Category Archives: Trellis news and updates

Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy on Trellis

Source: http://science-engage.org/
Source: http://science-engage.org/

Here at Trellis, one topic that has become particularly popular is science policy. One of our most active and growing science policy groups is the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) group, which is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to empower the scientific and engineering community to effectively engage in the policymaking process at all levels of government.

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Trellis on the road: Summer 2017

Hand with pen circling locations on a map
Map” by rawpixel.com

The Trellis team is getting ready for a summer of conferences, webinars, and workshops. We’ll be showcasing the scientific community engagement training framework that we developed for the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) and learning from others interested in the field. Keep an eye on the blog for reports from the Trellis team and CEFP Fellows who’ll be attending some of these events as well.

Here’s where you can find us (online and in person) this summer:

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Beyond the March for Science: Science advocacy on Trellis

Crowd with one person holding "We <3 Science" sign
Stand Up For Science_4” by Peg Hunter under CC BY-NC 2.0

This Saturday scientists and science advocates will march on Washington in a call for science-based policies and a public celebration of science. But what happens next? AAAS and Trellis are committed to providing opportunities for participants to continue to engage with science advocacy and public engagement.

Yesterday, AAAS announced the release of an advocacy toolkit with resources for communicating science effectively, connecting with other science advocates, and working with congress. We’ll be exploring these themes on Trellis over the next few months. Read on to find out about several communities where you can learn more, build connections, and get involved.
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Building the infrastructure to support collaboration with NSF INCLUDES

NSF, Trellis, and AAAS logos

In September 2016 The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued the first round of awards for the NSF INCLUDES program. It gave out 37 pilot grants and 11 conference grants to applicants who seek to improve access to STEM education and career pathways for under-represented minorities. Trellis is excited to be a part of the INCLUDES initiative – contributing to it in two ways. Firstly, we’re providing the platform for synthesizing insights and reflections across the projects involved in the pilot phase of the program, using a private Trellis group for INCLUDES grantees. Secondly, several members of the Trellis team are involved with hosting one of the INCLUDES conferences.

This Wednesday, April 12th AAAS is hosting a three-day NSF-sponsored INCLUDES conference entitled: “The Technical and Human Infrastructure to Support Collective Impact of the INCLUDES Program at the Alliance and Network Levels”. The conference is being coordinated by Trellis’s founding general manager, Josh Freeman, Trellis’ Director for Community Engagement, Lou Woodley and AAAS Director of Education and Human Resources Programs Shirley Malcom. We’ll be delving deeper into the tools and communication needs of the pilot projects and how these might scale in order to successfully create an NSF INCLUDES 
National Network Backbone.

Over 70 participants are expected at the conference, with at least 25 different pilot projects represented. Items on the agenda include insights from the Science of Team Science movement and discussion of a pre-conference survey which looked at the current tools and communication patterns of the pilot grantees. Stay tuned as we report back on those conversations next week.

Celebrate milestones with Trellis groups

Confetti against a blue sky
Confetti” by ADoseofShipBoy under CC BY 2.0

2017 has been an exciting year for Trellis. We’ve seen record numbers of users logging in and engaging a rise in weekly active groups. We’ve also launched new groups for AAAS members interested in science advocacy and Trellis group admins. Beyond these site-wide metrics, a number of individual Trellis groups have also hit membership milestones this year. Join us in celebrating these growing communities.

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Supporting a community of community builders on Trellis

Human pyramid
People pyramid” by Nathan Rupert under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One of our founding values at Trellis is our commitment to training and supporting community managers in their efforts to nurture their communities. We knew from the start of this project that you can build a desirable toolset, but without dedicated group admins, it’s hard, if not impossible, to see groups thrive.

What’s more, community management matters regardless of the type of group involved. It could be a community of interest, gathering loosely around a particular topic. Or it could be a community of practice, wishing to advance and develop skills together. Or it could be a specific collaboration with defined goals and deliverables. In all cases, a skilled community manager will bring out the best in the group.

And that’s why, today, we’re delighted to launch a new group specifically for those running Trellis groups: The Trellis Admin Community.

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In a new scholarly collaboration review Trellis is “one to watch”

Posted by Joshua Freeman, Founding General Manager at Trellis

Telescope on Eiffel Tower
Telescope on Eiffel Tower” by Adrian Scottow under CC BY-SA 2.0

Recently, leading STM publishing analyst Outsell produced a report on Scholarly Collaboration Networks, a category within which they place Trellis. It was a lot of fun to have the chance to speak with their analyst and have a chance to tell her the Trellis story. But my favorite part was what she had to say about us when the report finally came out:

“Trellis is one to watch as it strengthens its user base and appeal to various stakeholders across the scientific community.” – Outsell

Here are a few more of the key takeaways from the report:

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Being the Force for Science – AAAS members on Trellis

AAAS Force For Science logo
AAAS Force For Science logo

What does it mean to be a member-facing organization – or to belong to one? Engaging more with our members has been a key element of the Transformation Initiative that AAAS has undertaken over the past several years, with an emphasis on digital first, member-centric products and services.

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Some reflections on Trellis’ second birthday from our Founding General Manager

Posted by Joshua Freeman, Founding General Manager at Trellis

A piece of cake with a lit "2" shaped candle in it.
Adapted from “Tårta” by Magnus D, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Two years ago, on a day so cold I could barely feel my fingers, let alone text with them, I stood in line outside Dominique Anselm Bakery in New York (birthplace of the cronut), talking to the developers who were putting the final touches on the first release of Trellis. It was a moment of hope and anxiety.

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Happy birthday to Trellis! Celebrating our first birthday

Time flies when you’re having fun! A year ago we launched Trellis, the new platform for scientific communication and collaboration, into a private beta. Launched as a “minimum viable product,” Trellis had a basic set of features including professional profiles, newsfeeds, discussions, and group hierarchies. We launched with just a couple of groups, including Public Engagement with Science and Tools for Evidence-Based Action, and a hundred or so members.

A year later, how different things look. We now have around 6,000 members from across disciplines and around the world. One of our favorite moments of the year happened during a demo with an interested scientist from New Zealand. When we asked him how he had heard of Trellis, he said “Well, I was at a conference in Hanoi and someone was talking about it.” You know what they say (roughly paraphrased) – “if they’re talking about you in Hanoi …”

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