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Science Online watch party in London

by Eva Amsen

I’ve been to Science Online North Carolina twice – in 2007 and 2009 – and I keep meaning to go again, but I never manage to plan it properly. My most recent excuse was that I couldn’t justify it professionally, when I could go to the much more geographically convenient SpotOn conference, which covers more publishing-related issues.

But then I had a moment of great clarity in which, ironically, I realized I was an idiot.

I don’t want to go to Science Online for professional reasons. I just want to go because IT’S AWESOME.

I know so many people there, and I haven’t seen most of them in far too long. I want to go because people who like the same things I do are there, and because I want to spend time with them, while being exposed to new people and ideas. Unfortunately, once I realized that I wanted to go, it was far too late to arrange this.

I could mope about it (and believe me, I will do so extensively from January 30 to February 2nd, when my entire Twitter feed will be taken over by the #scio13 hashtag) but I could also try to make the best of it. There must be others in the UK who also would love to go to #scio13 but can’t.

Science Online is encouraging local Watch Parties, where people can get together and watch some of the sessions, either live or after the fact. I would love to help organize one in the UK, and at least experience some of the conference second-hand, and together with other absentees, but I don’t want to do it alone. Does anyone want to help?

Here’s what we would need:
-Find out which city people are most likely to come to an event like this (London tops the list at the moment after an informal poll)
-Pick a date – I’d suggest February 2nd (evening) or 3rd (any time) so that most sessions will be available.
-Secure a venue
-Figure out how to raise $100 (from attendees or sponsors)
-Figure out how to project/stream/show the talks.
-Invite people – we’d need at least 25 or so.

It’s the third, fourth and fifth step that I would most want help with (the venue, money, and AV). Yeah, that’s basically everything, but for some people these are MUCH easier to come by. For example, a friendly (startup?) company can offer at least several of these requirements under the umbrella of sponsorship, but for me as an independent human being, it would involve calling a gazillion pubs, begging for money, and probably even spending more money in trying to get AV stuff set up. I *can* do all that, and I have done before, but I think this could be a whole lot easier with the right collaboration.

So, who’s in?

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