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Heading to Sci Foo!

12th July 2023
 | Amarjit Myers

The Digital Science team is getting ready to head off to San Francisco for the annual Science Foo Camp. This is a remarkable gathering of scientists, thinkers, technologists, creators and communicators, who come together over three days in mid-July.

‘Sci Foo’, as it’s affectionately known, is unlike any other science conference. Hosted by ‘X’ (formerly “Google X”), it is an ‘unconference’ with no fixed agenda, and is co-organized by Google, O’Reilly Media, Digital Science and Nature.

Sci Foo 2022
Attendees at Sci Foo 2022, pictured at X (from left): Amarjit Myers, Cat Allman, Marsee Henon, Adam Flaherty and Suze Kundu. Photo: Amarjit Myers.

Since the first event in 2006, Sci Foo has aimed to do things differently – 18 years later it retains that original spirit and continues to attract some of the most prolific players on the world stage. Indeed, the British astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees has called Sci Foo the ‘Woodstock of the Mind’.

Forging an environment of openness and collaboration, attendees are encouraged to connect and share ideas with those around them. The schedule includes the always popular lightning talks but discourages keynotes and corporate overviews – and is dominated by unconference sessions that are proposed and organised by the attendees themselves. This format allows for unparalleled diversity of disciplines and thinking, with a rich seam of discussion, debate and insights running through the event. Conversations are encouraged to continue over mealtimes and into the evening.

As one of the organizers, Digital Science is especially excited for Sci Foo 2023. With around 250 attendees, we have also provided travel support to a number of early-career scientists from South Africa, Ecuador, Brunei and other countries and we are looking forward to the energy they will bring to what promises to be a fantastic Sci Foo.

We would also like to thank our co-organizers including  Tim O’Reilly and Marsee Henon from O’Reilly Media; Raiya Kind and Laurie Wu from Google; Magdalena Skipper of Springer Nature; and Sci Foo veteran Cat Allman, as well as the many volunteers from across all these organisations – it would not be possible without them. 

If you want to know more about Sci Foo 2023 including who’s there and what’s trending, please look out for online chat about the event via the official hashtag #SciFoo and discussion on Twitter and LinkedIn from the Digital Science team.

About the Author

Amarjit Myers, Head of Strategic Events | Digital Science