Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Organizations’ Category

Seattle Science Fest “Open Science” panel coming soon

by Administrator May 30th, 2013

The Seattle Science Festival running June 6 to June 16 will include a special panel discussion June 12 with Q&A, on your right to know what publicly-funded scientists are discovering, and how “open science” can be advanced. The free event is Tuesday June 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the West Seattle Branch of the Seattle Public Library, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, just north of Metropolitan Market. More below from panel host Michael Bradbury.


So much science is freely available online if you know where to look. There’s a treasure trove of open science available for journalists, bloggers and the public. Learn about open access journals and other online sources that don’t require subscriptions. Hear about how public data helps tell important regional health and science stories. Join us on June 12 as we listen to some of the stories that local science writers and science social media experts have covered and written in this general discussion of open science.

Sally James brings her years as a science and health writer to bear on open science. She will discuss how she uses social media to access open science papers. She will also talk about how citizen science projects and open science projects have become a staple and how they fit into science writer’s toolbox. She recently started her own blog, SeattleScienceWriter and is former president of the Northwest Science Writers Association. Recently she appeared on KUOW-FM’s Weekday, talking about current science news.

Matt Rosenberg will add to the panel discussion his perspectives covering the Open Science beat for his site Public Data Ferret, a project of the 501c3 he founded and directs, Public Eye Northwest. Matt will share lessons learned mining open access journals online for news of general interest, including that which ties directly into local, regional and state public policy issues.

Michael Bradbury will host the discussion. He is a journalist and the founder of REALscience, a Seattle-based online science news site. He is a longtime proponent of open science who believes that the public should have full access to all research that tax dollars make possible. He would also like to see a proliferation of citizen science projects that engage and encourage the public to help scientists gather and analyze data, further breaking down the barriers between the public and the scientific community.

Please RSVP to info@realscience.us as space is limited. The session is suitable for teens and adults.


MORE: Directions.

Government ethics podcast: “Dark Money and Big Data”

by Matt Rosenberg October 14th, 2012

From the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC radio in New York comes an exploration of “Dark Money and Big Data,” or concerns about undisclosed campaign contributions funneled through so-called “social welfare” tax-exempt 501c4 non-profits. Guests are Bradley Smith, the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Center for Competitive Politics; Adam Rappaport, the Chief Counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and Kim Barker, a reporter for ProPublica. Here’s the podcast.

Public Data Ferret’s Washington State+Ethics archive


Social Capital Review is the mother blog of Public Data Ferret, a news knowledge base program of the 501c3 public charity, Public Eye Northwest. Ferret In The News. Donate; subscribe (free)/volunteer.

Green tourism campaign eyes fewer cars to San Juans

by Matt Rosenberg July 16th, 2012

It’s a Pacific Northwest ritual endured by visitors, newcomers and even old-timers who should know better. Book a trip to one of the idyllic San Juan Islands served by the Washington State Ferries’ stolid vehicle-bearing vessels. Then wait for hours in line at the mainland dock in Anacortes, and plot a better strategy for next time. Rinse, and repeat a few summers later. A consortium of San Juans government, tourism, and non-profit officials say there’s a better way, or at least some painless alternatives that warrant stronger promotion. So at a presentation to the Friday Harbor, Wash. Town Council July 19, leaders of the San Juan Islands Scenic Byways Partnership will discuss their plans to accent car-free travel to the popular vacation spots of San Juan Island and Orcas Island, aided by a new, two-year $171,000 alternative transportation grant from the America’s Byways office of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Atop Mount Constitution, Orcas Island/San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

The new grant to promote transportation alternatives comes at a timely juncture.

Cuba smackdown of rights testifier to U.S. Senate backfires

by Zachariah Bryan June 30th, 2012

Earlier this month in Cuba, peaceful political dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, or “Antunez,” was jailed, beaten and pepper sprayed. This took place just three days after he testified to a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the Cuban government’s repression of citizens’ free speech rights. Though for thousands of Cuban citizens such harassment has long been common, acts of repression in Cuba burgeoned last year, according to the Cuba section of a recent global human rights report from the U.S. Department of State. In 2011, The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation counted a total of 4,123 short-term detentions, a 99 percent increase over 2010, according to the State Department report. This year’s pace is even higher, with documented political arrests in Cuba at more than 2,400 since January; 1,158 in March alone, according to testimony of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) at the subcommittee hearing earlier this month.

Seattle eyes transfer of troubled Indian services properties to non-profit

by Matt Rosenberg September 26th, 2011

SUMMARY: A public development authority formed by the City of Seattle in 1972 called the Seattle Indian Services Commission, which has been the subject of several critical city and state audits in recent years, now appears unable to continue to service the $6 million bond debt for its two adjacent properties on 12th Ave. S. in the International District, or to repair an estimated $2.5 million in water damages to one of the buildings, built in 1995. The commission’s primary tenant and sole source of debt service revenue is the non-profit Seattle Indian Health Board, and it says it intends to move out unless the Commission conveys title for the properties to the board, which has pledged to assume the debt and fix the water damage. The Commission has refused to approve this offer, so the city council has prepared an ordinance, to be discussed and possibly voted on in committee September 28, authorizing the City Attorney to seek permission in King County Superior Court to impose a trusteeship on the Indian Services Commission which would trigger a title transfer of the properties to the non-profit Indian Health Board. The resolution states this will allow for current services and programs to continue to be provided to Seattle’s Native American community. Sponsor of the resolution is City Council Member Nick Licata.

New UW study assesses “net benefits” in African malaria fight

by Matt Rosenberg September 21st, 2011

SUMMARY: Working with U.S. and African colleagues, researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute For Health Metrics and Evaluation, in Seattle, integrated data from several dozen qualifiying health surveys in malaria-prone Sub-Saharan Africa and found that the use of Insecticide-Treated Nets helped actually reduce parasitemia and death in young children to a significantly greater degree than previously estimated in clinical trials. Their research, recently published in a peer-reviewed “open access” (online, free) medical journal and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, concludes that the use of the treated nets should be continued and expanded in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of the world’s one million annual deaths from the parasitic disease of malaria occur.

Shoreline native leads nonprofit transforming drug-wracked Guineau-Bissau, one student at a time

by Melissa Steffan August 12th, 2011

Editor’s note: Public Data Ferret’s “mother blog” site Social Capital Review periodically profiles noteworthy nonprofits or community initiatives with ties to our base coverage area of Western Washington.

One Seattle-based nonprofit with a big heart and a Christian mission is making a difference in one of Africa’s smallest countries.

Headed by Shoreline native and former Fresno Bee reporter Chris Collins, West African Vocational Schools reaches out to young people in Guinea Bissau, a poor country rife with political violence and drug cartels.

WAVS student in auto repair class/WAVS

WAVS is founded on the belief that outside aid alone will not overcome the widespread poverty and instability; instead, the organization believes that educated leaders must transform Guinea-Bissau from within, Collins said in a phone interview.

“WAVS … is really encouraging ethical practices, people who are dedicated to investing in their country,” he said. “The people who are graduating are instilled with skills to be successful, but also ideals to make them strong leaders in the country.”

WAVS runs a school in Canchungo, a city that serves as a regional hub for many other villages, where over 100 students learn important employability skills such as sewing, computer basics, English and auto mechanics.