Open Access Conference (Call) Series

If you are interested in Open Science, the following may be of interest. Chemists Without Borders is hosting a series of conference calls on Open Access, Open Source:

Thursday, April 5 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Heather Joseph: Federal Research Public Access Act

Heather Joseph, Executive Director, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), will talk about the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). FRPAA is anticipated to be re-introduced this spring. The purpose of this bill is to require all U.S. Federal research granting agencies with portfolios of over $100 million (11 agencies altogether) to develop policies requiring open access to the results of the research they fund. FRPAA has been endorsed by many higher education leaders and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Chemists Without Borders is a member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access; should we support FRPAA?
More information about FRPAA can be found on the SPARC website.
As the Executive Director of SPARC, Heather Joseph is very involved in advocacy for FRPAA. Before joining SPARC, Heather worked for many years in the publishing industry, and was formerly Executive Director of the BioOne publishing cooperative.

Thursday, June 7, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Peter Suber: Open Access Questions & Answers

Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge Project, author of Open Access News
Peter Suber, one of the world’s leading academics in the area of open access, will join Chemists Without Borders for a question and answer session on any aspect of open access.

Thursday, September 6 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / Noon Eastern Time
Jean-Claude Bradley: Open Source Chemistry

Chemists Without Borders’ own Jean-Claude Bradley, Coordinator for E-Learning at the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, will talk about the Useful Chemistry approach to open source chemistry, founded by Bradley.

Importantly, you don’t have to be a member of CWB to participate:

Not a member? No problem – contact us and let us know you would like to participate. There is no charge, other than regular long distance rates, to join the teleconference.

I’ve asked, via the web form, whether I might participate in the conference call series; I’ll update this entry when I hear back.

Update as promised: I took part in the July 5 call, and will try to make one of the bi-monthly calls from here on out. Initial impressions are all positive, these are people who are genuinely trying to make the world a better place. If you’re interested in taking part, email me as well as using the web form, since there were a couple of snafus in getting me signed up.

Essence of mouse.


In case anyone was wondering, this is the sort of thing I do all day. That cotton-candy-looking stuff is mouse genomic DNA, about 600 micrograms of it, harvested from a tumor caused (we’re trying to find out how) by deletion of the MNT gene in T cells. I was going to try to say something profound, but the little DNA monster (the “eyes” are air bubbles trapped when the DNA came out of solution) rather deflated my pomposity.

Invest in freedom and democracy.

Longtime readers (both of you) are probably waiting for the punchline, or at least the cynical remark, after that title, but there isn’t one. Look at the category. I’m not kidding here.
And what is the investment in question? Lindsay is having a fundraising week to support her work as a freelance journalist:

I have been “drug free” for nearly six months: It has been half a year since I swore off pharmaceutical copywriting for good and dove full-time to blogging and other freelance writing! I cut way back on pharma after Katrina, but I was still “chipping,” doing the odd copywriting assignment to supplement my blogging/writing income. I knew that if I was serious, I was going to have to go cold turkey and kick my pharma habit once and for all.

So, last October, I quit for good.
Since then, my freelance career has been off to a great start. The blog has continued to grow and thrive. I’ve published in Salon, TIME, The New York Press, AlterNet, Chelsea Now, and other outlets. I also recently joined This Modern World as a co-blogger. It’s an exhilarating time, but I’m just barely keeping my head above water.

I’ve suggested supporting Lindsay before, and my reasons haven’t changed. I don’t see how you can have a functional democracy without a free, that is, independent, press — and the more independent the better. We need smart, insightful, resourceful journalists who are not beholden to one corporate media giant or another.
Naturally, Lindsay wants to make a living from this, which means not having to hold intellectual bake-sales on her blog (in return for donations, she’s taking requests for articles and/or photos). That’s part of her plan, initially by way of advertising on Majikthise. But it’s a tough gig, and support now could make a lot of difference in helping her to establish a mature, self-sustaining career. If you have a few spare dollars, please do something good for the world (and especially the US!) and send ’em to Lindsay.

An opt-out for spyware; how considerate.

Ever see “DoubleClick” or “” or similar hostnames come up when you’re loading something entirely different? Those are advertising servers, and at least one group of the sneaky bastards now offers a way to opt-out of their cookies. This won’t stop you seeing ads, it will only prevent them being “targeted” — more importantly, it will stop their data collection. I had an active cookie from six of the nine network members, and their site claims I’ve now successfully opted out of all nine.
(Hat-tip: David.)