Conferences I should have attended in 2008

Although having travelled this year more than ever before (with 8x Bozen, 2x London, 2x Berlin, 1x Paris, 1x Barcelona, 1x Prague and 1x Washington) there are two important conferences that I missed. Both were aiming at the inner workings of science that interests me more than science itself -which can be a quite boring book keeping task at least where I have been displaced in genetic epidemiology.
The first was SciFoo 2008 (in Mountainview) but fortunately there is so much out there on the web that I don’t need to summarize that. BTW I had an interesting discussion 2 days ago with an historian having the main interest in Medieval history who asked about the remains of our generation – a huge byte flood or simply a big hole with nothing in it?
The second conference where I would like to have been: “Science in the 21st Century” (in Waterloo). Fortunately the Science Librarian has compiled an essential reading list. During my recent travels I am carrying still “Dissent over Descent” by Steve Fuller which is much better than anticipated from some blog posts. The Science Librarian reading list gets in part my reading list in 2009. I am adding links to those that I want to read.

* The Dream Machine : J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop – Amazons’ best in 2001 about the early days of computers
* Libraries of the Future by J.C.R. Licklider – already published in 1965 an early description of the internet
* Rethinking Expertise by Harry Collins and Robert Evans – how science studies can contribute to understanding the contents of expert knowledge, 2007.
* Gravity’s Shadow: The Search for Gravitational Waves by Harry Collins – the detection of gravitational waves from the early experiments of the 1960s to the current generation of colliders, 2004.
* American Physics and the Cold War Bubble by David Kaiser – as the name says, 2002.
* Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives edited by David Kaiser
* The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union by Loren Graham
* Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education by John L. Rudolph
* The Sputnik Challenge by Robert A. Divine
* Brainpower for the Cold War The Sputnik Crisis and National Defense Education Act of 1958 by Barbara Barksdale Clowse
* Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics by Peter Louis Galison
* QED and the Men Who Made It by Silvan S. Schweber
* The Cold War and American Science: The Military-Industrial Complex at MIT and Stanford by Stuart W. Leslie
* Towards 2020 Science
* Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild
* Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson
* Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge
* Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky
* The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers by Tom Standage
* Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace edited by Mark Tovey
* Anything by Lawrence Lessig
* The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler
* Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe
* The access principle: The case for open access to research and scholarship by John Willinsky
* Ambient Findabillity by Peter Morville
* Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger
* The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet by Daniel J. Solove
* The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr
* Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
* The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary by Eric S. Raymond
* Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg
* The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups by Mancur Olson
* Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, 2007- another internet book
* Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet by Christine L. Borgman – 2007, from an interview: “Scholars have been complaining about too many books and journals since Francis Bacon’s (1561-1626) day. The sifting problem, per se, is not new. What is new is the declining availability of indicators to determine what’s real, what’s true, what’s valuable, and what will still be there the next time we look.”
* The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin – 2007, an antidote to string-theory hype.