I spent much of today working on my presentation about the Open Dinosaur Project for ScienceOnline2010. The hope is to post the full thing in some form after the meeting; in the meantime, here’s a working outline for the talk:
- Brief introduction to the ODP and what I’ll be discussing
- Paleontology as a historically (and sometimes necessarily) secretive field, due to issues of fossil poaching, worries about calling “firsties” on an idea or discovery, stipulations from funding agencies, etc.
- The rise of open access literature (with its body of untapped data), as well as an interested and savvy community of non-professionals, makes now a great time to attempt something new
- The team of Farke, Taylor, and Wedel started the Open Dinosaur Project in order to set a precedent for open notebook science within paleo, involve all sorts of people in the science, do some great paleo research on ornithischians, and assemble a database for use by others
- Brief background on what an ornithischian is, and why we care about their limb bones
- Brief outline of how we got the word out about the project
- Brief introduction to you, the participants, and all of the work we’ve accomplished in a short time
- Potential problems in data mining the literature, and how we’ve worked around them
- An overview and demo of the data collection and verification process
- Next steps: analysis, paper writing, and publication
- What’s worked well, and what we hope to improve
- Conclusion and acknowledgments
Right now, we have about 33 slides and the whole thing takes about 13 or 14 minutes to run through. I’m hoping to smooth things out over the next few days, to bring it in around 12 minutes. The time slot is 15 minutes total, so ideally I want a 12 minute talk with 3 minutes for questions.
Bora asked if I’ll be bringing a dinosaur bone along with me. . .sadly, it probably won’t happen.
Dude, you HAVE to take a bone. A cast would suffice.
And if you can’t get a dinosaur bone, then take some mammal bones if that’s all you can do. Something to help people get their heads around, for example, what the femur:tibia ratio means.
I’ll have to dig around the museum and see what I can find. . .there must be a lightweight cast *somewhere* (it’s a shame – if we were talking about sauropods this time around, I could have packed up the “Supersaurus” scapula!).
Get a chicken bone from the dinner the previous night! Or borrow one from Dale Russell at the Raleigh museum….
I found the perfect skull today. . .not a limb bone, but it actually fits in with one of the points of my talk.