Summit Schedule

The 2019 Science Events Summit meets in
San Diego, California

The 2019 Summit program is here!

Follow along live: #SES2019

Sunday, June 2: Evening public science event

6:30 - 8:30pm: Crossover: Where Comics & Science Meet

Amplified Aleworks East Village, 1429 Island Ave., San Diego

Fans know comics are no trivial matter. Comics have a long history of addressing complex issues, from science lab accidents to ethics, moral issues, and social justice. Join comic book writers and scientists to explore the science of popular comic book and movie franchises like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more.

Crossover is presented by the Fleet Science Center and IDW Publishing.

Separate registrations for tickets required. Summit attendees will be sent a free ticket code in Summit emails. Purchase tickets here.

Monday, June 3: Summit conference

San Diego Central Library

330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA

8:00am Doors open, breakfast served

Neil Morgan Auditorium Courtyard (1st Floor)

9:00 - 10:45 Thoughts on the Summit's Themes:

Neil Morgan Auditorium (1st Floor)

Community First Collaboration

Science events can elevate the voices of people in our communities who traditionally have not had the chance to interact with scientists. Conversely, scientists also have an opportunity to recognize the privilege presented to them to connect their science back to the community in ways that are relevant and meaningful. It can be a challenge to make the most of this potential, and all the more difficult when historical relationships with science are not acknowledged or events are associated with science institutions that are enmeshed in the dominant social structure. How can we recognize when this dynamic is an impediment to collaborations? Daniel will walk us through examples of how prioritizing community perspectives can unlock the full potential of events, and put the spotlight on the people we seek to serve.

Daniel Aguirre, Community Engagement Manager, Fleet Science Center, and Co-Founder, San Ysidro Education Committee

Exploring Scientific Authority

Live events present scientists with the opportunity to listen respectfully to other points of view. Yet honoring other people's beliefs while standing up for scientific knowledge requires nuanced, considerate engagement. The more extreme other views seem, the more tempting it can be to dismiss them altogether. Is it possible to have productive, compassionate dialogue that bridges the gap of "epistemologic mistrust" with proponents of contemporary conspiracy theories such as the antivaccination and flat earth movements?

Joseph Pierre, M.D., Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Magnifying Collective Impact

After two-decades of well-funded strategic interventions focused on uplifting a single San Diego neighborhood, Price Philanthropies is realistic about the complexity of social change. A dizzying array of components contribute to a community’s wellbeing: for example, as important as schools are, families also need access to healthy groceries. Given the enormity of the issues our communities and society face, how much of a difference can our individual efforts really make? It may be that the best way to answer that question is through the lens of collective impact.

Ann Bossler, Director of Program Development, Price Philanthropies

10:45 - 11:30 Putting the Summit Themes Into Practice

Neil Morgan Auditorium

A lively discussion between science event practitioners and the morning's presenters.

Moderator: John Durant, Director, MIT Museum

Participants: Carmelina Livingston, Interim Director, Lowcountry STEM Collaborative; Ivvet Modinoou, Head of Engagement, British Science Association; Steve Snyder, Executive Director, Fleet Science Center

11:30 - 11:45 Welcome to San Diego!

Neil Morgan Auditorium

Misty Jones, Director, San Diego Public Library

11:45 - 1:00 Lunch

Shiley Special Events Suite

Tabletop: Making Serious Science Fun: Short-Wavelength Infrared Lab Station

James Callahan, Mobile Climate Science Labs

Tabletop: Tools for Broadening Participation in STEM

Explore a suite of professional development tools that you can use to plan and lead reflective discussions about current practices, with an eye to developing goals, strategies, and priorities.

Rachel Diamond, Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education

1:00: Community First Collaboration Workshop

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

The word “community” is used so often and in so many ways, that when we advance a phrase like “community first,” it is not uncommon to see nods of agreement followed by business as usual. This workshop provides the opportunity to consider the challenges you face in turning those nods into action, and will energize your efforts to prioritize community in your events, your programs, and your institution. Come prepared to discuss an obstacle you would like to overcome.

Session Leaders: Daniel Aguirre, Community Engagement Manager, Fleet Science Center, and Co-Founder, San Ysidro Education Committee; Crystal Harden, Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Chief Diversity Officer, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center; Perla Myers, Mathematics Professor and Director of K-12 Community Engagement, College of Arts & Sciences, University of San Diego

2:30: Exploring Scientific Authority Through the Lens of Identity

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

People’s general image of who a scientist is could use some help. Live events can rehabilitate this image by celebrating the many diverse (and living!) humans who refer to themselves as scientists. We’ll examine two unique events that brought scientists into unexpected situations, and explore the implications through the lens of science identity, considering the perspectives of both the public and the scientists themselves.

Session Leaders: Jasmine Fox, Marine Biology Educator, Smithsonian Marine Station; Brianna Keys, Researcher, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University

2:30: Event Critique: Crossover

Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center (1st Floor)

The word “critique” may sound like “criticism,” but it also invokes a more holistic analysis and a thinking-through of something’s many possible implications. Join us to give last night’s Crossover event a proper thinking-through, from the details of production decisions to how it sparked new ideas for what an event can be. 

Session leaders: Dane Comerford, Director, IF Oxford; Andrea Herrera Moreno, Outreach Program Coordinator, University of Texas—Austin

4:00: There is Life After School

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

Take a look at funding for education, and it sure seems like adults are fully cooked. Is it really worth using our limited resources in service to those that managed to escape their teenage years? If we can agree that it is, then we should agree that we are all in. We make massive events filled with explosions, spectacles, and massive crowds for kids. How do we use the principle of creative brinkmanship to deliver the same off-the-charts events for adults?

Session Leaders: Bart Bernhardt, Event Producer, Nerd Nite SF; Andrea Decker, Adult Programs Manager, Fleet Science Center;  Sara Pagano, Managing Director, San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

4:00: Making the Point Pop 

Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center (1st Floor)

When we approach data points as the elements of a storyline and narrative, we open up powerful new ways to convey emotions with what might have been a forgotten PowerPoint graph. Getting those data points out of abstract Excel sheets with tools as simple as Legos can put the story directly into people's hands. Join this session to help us sort out how to use this thinking on your colleagues at the Summit tomorrow.

Session limited to the first 15 in the room

Session Leader: Stuart Flack, 2018 Artist in Residence, University of Wisconsin; Senior Fellow, Environmental Law & Policy Center

4:00: Science Festival Accelerator: Diversity First Roundtable

Commission Room (9th Floor)

For participants in the current iteration of the Science Festival Accelerator

5:15 - 5:30: Performance by Music Notes

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

6:00 - 9:00pm Summit Dinner

Great food, cash bar, no speeches. Conference nametag required.

Rustic Root, 535 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA

Tuesday, June 4: Summit conference

San Diego Central Library

330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA

8:30am Doors open, breakfast served

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

9:30: The Bigger Picture: Connecting Festival Data to the Broader Literature

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

This session will apply science events data, collected through the EvalFest project, to the larger literature. First, we will present a typology of science festivals that is an outgrowth of a recent review of the literature. Then we will connect science festival data to two larger constructs: (1) Data from potential festival-goers will be presented to define STEM engagement in relation to the British Science Association's Science Engagement Model, and (2) Results from attendees will be presented to consider how festivals provide science capital to those who participate. 

Session leaders: Todd Boyette, Director, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center; Jen Gathings, Research Analyst, Karen Peterman Consulting, Co.; Karen Peterman, President, Karen Peterman Consulting, Co.

9:30 Telling Stories of Collective Impact

Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center (1st Floor)

Live events take on meaning from being shared experiences happening in the irreproducible context of a singular time and place. But when we tell the story of public science events to others, we can’t simply shrug our shoulders and say “You had to be there.” In this session we will consider the approaches that Science Sandbox is using to tell the story of their broad funding portfolio, and ask how we might improve our efforts to tell the story of the collective impact of science events.

Session leaders: John Tracey, Associate Program Officer, Science Sandbox

11:00 Moving Beyond Attendee Surveys 

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

This session will begin with results from a recent analysis comparing science festival results from U.K. and U.S festivals. Though all festivals are unique, the results from these surveys are quite similar, indicating that it might be time to move on to more nuanced evaluation methods. The remainder of this session will present alternatives to collecting attendee survey data. These include: out-group surveys to learn who isn't coming and why, results from festival presenters, observations of scientists' interactions with the public at festival booths, and longitudinal follow-up questions for past attendees.  

Session leaders: Val Blair, Education and Outreach Manager, Morgridge Institute for Research; Paula Frank, NH Techfest; Leanne Jacobson, Evaluation Consultant; Michelle Phillips, Senior Researcher, Phillips & Associates; Katherine Nielsen, Co-Director, Science & Health Education Partnership, University of California, San Francisco; Karen Yanowitz, Professor of Psychology, Arkansas State University

11:00 The Role of Events Within Institutions

Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center (1st Floor)

There may only be small handful of large organizations dedicated wholly to the production of public science events. So the vast majority of science events operating at scale are produced by event organizers operating with one foot in the community and one foot in the institution. While straddling these worlds can be a stretch, this session will discuss how to find the balance to become a living bridge.

Session leaders: Stacey Baker, Program Associate, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Gerri Trooskin, Director of Museum Programs, The Franklin Institute

11:00 Portal to the Public Wants to Know You Better

Commission Room (9th Floor)

We’re looking for honest input from those of you who feature scientists in your programs. How do you prepare them for their roles? Do you provide any training in science communication, or do you coordinate with other science communication training groups? Do you feel like the scientists you work with are sufficiently prepared to uphold your event's expectations for quality? How do you try to shape participating scientists’ goals and expectations? 

Session leader: Eve Klein, Program Director, Institute for Learning Innovation    

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

1:00 - 2:15 Who's Data Is It Anyway?

Shiley Special Events Suite (9th Floor)

When scientists speak with authority, it is usually because they are telling a data-driven story. This workshop will explore ways to be more creative storytellers by rethinking how to represent data. It will also help you rethink who gets to manipulate data to tell scientific stories. Finally, we'll all try our hands at crafting data-driven stories about our own collective impact by using these techniques.

Stuart Flack, 2018 Artist in Residence, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Senior Fellow, Environmental Law & Policy Center

2:45 - 3:30 Community Voices and Conference Closing

Neil Morgan Auditorium (1st Floor)

Hear directly from community members as they reflect on what science events look like from their vantage point.

Summit on the Sand: Tuesday, June 4

After the conference ends, stick around for this limited ticket event.

6:00 - 10:00pm

Sometimes the best ideas pop into mind when you kick off your shoes and relax a bit. So after an intense couple of conference days, you'll want to hop on the bus with us and take a trip to the California coast. Buy the Summit on the Sand add-on and get transportation and dinner on Tuesday night, along with a sunset stroll on the beach to chew over the most inspiring bits from the Summit experience.

$60 ticket includes round trip bus from Hotel Indigo, and dinner at a historic beach attraction. Ticket site available to Summit attendees.

EvalFest Meeting: Wednesday, June 5

San Diego Central Library

330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA

EvalFest partners and collaborators will convene for a full day on Wednesday. If you are a member of EvalFest look for separate communications from that project.

Questions? Contact Science Festival Alliance staff.

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