Unconference: SciBarCamp, July 8-9 in Palo Alto

Last year I enjoyed attending two great “unconferences”, Scifoo andBioBarCamp. Although nominally similar in structure, the events had very distinct feels: Scifoo was a massive, invitation-only affair sponsored by Google, Nature and O’Reilly, whereas BioBarCamp (spearheaded by Attila Csordás of Partial Immortalization and organized by him and John Cumbers, now at NASA-Ames) was more freely accessible and intimate. I ended up getting a lot out of both events: I learned a lot, got inspired about open science, and met a lot of delightful people with whom I’m still in touch.

This year Attila is in Hungary and unable to plan a BioBarCamp in coordination with Scifoo, but will be putting one together for later in the year. The pre-foo unconference torch has been passed to Jamie McQuay of Scimatic Software, who has a slightly more expanded vision for a SciBarCamp that is inclusive of all fields. I’ve signed on to help organize, along with several others whom I met at BioBarCamp last year:

The conference will be free but space-limited to an as-yet-undetermined extent, so if you’re interested it behooves you to sign up early. As Jamie just announced on Scimatic’s blog, registration will open May 1. In the meantime, there’s a SciBarCamp website already up, and a FriendFeed room for discussion.