#CapSciCommLive Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, May 12th

“Trivia with the Bens” virtual science trivia night returns this week on #CapSciCommLive — open to all CapSciComm Members and friends and family! Let’s keep up with our #StayHome groove and help #BendTheCurve for our local and global community.

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
Line opens 6:45 p.m. Pacific
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific
(Game ends roughly 9:15 p.m.)

Make sure you’ve go the most updated dial-in number for this week’s game! And don’t forget to dial in a little early to avoid jammed lines. For complete instructions on how to play, please head over to: http://www.triviawiththebens.com/trivia-night-20200512/

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

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

#CapSciCommLive Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, April 28th

“Trivia with the Bens” virtual science trivia night returns this week on #CapSciCommLive — open to all CapSciComm Members and friends and family! Let’s keep up with our #StayHome groove and help #BendTheCurve for our local and global community.

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
Line opens 6:45 p.m. Pacific
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific
(Game ends roughly 9:15 p.m.)

Make sure you’ve go the most updated dial-in number for this weekly game! And don’t forget to dial in a little early to avoid jammed lines. For complete instructions on how to participate in trivia night, please head over to: http://www.triviawiththebens.com/trivia-night-20200428/

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

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

City Nature Challenge 2020

This Friday, April 24, 2020, marks the start of the 5th annual City Nature Challenge, which began as a friendly competition between rival museums in Los Angeles (Natural History Museum of LA County) and San Francisco (California Academy of Sciences) to determine what city housed the most biodiversity. The first City Nature Challenge was so successful that it has grown every year since, adding more cities, more species, and more participants.

Areas of the map shaded in yellow indicate cities taking part in the 2020 City Nature Challenge.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge is now a collaboration, which in some ways, feels fitting with tomorrow’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  The City Nature Collaboration has two parts: first, an observation period from April 24 (midnight, local time) – April 27; and second, an identification period from April 28 – May 3.

As City Nature Collaboration participants, we are uniquely positioned to once again show leadership in environmental education and conservation, just as politicians and environmental activists did in 1970 with the establishment of the first Earth Day. One of the remarkable things about Earth Day is that it was created in unity with a bipartisan movement; unity is much needed in our current national and international political climate. 

There are many ways to still participate in this year’s City Nature Collaboration, as we shelter in place. 

  1. Find wildlife! It can be any wild plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your neighborhood, home, backyard, or even through your windows. My kids and I have been having a great time learning about what lives in our backyard (and inside our home)!
  2. Take pictures of what you see, then upload your observations to iNaturalist via the app or the web interface.
  3. Learn more as your observations are identified.
  4. If you’re not able to take photos of wildlife, focus your efforts on identifying species documented in your area!

More Resources

CapSciComm Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, April 21st

“Trivia with the Bens” virtual science trivia night returns this week on #CapSciCommLive — open to all CapSciComm Members and friends and family! Let’s keep up with our #StayHome groove and help #BendTheCurve for our local and global community.

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
Line opens 6:45 p.m. Pacific
Game start 7:00 p.m. Pacific
(Game ends roughly 9:15 p.m.)

Make sure you’ve go the most updated dial-in number for this weekly game! And don’t forget to dial in a little early to avoid jammed lines. For complete instructions on how to participate in trivia night, please head over to: http://www.triviawiththebens.com/trivia-night-20200421/

To help keep our main @CapSciComm news feed uncluttered, the trivia game feed has transitioned 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

New “COVID Town Hall” Webinar Series Launched by Dr. Becca Calisi Rodríguez

Friend of CapSciComm and local #scicomm leader Professor Becca Calisi Rodríguez (@BeccaCalisi) has launched a new webinar series, “COVID-19 Crisis Town Hall at UC Davis”. The weekly event will feature UC Davis faculty with expertise in various aspects related to the pandemic and science foundational to further understanding and solving the disease.

COVID-19 Crisis Town Hall at UC Davis
Fridays at 3:30 p.m.
Facebook LiveStream: https://www.facebook.com/ucdavisbiology
UC Davis LiveStream and Video Archive: https://video.ucdavis.edu/channel/channelid/159414402
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CovidTownHall

CapSciComm Virtual Trivia Night, Tuesday, April 14th

“Trivia with the Bens” returns this week on #CapSciCommLive — open to all CapSciComm Members and friends and family! Let’s keep up with our #StayHome groove and help #BendTheCurve for our local and global community

TRIVIA WITH THE BENS!
Tuesday, April 14th, 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 Trivia with the Bens events: http://www.triviawiththebens.com/trivia-night-20200414/

To help keep our main @CapSciComm news feed uncluttered, the trivia game feed has transitioned 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, 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, 2020]

[NOTE: We have now begun curating our own COVID-19 scicomm resource page here. April 11th, 2020]