On March 16-18, 2012, COPUS held its first Invitational Unconference at the Biosphere 2 facilities near Tucson, AZ. Fifty-seven individuals came together to talk about a common concern - how the public perceives and interacts with science. Upon arrival, most of the attendees were perhaps a bit unsure of what was to transpire, but almost instantly introductions and bonding took place and conversations emerged through which they shared ideas, generated new ones, recognized challenges and investigated strategies for dealing with them. This was a meeting of unparalleled energies fueled by a high level of diversity - age, ethnicity, geography, perspectives, institutional/organizational connections, outreach strategies, etc. - and it was that diversity that enhanced both the listening and the sharing - a true cross-fertilization of ideas. We had hoped that all would leave feeling renewed, and it appears that this was accomplished (and then some).
This conference was truly something quite unique but rather hard to put into words. We will post testimonials and evaluation data that we will help to describe what transpired, but suffice it to say that COPUS has moved from an idea (2006) and an amorphous network (2009) to a group of 12 individuals (the COPUS Core) (2010) and now to a COPUS Corps. There are 57 individuals who went away from our meeting with renewed energies. They will each return to their own home areas and continue their own individual efforts to increase the public understanding of science, but now in collaboration with new friends and colleagues. The COPUS evolution continues...
COPUS Invitational at a glance:
Who/What: The COPUS Invitational was primarily an invitation only event organized by COPUS. The number of attendees was limited to 60 to allow for the formation of in-depth connections.
When/Where: March 16-18, 2012 at the Biosphere 2 facilities outside of Tucson, Arizona.
How: Thanks to generous support from donors such as the Whitman Institute, all travel expenses were paid for invited participants of this event.
♥ A special thank you to our primary sponsor for the Unconference:
♥ Additional major sponsors for the COPUS Unconference are:
♥ And also:
♥ Special thanks also for helping with our Stargazing event!