Press contact: Sheri Potter, American Institute of Biological Sciences
941 321 1573, email@example.com
March 7, 2012
COPUS - a grassroots network focusing on connecting the public to science - is hosting its first Invitational Unconference on March 16-18, 2012. At this event, a group of invited guests will meet at the Biosphere 2 facilities outside of Tucson, Arizona to discuss strategies for increasing public understanding of and engagement with science. Sponsored by the Whitman Foundation, the unconference will bring individuals that ordinarily operate in isolation together to share knowledge, experiences, and discuss challenges. The conference is a think tank, a networking event, a showcase, a forum and a celebration - all rolled into one.
At the event, COPUS will also award the 2012 Paul Shin Memorial Award to William Gomez, a docent at the Jasper Ridge Biological Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. The Paul Shin Memorial Award was formed to honor the contributions made by former COPUS Core member, Paul Shin, who demonstrated unrelenting passion in promoting good science in everything he did - as a teacher, police officer, and society member. Paul was an unsung hero of science, and this award enables COPUS to honor his memory, and those like him whose contributions often go unrecognized. The 2012 recipient, William Gomez is an excellent candidate, embodying the same passion for communicating science that Paul did.
In the spirit of the Unconference, the event agenda will be driven by attendees, which includes 65 science communicators, artists, educators, and yes, scientists. Together, invitees will brainstorm on the opportunities and challenges of the science outreach community, as they focus on three core, interconnected, questions: What is meant by public understanding of science, what is the role of the scientist in promoting public engagement in science, and how will we know we are successful at our efforts.
The event will also have opportunities for individuals to participate in the dialog via social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook. "Asynchronous" meeting spaces will pose questions to the larger scientific community for discussion, and anyone can tweet in their ideas and opinions.
You can join the conversation by following us on Twitter - @COPUScore and using the hashtag #COPUS and #sci4all. You can also join the COPUS Facebook Group. The meeting will also help to define future directions for the network itself. Like the Unconference, the grassroots COPUS network is driven by its participants' needs and interests.
Stay tuned for more upcoming COPUS Unconference details.
The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) is a grassroots effort to engage the public in science and increase public understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. What COPUS does is simple - it creates a network of peers that build community for science through promoting dialogue, building connections, and sharing ideas and resources. http://www.copusproject.org