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It started when two canine scientists decide to become pen pals in an era of digital media...

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Mia & Julie at #SPARCS2013: Canine science for all!

Julie watching SPARCS in NYC (with friend & dog)

Hi Mia,

It's only right that we mention we've been cheating. We've spent the last two days over at #SPARCS2013, the canine science conference with the free, live streaming broadcast so anyone on planet earth can tune in.

As a reminder, SPARCS is short for the Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science. The conference goals are twofold: (1) promote research and education in canine science, and (2) provide a platform for leading minds in canine science to present, discuss and debate modern behavior science. So far, I think it's meeting its goals!

I'm still new to watching a conference live while following along on Twitter, and well, it's awesome. The conference is back up real soon for the third and final day, but I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying the Twitter response and feedback from people watching our colleagues in the field. Some people are learning about research into play, attachment and social cognition (to name a few topics) for the first time, and the comments, questions and critiques are just really interesting unto themselves. For example, they make me think about different ways to approach a research question, different behaviors to measure and even ways to tweak experimental methods. Maybe we can talk about this type of thing later. In the meantime, see #SPARCS2013 for the entire Twitter feed and discussion.

Over at SciAm Blogs, I gave a brief summary of what's to come for the final day of #SPARCS2013 talks about Dog Cognition & Development. I titled the post, "How to decrease head cocking: Watch a dog behavior & cognition conference today." As more people become familiar with the phrase, "dog behavior and cognition research," there might be less be less head cocking when we say what we do.

Hope all's well!