I went to BarCamb this weekend. It’s BarCamp, in Cambridge, hence the name.

Attilla Csordas (who also lives in Cambridge now, in case you’re trying to keep up with the physical locations of online science folks) mentioned that there were fewer scientists than he had expected. That’s because the first BarCamb, organized a few years ago by Matt Wood (who was also here, but not organizing), was much more aimed at scientists – like SciBarCamp. But compared to the regular (non-science) barcamps I’ve been to in Toronto, I thought there were actually surprisingly a lot of scientists or friends-of-scientists there: about five or six people with a background and/or career in science, three computer geeks with biology partners, and a few others with an above average interest in science.

I really enjoyed the variety of the talks, though. I didn’t go to the very tech-heavy ones, because I don’t really understand how computers work at all, actually. Case in point: I couldn’t even manage to properly use OpenOffice Impress (I miss my trusty PowerPoint!) so the slides for my own talk were messily pasted from old talks with a lot of photos added in and very little text. I talked about unconferences for scientists (and a bit about scientists and internet) and how hard it is to get them to go to one.

Some of the talks I attended were about: an idea for an iPhone app to learn Chinese/Japanese symbols, autism in the legal justice system, the practicalities of developing an archiving system for archaeological data (how to overcome different ways of thinking between academics and software developers), how to fit an entire scientific proof into a tweet using special characters (inspired by F1000’s sci140 contest), where to find inspiration for photography, the connection between CycleStreets and Open Street Maps, a geolocation system to locate the nearest beer, and a screening of the latest episode of Dr Who (the last half of it anyway.)

I also played a mafia-themed card game last night and won both rounds. (Don’t mess with me!)
I deliberately didn’t bring my camera, because I’m too far behind on looking at photos I took weeks ago, but others took photos, and they’re on Flickr. You can also read up on the event on Twitter.


Eva Amsen is a writer, science communicator and blogger. She has been writing about science and scientists in art/culture/life since 2005, both on this blog and for other sites and publications. Portfolio | Twitter | Contact

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Nature Network Team says:

    About half the pics on Flickr seem to chronicle the adventures of various soft toys. Are you sure this wasn’t BearCamb?

  2. Eva Amsen says:

    And for a change I had not brought any toys of my own. Did I blog yet about Squishy Cow’s sibling? I don’t think I have!

  3. Eva Amsen says:

    “This post”: includes a good summary of the talk I gave.