needed to learn more about this embodied experience creating poetry, and how this event at the library interfaced the boundaries of IRL and URL experiences in their magical Wanderverse.
The conversation that follows is with MIT Digital Humanities Lab creative technologist and visiting research associate Asya Aizman along with Ece Turnator, and Mark Szarko of the MIT Libraries. We end up discussing what authorship means when a publication is found and curated, what it means to merge digital and analogue content, the constant re-hashing of ideas and art to make something new, and the joy that comes from self-directed exploration.
Read along our annotated transcript over on Commonplace.
Saying the Quiet Part Loud: Making incremental and big gains in library licensing agreements
In this podcast, we chat with NERL’s Lindsay Cronk, Maridath Wilson, and Liz Mengel about the recent Backflip open access pilot deal with Elsevier. The first of it’s kind, it aims to gain retroactive access to older publications, not just new ones in a sort of rent-to-own model. But this conversation goes far beyond just the deal itself: we talk about the importance of incremental change, identifying institutional- and consortial-level values, using resources wisely, and having a pizza party.
And we jump right into it because the energy on the day we recorded was high and fun!
More to Open than Access
The publishing academic complex is out of control, and current policies will only open future publications and not the backlog of research. How do you change a system which has so much social and economic power over scholarship? In this episode, we'll be chatting with Peter Murray-Rust, a chemist at the University of Cambridge, about open beyond just access, and the challenges of making changes that will have a global impact on Scholarly Communications.
Read the interactive transcript over on Commonplace.
In this episode, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein describe the process of community review for their book, Data Feminism. We end up discussing how and where multiple voices can constructively improve a piece of work, and how their thinking, research, and writing practices have shifted since.
Community and culture-centered code
In this new and experimental podcast, KFG acquisitions editor Sarah Kearns talks with Henry Zhu, who maintains Babel and hosts his own podcast. They highlight the importance of people-centered code and online communities rather than metric-motivated ones, stress that maintaining code is just as (if not more) important than adding features, and open source is composed of many different cultures and practices.
Read the transcript over on Commonplace.