NSF set to provide cool science online

Wednesday - 4/1/2009, 1:16pm EDT

Jeff Nesbit

The National Science Foundation fires up a new multi-media website on Friday.

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(National Science Foundation photo.)
By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Times, as they say, are a changin'. This includes the New York Times, the London Times, the Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times.... As more and more newspapers struggle to stay afloat, cuts are being made to save money, often at the expense of science.

For a "publish or perish" world with fewer outlets to publish in, technology, if you will forgive the pun, is streaming in to fill the void.

Jeff Nesbit, Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, tells FederalNewsRadio, the NSF is set to unveil a new multi-media website this week.

"As we've watched science sections in newspapers and elsewhere go under over the last two years, we began to change our focus," Nesbit says.

One of the things we're trying is a new website called "science360.gov" which will be a portal. And by portal I mean... it's an aggregate site. When content comes to us, we make it available in a timely fashion, but you can then, when you watch it or listen to it on our site, you can also go back out to other sites.

For example, says Nesbit, after reaching out to more than 130 organizations around the globe for podcasts, the user can do three things with that:

  1. You can listen to that podcast that day,

  2. You can put it into a "content portfolio" similar to Pandora and listen to different broadcasts at your leisure, and

  3. You can download those podcasts. "It's a one-click download, so we want to make it as simple as possible, and we also want to honor our partnerships with others so that it build traffic on their site as well."

Ideally, says Nesbit, "we're looking for the most interesting, the coolest science and engineering that's out there, and we're trying to make it available through this portal site."

How cool? Nesbit says Friday's official announcement of the website is a good indication. It's scheduled to be held "at the Texas Motor Speedway just prior to a NASCAR race. One of our partners is NASCAR. We've created a 12 part video series called 'The Science of Speed' in partnership with NASCAR that we plan to make broadly available to science teachers and schools across America."

FederalNewsRadio has uploaded some of our interviews on science and technology to be made available as well.

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National Science Foundation - Science360news

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