CapSciComm Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, April 7th

Back by popular demand, CapSciComm will be bringing you an0ther edition of #CapSciCommLive “Trivia with the Bens” for our community — open to all CapSciComm Members and friends and family! Let’s keep up with our #StayHome groove and help #FlattenTheCurve for our local and global community

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Presented by Capital Science Communicators
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
Line opens 6:45 p.m. Pacific
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific
(Game ends roughly 9:15 p.m.)

For complete instructions on how to dial-in and participate in trivia night, please head over to the new website for future Trivia with the Bens events: http://www.triviawiththebens.com/trivia-night-20200407

To help keep our main @CapSciComm news feed uncluttered, the trivia game feed will now transition to its own Twitter handle, @TriviaWithBens — please follow!

Stay safe, stay informed, and take care of each other. And as always, #KeepScienceSpicy, Sacramento!

— The CapSciComm Board

CapSciComm Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, March 31

CapSciComm Founder Ben Landis here. Y’all are doing such an amazing job to #StayHome and help #FlattenTheCurve for our local and global community — so let’s reward ourselves! After last week’s successful experiment, we’re thrilled to bring back another edition of “Trivia with the Bens” for our community! Open to all CapSciComm Members and non-members:

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Presented by Capital Science Communicators
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
Line opens 6:45 p.m. Pacific
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific
(Game ends roughly 9:15 p.m.)
Participate via conference phone line or Twitter

Tuesday’s game will again be hosted by me, Ben Landis, alongside CapSciComm Member Ben Nicholson. We want these evenings to be fun little escapes from reality — so pour yourself an adult beverage or your favorite mocktail or fizzy water, and join us!

About our game: Our format is four rounds of eight questions each, and the questions will get a little more difficult with each round (our format is a fond tribute to the Fox & Goose pub quiz hosted by Kevin Ice for many years). And since this is a CapSciComm event, all the questions will have a STEM theme to them — but maybe in unexpected ways. For example, each round will have a question specifically related to our Sacramento or Northern California region.

This week’s additional theme: In honor of what would have been the MLB Opening Day, we’ll have a handful of questions related to baseball.

And our house rules:

  • Teams: There’s no limit on how many people to a team. Whether you’re playing solo, or with your family or roommates, or even remotely with friends over text or chat, come up with your team name and get ready to play! (When tweeting a selfie with your team, be sure to use the hashtag #CapSciCommLive)
  • Questions: Ben and Ben will be reading the questions out loud over the conference phone line, and we’ll also be posting each question on our CapSciComm Twitter page: twitter.com/CapSciComm
  • Scoring: We’ll score answers after each round — to make things simple for this first outing, you guys are on your honor to score your own answer sheets. 
  • No Peeking! Finally, no checking your phone or the internet or your home bookshelf for answers while playing! This isn’t a Googling contest!

At the end of our quiz, we’ll open the line and see how folks scored across the possible points. For teams with their competitive fire going, we’ll ask you to tweet a photo of your completed answer sheets (tag #CapSciCommLive) — so we can verify top scores and recognize them via CapSciComm Twitter and Facebook. 

Thank you all for continuing to keep our local community vibrant and united during these unprecedented times. Let’s stay strong and connected — and #KeepScienceSpicy together!

See you on Tuesday night!
Ben Young Landis
CapSciComm Founder and Executive Co-Chair

(Check out the winners and full thread from our March 24 Trivia Night!)

CapSciComm Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, March 24

CapSciComm Founder Ben Landis here. We know everyone’s been itching for some fun way to socialize during these critical times to #StayHome and #FlattenTheCurve. So here’s the first of our many CapSciComm experiments with virtual events for our members and friends in the community!

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Presented by Capital Science Communicators
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific (aiming to end by 9:00 p.m.)
Participate via conference phone line or Twitter

Tuesday’s game will be hosted by me, Ben Landis, together with CapSciComm Member Ben Nicholson. We want tonight to be a fun night — we will absolutely not ask anything about viruses or diseases! So please have a good time with our fun little escape from reality tonight.

Now just to set the stage. Our trivia format is modeled after one local series that’s near to our heart, the Fox & Goose pub quiz hosted by Kevin Ice for many years. Tuesdays would be our normal trivia night at the Fox & Goose, where Kevin had recently announced his retirement. We’re quite sad to see the end of this era, so our quiz is definitely a tribute to his good work.

About our game: Our format is four rounds of eight questions each. The questions will get a little more difficult with each round. And since this is a CapSciComm event, all the questions will have a STEM theme to them — but maybe in unexpected ways. For example, each round will have a question specifically related to our greater Sacramento region. Finally, in honor of Women’s History Month, one question in each round tonight will be about women in STEM.

And our house rules:

  • Teams: There’s no limit on how many people to a team. Whether you’re playing solo, or with your family or roommates, or even remotely with friends over text or chat, come up with your team name and get ready to play! (If you’re tweeting a selfie with your team, be sure to use the hashtag #CapSciCommLive)
  • Questions: Ben and Ben will be reading the questions out loud over the conference phone line, and we’ll also be posting each question on our CapSciComm Twitter page: twitter.com/CapSciComm
  • Scoring: We’ll score answers after each round — to make things simple for this first outing, you guys are on your honor to score your own answer sheets. 
  • No Peeking! Finally, no checking your phone or the internet or your home bookshelf for answers while playing! Let’s keep things a little competitive here.

At the end of our quiz, we’ll ask folks to share their final scores over the phone and/or tweet photos of their completed answer sheets (tag #CapSciCommLive), and see who all came out on top! We’ll be sure to recognize the top winners via CapSciComm Twitter and Facebook. 

Bear with us as we will undoubtedly be navigating some technical kinks in this first outing. But it should be a blast, and I hope you all can join us. Let’s get some trivia on!

See you on Tuesday night!
Ben Young Landis
CapSciComm Founder and Executive Co-Chair

A Message from the CapSciComm Board: Virtual Events and COVID-19 SciComm Resources

Dear CapSciComm Members —

As the #coronavirus #COVID19 disease pandemic progresses and affects our regional community, I want to share a helpful resource for journalists, PIOs, and other writers and communicators in our network. 

“Resources for Covering COVID-19”
Compiled by the National Association of Science Writers
https://www.nasw.org/COVID19Resources

Coronaviruses: Background and Sources for Your Reporting”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists
https://healthjournalism.org/resources-tips-details.php?id=1102#.Xmv1qqhKjb0

Tips on Finding and Vetting Experts During a Disease Outbreak”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists
https://healthjournalism.org/resources-tips-details.php?id=1107#.Xmv1p6hKjb0

Resources for Reporting the Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists
https://healthjournalism.org/resources-tips-details.php?id=1108#.Xmv1n6hKjb0

(Note: CapSciComm has no official affiliation with NASW or AHCJ, though NASW does support efforts like the #SciWriCongress)

For writers and communicators, this is a helpful time to look towards national professional associations like NASW (https://twitter.com/ScienceWriters) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (https://healthjournalism.org) for guidance, especially if you and your newsroom do not have beat writers on staff, or if you are new to science/health assignments. Or if you’re simply a community member interested in building up your media literacy on how to sift through the deluge of news and rumors during this critical time. (A big shoutout also to our communicator colleagues working just as hard at state agencies, universities, and research institutions these weeks — we are lucky to be in California.)

CapSciComm Transition and Events

I also want to say a word on upcoming events and our CapSciComm organization transition. As you know, our 2020 plan was to revamp our membership structure, unveil a new charter, and host our first-ever elections for a new Executive Board — taking our network to new heights in this new decade. 

So first off, a big thank you to the many of you who’ve already joined us as dues-paying Professional or Student Members! Please share our membership link (https://capscicomm.org/join) with more colleagues and friends. Those of you who wish to remain on this mailing list but simply as Community Members (no dues), please register nevertheless so we can properly migrate your member information to new platforms.

Secondly, the vibrancy and energy of our professional community has always been best defined by our CapSciComm Networking Socials and those many wonderful face-to-face conversations and chance meetings in-person. In this current reality, we must adapt accordingly. 

The membership drive and our plans for elections will still go on — as should professional networking, now more than ever in light of the need to nurture quality scicomm. I hope to announce plans for virtual events in the coming months, perhaps in the form of Twitter meetups or Slack channels. I welcome your suggestions for formats and tools to stay connected — we’ll find a way to keep building community, even with physical distancing. [Update 3/16: The Slack workspace is live and invites have been sent to Professional and Student Members!]

Recall our mission and vision: To connect science communicators in the Capital Region with resources and networks for professional development — sustaining science literacy among citizens and decision makers in the Capital Region through the support of science communication professionals.

This network was created for you. Let’s keep engaging with one another in our CapSciComm community, and do consider your candidacy when elections and committee announcements come around. Together, we can help one another through this and future challenges — and continue serving our region, society, and neighbors with our talents and expertise.


Sincerely,
Ben Young Landis
CapSciComm Founder and Executive Co-Chair
for the CapSciComm Board

[NOTE: This post was updated with AHCJ resources at 2:10 p.m. Pacific Time, March 13th]

Science Café Events in the Sacramento Region for March

“Eat Your Microbes! Fermented Foods, Probiotics, & Gut Health”
Davis Science Café

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
G Street WunderBar
228 G St, Davis, California 95616
FREE TO ATTEND
Complimentary soft drinks courtesy of the UCD College of Letters and Science

Each month, Professor Jared Shaw with the UC Davis Department of Chemistry hosts the Davis Science Café, featuring scientists who are studying some of today’s cutting edge topics. This month’s speaker is Prof. Maria Marco in the Department of Food Science and Technology who studies microorganisms and their relationships with food and health. Invite a friend, and get here early to grab a seat at G. Street Wunderbar. Let’s drink to science!

Abstract: Fermented foods are currently the #1 health food trend. What are fermented foods exactly? What is the hype all about? How are fermented foods different from probiotic foods? Based on what has been discovered about the human gut microbiota, how can we use the microbes in our diet to promote health? This talk will cover these questions and address what remains to be done in this emerging area of microbiome science.

Contact Professor Jared Shaw for more information, at jtshaw@ucdavis.edu orwww.facebook.com/davissciencecafe

CapSciComm, Relaunched: Become a Professional or Student Member Today!

Dear CapSciComm Community —

At our January 30th Networking Social, we unveiled our Reorganization Plan for 2020. We are so excited to usher this new era for Capital Science Communicators — your scicomm professional community here in the Sacramento region for the past seven years.

You can now officially join CapSciComm as a dues-paying member. As the first phase of our Reorganization, we invite everyone in our current mailing list to join us as a Professional, Student, or Community Member at www.capscicomm.org/join

  • Professional Memberships ($10.00) gain privileges to Members-Only Listserv; free or reduced rates for CapSciComm events with fees; invitations to Member-Only events, programs, and resources; and most importantly, eligibility to run in Executive Board elections and participate in volunteer committees.
  • Student Memberships ($5.00) gain all of the above privileges, plus eligibility for potential future student-only programs.
  • Community Memberships (No Charge) will still receive news and alerts, but have no leadership or event discount privileges.

Whichever tier best suits your interest in our network, we invite you to visit www.capscicomm.org/join and register as a CapSciComm Member for 2020. Even if you wish to remain as a Community Member, please register so that we can properly migrate your contact information to any new platforms, and ensure continuity of news and alerts.

The success of our network has always been in our membership — now, it’s time to truly pay it forward. Member dues will go towards covering our baseline costs (e.g. domain registration, member swag, venue rental fees). More importantly, building a treasury will open the door for exciting new programming possibilities — such as student scholarships, special events, or annual mixers with other local societies.

As members, you bring the genuine energy and diverse perspectives we need to shape and lead our CapSciComm community in this new decade. In subsequent phases this spring 2020, we will announce a Call for Candidate Nominations and launch our first-ever Executive Board Elections. All six seats on the redesigned Board will be open for running, from President to Communications Officer.

And by summer 2020, we hope to unveil an all-new CapSciComm Executive Board elected by you, the members —and a suite of Service Committees that any member can join and lend their wisdom and energy.

The need to nurture great scicomm and science literacy in the Sacramento region remains — and you can play your part! Join CapSciComm as a member today, and together, let’s #KeepScienceSpicy for our greater Sacramento region.

Sincerely,

The CapSciComm Board
Ben Young Landis, Becky Oskin, Nick Gray, Emily Underwood


Photos from the January 30th CapSciComm Networking Social:

Science Café Events in the Sacramento Region for February

“Microwaves, Lasers, and Plasma: Bringing Astromolecules to Earth”
Davis Science Café

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
G Street WunderBar
228 G St, Davis, California 95616
FREE TO ATTEND
Complimentary soft drinks courtesy of the UCD College of Letters and Science

Each month, Professor Jared Shaw with the UC Davis Department of Chemistry hosts the Davis Science Café, featuring scientists who are studying some of today’s cutting edge topics. This month’s speaker is Prof. Kyle Crabtree in the Department of Chemistry who studies chemical reactions as they apply to interstellar events. Invite a friend, and get here early to grab a seat at G. Street Wunderbar. Let’s drink to science!

Abstract: Astrochemistry is the study of the chemical evolution of the universe. To date, over 200 different molecules have been detected in space, some familiar, such as water and alcohol, and others that are truly exotic. This talk will discuss laboratory experiments that simulate space-like conditions to help us identify new molecules and understand the cosmic origins of the ingredients necessary for life.

Contact Professor Jared Shaw for more information, at jtshaw@ucdavis.edu orwww.facebook.com/davissciencecafe

CapSciComm Networking Social, January 30th: The Rise of CapSciComm

This January, we cordially invite you to join us for a special Capital Science Communicators gathering to discuss the future of our professional network.

CapSciComm Networking Social
Thursday, January 30, 2020
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
YOLO Brewing Company
1520 Terminal Street, West Sacramento, California

RSVP to help us plan:
https://forms.gle/k86ZyWUe9c7vme4e6

Share on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2479424695633521

As CapSciComm approaches its seventh birthday in 2020, we have much to celebrate. The time would seem ripe for our humble organization — founded, managed, and led by hardworking individuals in their spare time over the years — to enter a new era and phase of operations.

Starting this month, we will begin rolling out our 2020 Reorganization Plan. We want to reinvigorate everyone’s community investment in Capital Science Communicators — creating more opportunities for volunteer participation and teeing up new member services and programming. In brief, the new era of CapSciComm will welcome:

  • MEMBERSHIP TIERS and DUES: Beginning January 30th, we will formalize CapSciComm membership with dues of $10 for professionals and $5 for students. Members will receive access to special events and listserv privileges, and be eligible to serve in Committees and run for Executive Board seats. Dues will cover ongoing costs and fund new initiatives.

 

  • EXECUTIVE BOARD ELECTIONS: Beginning in March 2020, we will open candidate nominations for the six positions in our reorganized Executive Board format. All seats will be open for nomination and election: 1) President, 2) Vice President, 3) Secretary, 4) Treasurer, 5) Membership Officer, and 6) Communications Officer. Elections will take place in May.

 

  • SERVICE COMMITTEES: Once the new Executive Board begins work in June, due-paying Members can sign up to volunteer on any number of committees — helping host events, programming, and dialogue in service to our community. Priority committees are: 1) Journalism, 2) Science Policy, 3) Public Science, 4) Mentorship, 5) PIO, 6) Social Media, and 7) National Outreach.

When CapSciComm was created seven years ago, it was with the community in mind — a new network where we can pool our collective expertise and enthusiasm for science communication, and a chance to pay it forward to colleagues and students seeking encouragement.

As we enter a new decade, we need new energy and diverse perspectives to shape and lead our CapSciComm community. The need to nurture great scicomm and science literacy in the Sacramento region remains — and you can play your part.

So, join us on Thursday, January 30th with your questions, curiosity, and ideas for this new era of scicomm in Sacramento. As always, feel free to bring a friend or colleague — indeed, this open welcome has been our greatest joy and reward all along.

#KeepScienceSpicy
Ben Young Landis, Becky Oskin, Nick Gray, Emily Underwood
The CapSciComm Executive Board

 

 

Science Café Events for the Sacramento Region for January

“Volcano Science: Tales of Death, Destruction, Deities, and Kitty Litter”
Davis Science Café

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
G Street WunderBar
228 G St, Davis, California 95616
FREE TO ATTEND
Complimentary soft drinks courtesy of the UCD College of Letters and Science

Each month, Professor Jared Shaw with the UC Davis Department of Chemistry hosts the Davis Science Café, featuring scientists who are studying some of today’s cutting edge topics. This month’s speaker is Prof. Kari Cooper in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who studies the thermal and physical states of magma in volcanos. Invite a friend, and get here early to grab a seat at G. Street Wunderbar. Let’s drink to science!

Abstract: Volcanic eruptions have far-reaching and potentially devastating consequences. As a result, volcanoes have been objects of fascination throughout human history, and people have attempted to control or predict them since the beginning, with notably limited success. Even with all of our modern tools and technology, accurate forecasts are challenging. This talk will explore the causes and consequences of eruptions, what is needed in order to do a better job of forecasting eruptions, and some encouraging new initiatives and programs that could help make this happen.

Contact Professor Jared Shaw for more information, at jtshaw@ucdavis.edu orwww.facebook.com/davissciencecafe

Science Café Events in the Sacramento Region in December

“Let There Be Light: Synchrotrons Illuminate Catalyst Science”
Davis Science Café

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
G Street WunderBar
228 G St, Davis, California 95616
FREE TO ATTEND
Complimentary soft drinks courtesy of the UCD College of Letters and Science

Each month, Professor Jared Shaw with the UC Davis Department of Chemistry hosts the Davis Science Café, featuring scientists who are studying some of today’s cutting edge topics. This month’s speaker is Prof. Simon Bare and Dr. Adam Hoffman in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the SLAC National Accelerator Lab, who study important catalysts and catalytic systems. Invite a friend, and get here early to grab a seat at G. Street Wunderbar. Let’s drink to science!

Abstract: Catalytic processes are responsible for the high standard of living which we enjoy. However, in order to move beyond a petroleum-based catalytic economy we need to discover new catalysts for a sustainable future. But how do catalysts work? Using light from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light-source we probe the atomic level structure of catalysts to gain understanding of their function.

Contact Professor Jared Shaw for more information, at jtshaw@ucdavis.edu orwww.facebook.com/davissciencecafe.