On June 27, AthenaWeb, the science and science communication portal funded by the European Commission, will morph into an online TV channel for European science.
The development of AthenaWeb V2 is headed by Lab To Media’s Kathleen Van Damme who says that this is “Europe’s big chance to take a leading position in science film streaming, reconciling scientific programmes on TV with content accessible at any time.” It all sounds very interesting, but will it cut the PUS* and become a major PEST** site?
Van Damme is not revealing too much at this stage, you will have to wait till launch day to find out what the new vortal will be offering. But, in a very unvegetarian press release it is stated that the revedelopment “will beef up its services to current communities and extend its scope to provide direct on-line placement of ‘non-broadcast’ videos made by researchers, teachers and professors.”
Inevitably, the new site will have a new look and feel, you would be rather disappointed if they had not updated and refreshed the site. It will also have a special domain for broadcasters, podcasts, blog spots, and high-quality full-screen viewing. Critically, and perhaps allowing the site to stake a claim on the Web 2.0 ethic, it will also present a greater emphasis on community shaping and hopes to become the leading site for sharing scientific imagery, films, and news. Most importantly of all though, AthenaWeb V2, will, the press release claims remain free of charge.
On a much smaller scale Sciencebase readers are invited to join our science TV channel on Searchles, which currently has a mere handful of videos, including a tribute to DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklyn, mentioned in my philosophy of science essay and how to demonstrate Newton’s laws of motion with Lego models. Those probably amount to about 30 minutes of footage, compared with AthenaWeb’s more than 750 science videos, stacking up to 100 hours.
*PUS – public understanding of science
**PEST – public engagement with science and technology