Last week I went skipping off to the amazing and fun ScienceOnline Climate Conference for a few days.

My scholarship focuses in large part on the ways knowledge about science, nature, and health are produced, deployed, understood, and/or acted on.

My primary goal in attending this event was to get a better understanding of how science communicators are situating people in their work – whether that means looking at the differing relationship Indigenous arctic people, scientists, tourists, and commercial fisheries have with wild ice or enacting policies on climate change related coastal damage in Southern states or engaging with members of the public who deny climate change is being accelerated by human behavior.

I was pleasantly surprised by how many attendees had an anthropology background or who were very interested in how engaging with the topic from an anthropological perspective could strengthen their work.

I made some great contacts, put faces to a lot of names I only knew online, and saw some old friends. I’ve got posts in progress about 3 workshop sessions: communicating climate change as a non-expert, the role of art in communicating about climate change, and using games to communicate climate change issues.

In the meantime, here are links to Keynote speaker Andy Revkin’s post on his NY Times blog, Dot Earth and Plenary session panelist Dan Kahan’s (@cult_cognition) article at Yale’s Cultural Cognition Project, “Who distrusts whom about what in the climate science debate?”

You can also check in to the conference wiki, where blogposts, pictures, and video of sessions are being added even as I type.

The hyperbolic crochet coral reef project is extremely cool.

The Smithsonian will be participating by installing a reef in October 2010 and you can participate. There’s a workshop and lecture this Sunday at the Natural History Museum from noon – 4. (rsvp: sicommunityreef@yahoo.com)

You can still participate even if you can’t attend that workshop.

You can contact the local organizers at sicommunityreef@yahoo.com to arrange a local community workshop or you can attend one at Fibre Space on June 24th, from 5-9 pm:

Join our Thursday night “Stitch in Space” every week, starting June 24th to make your own piece to the crochet coral reef. Jennifer Lindsay from the Smithsonian Community Reef will join us on the 24th to help everyone get started. Or you can find your own inspiration at the Institute For Figuring’s Gallery of Crocheted Models. Our reef will be on display in our front window before heading off to the Smithsonian in August to become part of the larger reef project.

Here’s video of a recent TED talk by Margaret Wertheim, co-founder of the The Institute For Figuring, in case you want to learn more (or you just can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about and why it’s cool).