[ASC-list] Invitation to contribute to the Science in Popular Fiction Wiki

Lindy Orthia lindy.orthia at anu.edu.au
Fri Nov 18 04:22:24 UTC 2016

***Apologies for cross-posting***
 Hi all,
Researchers and teachers interested in the nexus between science, fiction and the public are hereby invited to contribute to the Science in Popular Fiction Wiki<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com>.
I established the wiki a couple of years ago to support my teaching activities in a course called Science in Popular Fiction.<http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/course/SCOM2003>
But it has the potential to be a great public outreach site and research hub, so I’d love any of you with expertise in this field to get involved. You can also use it to support your teaching in this field if you like.
What is it?
The wiki is designed to make research about science, fiction and the public accessible to anyone.
It has two components:
First, encyclopedia entry type pages, similar to Wikipedia, which summarise and synthesise research on topics in this field. Possible topics could be things like ‘the mad scientist stereotype’ or ‘using movies to teach chemistry’ or ‘scientists as film consultants’. The idea is to summarise research, not to provide original analysis - think of it as a non-linear review paper. So a page about The Big Bang Theory shouldn’t discuss the science in the show, it should critically summarise what researchers in science communication or STS have said about the science in the show. So far only a few pages<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Encyclopaedia+Entries> have been written by some of my students for assessment, and accordingly they’re rather eclectic in topics and vary in quality. But there’s room for much expansion and improvement, by professional scholars or other cohorts of students. This could be a great resource for researchers, students and the public readership if done well.
Second, the wiki has a functioning bibliographic database, which works like a simplified version of Scopus or Web of Science, but includes only journal papers relevant to this field of research. Anyone working in this field knows papers about science, fiction and the public are published all over the place, in all kinds of journals, and it can be hard to know you’re across it all. This database is designed for researchers, students and teachers, to help all of us cover the relevant ground when conducting a literature review or looking for course materials. You can conduct a general search using any search term, or you can generate a list of relevant papers by fiction text<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/By+Fiction+Medium> (e.g. Jurassic Park<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Text+-+Jurassic+Park>), fiction medium<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/By+Fiction+Medium> (e.g. television<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Television>), research method<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/By+Research+Method> (e.g. focus groups<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Focus+Groups>) or science field<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/By+Science+Field> (e.g. biotechnology<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Field+-+Biotechnology>). Each journal paper has a page of its own, including its abstract, citation, and link to where the full paper is archived. The database currently has over 200 papers listed, but there’s a stack of recent ones in this field that need to be added, and many more that I’m sure I’ve missed (plus books and book chapters, few of which are currently listed). Add your own papers to promote your work!
How do I get involved?
If you’d like to become a contributor, check out the 10 membership conditions<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Membership+Conditions>. In a nutshell, they are that (a) authorial access can be granted widely, but only within certain limitations, (b) when editing pages you should be cautious and nice and know what you’re doing first, and (c) you should pay attention to copyright and file size.
If you think these conditions are reasonable, email me off list (lindy.orthia at anu.edu.au<mailto:lindy.orthia at anu.edu.au>) to request member or organizer status.
The whole thing is free and will never cost you anything, because it’s hosted on the Wikispaces Education Plan. The platform is not perfect, but it’s pretty user friendly, and my research assistant Rudi Spennemann prepared some development pages<http://scienceinpopularfiction.wikispaces.com/Wiki+Development> to help with the technical side of things.
I hope to see the wiki thriving under the hive mind’s expertise. Please feel free to forward this to any lists or individuals you think might be interested.
Best wishes,
Dr Lindy Orthia
Senior Lecturer
Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS)
The Australian National University
Peter Baume Building 42A | Acton ACT 2601 Australia
T +61 2 6125 6148 | F +61 2 6125 8991
CRICOS Provider #00120C

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