Weary of catching planes, burning up fossil fuels, and spending lots of time and money to attend meetings? Take heart! Virtual worlds are shaping up as possible venues for online meetings--and astrobiology graduate students are leading the way in exploring their potential. On July 17-18, 2009, early-career astrobiologists met at the University of Washington in Seattle for the 6th annual Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon), and simultaneously in the virtual world Second Life. Students presented talks that were streamed live into Second Life and participated in a real-world and virtual world "mixed reality" poster session. Social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were also used for sharing information before, during and after the conference. MORE
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