2017 on Social in silico

2017 was a busy year on Social in Silico – and the best one yet in terms of the number of blog posts published and the number of you reading them. Thank you for following along! Here’s a summary of some of the highlights.

***Overwhelmed by the list? I’ve put stars next to the key posts you might want to start with to get a tasting menu of the topics listed.

Gripping reading material…
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/possum1500/23368992423/

Considering Community – what do scientific communities look like?

This year I was delighted to get to know the inaugural cohort of AAAS Community Engagement Fellows – a brand new fellowship program for scientific community managers for which I’m the program director. This prompted a series of posts in which I contemplate four possible types of communities found within science. I describe the characteristics of these communities including staffing, funding and governance structures, as well as the role of a community manager in each community.

Also in the Considering Community series I explored two models for communities:

  • ***The four stages of the community lifecycle – the model shared in “Buzzing Communities” by Rich Millington explains why the role of a community manager changes depending on which stage of the community lifecycle their community is in.
  • *** The Connect-Align-Produce model –  A different model applies for social-impact communities – those where the purpose is to generate outputs for social good.

Community Manager Musings – what do community managers look like and do?

A new series that I’ve started this year is Community Manager Musings which considers the skillsets and characteristics of community managers. This is a question that I’ve been working on with the other members of the C3 project team of the 2017 AAAS Community Engagement Fellows, including devising a skills wheel for scientific community engagement managers. More to come on this in 2018 but, for now, here’s some of the supplementary exploring that I’ve been doing.

Reading for Leading – weekly tips for team-builders

This year I started a series of weekly posts containing short tips for team-building and modern leadership. Published every Monday morning, we’re now up to post number 17 and you can find all of the posts in the series so far here. Some of the most popular posts are:

Behaviour and culture

Team work

Online tools


This year I tried (and succeeded!) with an experiment to read 52 books – approximately one per week. It prompted me to summarise some of the key texts that have influenced me in my role. I also reflected on what it’s been like to participate in an online bookclub using a Facebook group.

Pot luck!


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