A Tale of Two Networks: Connecting the African Drylands, Rio de Janeiro, and Women

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 201 (Hynes Convention Center)
The scientific diaspora, social media, and an emerging global environmental crisis are unlikely topics mixed in a single discussion, and yet the rise of networking tools may provide the most expedient and persistent link for the scientific diaspora. As part of a continuing dialogue on engaging the diaspora, this panel will focus on two network examples to demonstrate the potential of engaging geographically dispersed groups to address specific issues. The first network, The African Drylands Center at the University of Nairobi, uses curriculum, teaching, online modules, and research as a foundation. The Center is part of a multi-institutional U.S. Agency for International Development higher education grant to build scientific capacity addressing the needs of African drylands. The second network, Global Women Scholars Network (GWSN), is a research network focused on engaging women in the sciences. Using the 20th anniversary of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro as a platform, GWSN studied the network characteristics of three decades of women leaders and scholars across seven continents. Both networks have specific goals for engaging the diaspora. The panel will explore the relevance of network characteristics to other types of diaspora organizations and discuss potential application of social media tools and virtual networks to engage the diaspora. A tale of two networks offers a new look using metrics of the network linkages through widely popular social networking media.
Gillian Bowser, Colorado State University
Marcelo Vinces, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, National Science Foundation
Gillian Bowser, Colorado State University
Pallavi Phartiyal, Union of Concerned Scientists
Cardinal Warde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building a Science Foundation: A Caribbean Model
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