In this guest blog post, Arielle Bennett-Lovell (a 2019 CSCCE Community Engagement Fellow) reflects on the third Turing Way Book Dash event, which took place 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK.
What is the Turing Way?
Science today is moving at an incredible pace, but preventing people from building on your work by making it impossible to replicate has almost certainly cost us years of progress. The Turing Way book project addresses this reproducibility crisis by collating community resources around how to design and carry out robust analyses that can be reused by other researchers in the future.
Conceived by Kirstie Whitaker at The Alan Turing Institute, and managed by Malvika Sharan, the book itself is currently hosted online and built using Jupyter Books and GitHub. Over 80 contributors across the globe built the book, through remote collaboration, workshops, and in-person events. These Book Dashes bring participants together in person to work on pieces of the book simultaneously for a full day. The third Book Dash for the Turing Way was held on 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK, and I was lucky enough to go.
On Wednesday, 22 July 2020 at 2pm we’re hosting our next monthly community call. This month’s call will focus on virtual events, a topic that is likely on the minds of many scientific community managers at the moment.
We’ll cover three key aspects of organizing virtual events: planning and preparation, access and accessibility, and evaluation, both before and after your event. With three experts from our community of practice presenting, and ample time for discussion and Q&A, this month’s call promises to provide actionable information for you and your colleagues, so we hope to see you there!
In May, we published CSCCE’s core values, which were co-created with our Code of Conduct working group and participants on our May community call. In this blog post we dive a little deeper into our process, which we have made available for download in a new worksheet.
Why core values?
Successful communities have a shared purpose, but in order to convene around that purpose members need to agree on how they communicate and work together in order to ensure safer spaces and productive collaboration. By defining the core values of your community, you can get at what these collaborative norms are and set the tone for events, workshops, meetings, and other group activities.
As part of CEFP 2019, CSCCE director Lou Woodley developed a framework for creating authentic yet aspirational core values that are tailored to a community. The participants in the fellowship cohort used the framework to explore what might be helping and hindering the realization of core values in their own communities as part of their mid-year training in leading culture change efforts. This is also the framework we followed when creating the CSCCE core values.
On Wednesday, 17 June from 1-2:30pm US Eastern Time we’re hosting our first annual summer social! Although our community calls are scheduled for 90 minutes, we understand if you have to leave after an hour.
Since we launched last year, the CSCCE Community of Practice has continued to grow and so we’d like to spend June’s community call continuing to get to know one another. Combined with our holiday potluck call in December, the summer social will become a standing event on CSCCE’s community calendar. Whether you are brand new to the CSCCE community or have been here for a while, chances are you’ll meet someone new on this call!
In this guest blog, CEFP 2019 Fellow Arielle Bennett-Lovell considers how her community organizing efforts outside science help her in her day job as Coordinator for the Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.
What do a local campaign to save libraries, shared allotments, extinction rebellion protests, and a society of learned individuals all have in common? All of these are groups of people brought together by a shared goal, often with the intention of using collective discussions and engagement from members to push forward a set of ideas or principles using a variety of different initiatives.
A mature scientific community, which is co-creating its programming and future direction as part of a member-led exercise, or advocating for larger societal change on key issues in broader society, shares a lot of organisational parallels with an active community outside of science. However, as community managers, we sometimes don’t see these connections and miss the opportunity to use a breadth of examples in our own organisations.
We can, and should, examine the experiences of other communities, bringing them back into our own as examples of collective organising. This can enrich planning and programming for our scientists, students, and stakeholders. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a number of different campaigns and communities outside of my day job, and in this piece, I’ve outlined some of the key aspects of collective organising I’ve picked up from outside science.
This month’s call challenged us all to think hard about creating and supporting inclusive communities, particularly virtually. Led by the CEFP 2019 DEI Project Team, we explored four topics related to this and used Zoom’s breakout room capability to give participants the opportunity to have small group discussions.
Our next CSCCE Community Call is on Wednesday 22nd April at 2pm Eastern. Join us to discuss running inclusive online events and find out more about the CEFP 2019 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project Team’s work.
This month we’ll include a breakout style activity as well as presentations during the first hour of the call, and then a 30 minute open discussion for anyone to share their thoughts and experiences.
On this month’s Community Call, two project teams from the CSCCE Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) shared their research into what makes a great ambassador program and how we as scientific community engagement managers can support the members of our communities who volunteer to take part.
What is an ambassador program?
To advance the mission of the community with which they’re working, community managers often turn to ambassador programs. Also known as community champions or fellows, these more engaged users can help with beta testing, advocating for the community’s work, recruiting new members, launching specialized projects or other specific activities.
Brit Myers is a Project Manager for the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), a non-profit membership organization with the mission of facilitating cross-boundary Arctic knowledge, research, communication, and education. She works to enhance the ability of the highly distributed Arctic research community to connect with one another and work more effectively through collaborative research programs.
Last year I was invited by Dr. Luisa Cristini from the Alfred Wegener Institute to co-convene a session at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. Luisa was interested in submitting a session proposal specifically focused on issues relevant to the work of scientific project managers – a job title she and I share. Hoping to attract a larger number of abstracts to the proposed AGU session, we also agreed to reach out to the AAAS CEFP community to see if our session topic might be similar enough to their interests to warrant collaboration. Luckily, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley and another group of #CEFP17 session conveners agreed to join us in our efforts!
However, as we drafted the combined AGU session description – and during a number of other conversations that followed – there was some genuine uncertainty about where the boundaries might stand between those focused on professional development from a “Project Manager” standpoint vs. that of a “Research Community Manager.” For anyone with a Project Management job title, it is hard to forget that Project Management is a well-established profession with an official Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) regulated through accreditation organizations like the Project Management Institute. Alternatively, the “Research Community Manager” is viewed by the new Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement as an “emerging profession,” distinct enough from both traditional project management and/or non-scientific online community management to justify the time and attention needed to professionalize and institutionalize the role.
One task of a scientific community manager is to facilitate the activities of a community and to create opportunities for community members to engage in productive interaction. In this post CEFP2019 Fellow, Rayna Harris shares ten networking strategies for community managers.
Networking is a process we use to exchange ideas and to build relationships with individuals that share a common interest. In previous decades, most networking was done in-person, perhaps with the exchange of a business card or elevator pitch; however, digital communication is an increasingly common way that people network (Leek 2016). Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, the goal of this blog post is to provide community managers with a few strategies for networking to build their community and facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.
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