Yámana Science and Technology Hosts Science ‘UnSummit’ at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

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Focusing on the Effort/Reward Ratio in Science holds promise for the future of Research and Development in the United States

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Science 'UnSummit' 2010 participants met during the final EXPO of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC

My hope is that the incredible talent, energy, and passion shared at this event will provide the seeds for novel projects and collaborations needed to develop our scientific talent in this country.

On October 24 and 25, 2010, an exceptional and diverse group of thought-leaders, authors, communications experts, technologists, engineers, and scientists gathered for the first Science ‘UnSummit,’ at the conclusion of the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC.

While the Festival, which is geared toward reinvigorating US interest in the Sciences, engaged the hands and minds of many younger fans of science with its grand-finale expo on the National Mall just a few blocks away, participants in the Science ‘UnSummit’ 2010 were discussing the development and retention of talented scientists once they join the field. The emerging crisis related to acquiring, retaining, and nurturing top talent from the next generation of US scientists as other countries begin to take a lead role in training for scientific research was discussed within the larger context of how we ‘do’ science in the US and abroad.

After hearing a series of presentations from panelists who had successfully applied new organizational approaches to fields ranging from business to software development, the group focused its collective intelligence on how to transfer these methodologies to the domain of science.

The ‘UnSummit’ utilized innovative Open Space Technology, in which participants established the agenda and moved freely between working sessions that interested them. To kick off the discussions, Harrison Owen, the developer of Open Space, gave a keynote talk on his experiences with systems of science. Harrison has worked with a variety of organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, small West African villages, urban (American and African) community organizations, the Peace Corps, and regional medical programs, to help each of them transform their communities.

The assembled participants included members of several scientific agencies in Washington DC as well as engineers and scientists at various stages in their careers. The organizer of the upcoming Beijing, China Science Festival, Jie Geng, was also in attendance.

The Open Space sessions addressed many facets of the serious organizational challenges confronting science in the 21st century and possible solutions, including: improving science communication (led by the dramaturge Steve Marsh who has been involved in actor Alan Alda's groundbreaking Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University); finding work/life balance in a scientific career; what science can learn from the principles of Agile Software Development; practices developed by engineers in the aerospace industry to create exceptional working teams; and more.

“My hope is that the incredible talent, energy, and passion shared at this event will provide the seeds for novel projects and collaborations needed to develop our scientific talent in this country” stated Kennan Salinero, founder of Yámana Science and Technology, organizer of the event.    

Yámana Science and Technology is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in Washington DC in 2008, which envisions a science culture where both people and ideas flourish in the presence of effective support, balanced lifestyles, and thriving workplaces. Their mission is to be the touchstone for a fundamental change in the way people work together to 'do' science. Science ‘UnSummit’ 2010 is the first in a series of conferences designed to form dynamic, self-organizing and interactive teams that will allow scientists, as an integral part of society, to effectively address the complex challenges facing our world today.

For further information contact:
Kennan Kellaris Salinero
925-584-8788
Yámana Science and Technology
4047 First Str #119A
Livermore CA 94551
http://www.yamanascience.org

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Kennan Salinero
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