Last week found me at the SIXTH Annual Science Boot Camp for Librarians here in New England. As an original member of the planning group for this yearly event, I’m proud that it’s an idea that’s continued to be of relevance to science librarians in the region, as well as to others from across the U.S.A. and Canada. I’m also really proud that over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the concept catch on with colleagues in other parts of the country so that now there are science boot camps for librarians in the West, the Southeast … the list keeps growing. And everywhere they pop up, the response from participants is a united, “This is GREAT!”
For those unfamiliar with the concept, these camps bring together science librarians and scientific researchers, providing a venue for librarians to learn more about different scientific disciplines and current research in the same. The goal is for librarians to gain a base level of knowledge that allows them to prompt discussions with researchers on their own campuses. Ideally, these discussions then lead to improvements and growth in library services offered to the research community. Over the years, I’ve learned about biochemistry, nanotechnology, geographic information systems, astronomy, robotics, remote sensing, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, public health, and so much more. Perhaps most interesting is that with every discipline I’ve learned, I have found at least one thing relevant to my own work as an embedded biomedical librarian. Even astronomy! What this says to me is that science crosses and involves so many disciplines today, learning about any one of them informs others.
This year’s Camp was held at the University of Connecticut and we had sessions focusing on computer science, personalized medicine, evolutionary biology, toxicology (pharmaceutical sciences), and a capstone presentation that covered how to both talk about and engage the public in science, i.e. promoting science literacy and citizen science. I’ll not recap each session here, but I will share my sketchnotes for those who might want to get a peek at some of the terrific content shared. Enjoy!
SESSION ONE: COMPUTER SCIENCE
Speakers – Craig Wills, PhD; Krishna Venkatasubramanian, PhD; Dan Dougherty, PhD (all from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA)
SESSION TWO: PERSONALIZED MEDICINE
Speaker – Christopher Heinen, PhD, UConn Health
SESSION THREE: EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Speakers – Kent Holsinger, PhD; Janine Caira, PhD (both from the University of Connecticut)
SESSION THREE: TOXICOLOGY (PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES)
Speakers – John Morris, PhD; Amy Bataille, PhD (both from the University of Connecticut)
SESSION FOUR – CAPSTONE: SCIENCE LITERACY & CITIZEN SCIENCE
Speakers – Jonathan Garlick, PhD (Tufts University); Robert Stevenson, PhD (University of Massachusetts, Boston)