SciFri Book Club – a space for all things science reading

Come nerd out with us!

What is the SciFri Book Club?

The SciFri Book Club is a program created by Science Friday to bring people together around all things science reading – anything from sci-fi short stories to nonfiction science books to science articles from various publications to science-y poetry! 

In this new community space, we can: 

  • Gather to discuss the chosen book or other readings with other community members;

  • Host meet-ups, listen and watch parties, and other gatherings;

  • Ignite moments of inspiration and interaction with science reading topics as our spark.

What can we do in this new community space?

  • Engage in discussion questions and other posts to engage in conversation with others who care deeply about science and reading
  • Attend virtual events featuring scientists, researchers, authors and all kinds of experts
  • Help select additional readings and other books, movies, videos and other content to nerd out about
  • Direct message with hosts and other community members

Bonus: There's even a mobile app that makes it easy to participate wherever you are!

Our Code of Conduct + Engagement Guidelines

For over 25 years, Science Friday has introduced top scientists to public radio listeners, and reminded them how much fun it is to learn something new. But we’re more than just a radio show. We created the SciFri Book Club community space because our readers told us loud and clear: you want to connect with others while reading with us. 

Science Friday is committed to providing a welcoming and harassment-free environment for members of all ethnicities, ages, gender and trans statuses, sexual orientations, physical abilities, national origin, beliefs, or any other dimension of diversity. We’ve written this code of conduct to help us create a safe and positive community experience for all, and believe that providing clear expectations is a necessary part of building a respectful community.

Code of Conduct

We as a community are creating a space with these guiding principles:

  • Being supportive and respectful. We encourage thoughtful discussions, but keep your comments respectful. Remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable, threatened or disrespected is not a productive one.
  • Sharing generously and listening closely. We are sharing a new digital space, and are coming together from different parts of the world. Start with compassion and understanding that we’re building knowledge together, and there is context beyond and behind someone’s digital expressions. Your stories and experiences are important, and so are others’, so practice active listening.
  • Staying on topic. This is a space for discussion as part of the SciFri Book Club. We encourage thoughtful conversation, but we reserve the right to remove posts that stray too far from that topic, including self promotion.
  • Being mindful of spoilers. You may be discussing plot points in readings that others haven’t reached yet and would prefer to avoid – give them the opportunity to make that decision themselves. Preface any posts or comments with ***SPOILER ALERT*** if necessary.

As a community, we will not tolerate:

  • Demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Harassment includes, but is not limited to: deliberate intimidation; stalking; screenshots or recording taken or shared without consent; sustained or willful disruption of chats, calls, talks, or other events; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery or language; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Engagement Guidelines

Our engagement guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but rather guiding principles that we hope will help everyone think about how to make this the most diverse, open and active science book club community. 

  • Be an amplifier for others – Encourage all voices and perspectives. If you find yourself taking over a discussion, step back. Make way for other voices and actively listen to them.
  • Speak from personal experience – Speak from your own experience, amplify the experiences of others, and most of all, listen to what others are telling you. A good practice is to use “I” language (e.g. “I don’t feel that way” vs. “You’re not listening to me.”)
  • Ask for help – Difficult discussions may occur in our community space. If you want to discuss something but aren’t sure how to do so while following these guidelines, ask another community member or Science Friday staff member for help. We’ll talk it through with you without judgement.
  • Take responsibility – We all make mistakes; when we do, we take responsibility for them. If someone has been harmed or offended, we listen carefully and respectfully, and work to right the wrong.

Reporting and Investigation Process

If you are being harassed by a member of our community, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the Science Friday admin team via email or private message in Mighty Networks. Note: if the person who is harassing you is on the admin team, they will not be involved in handling or resolving the incident.

The admin team will respond to any complaint as promptly as possible. If you do not get a timely response (for example, if no admins are currently online), please put your personal safety and well-being first and consider logging out and/or contacting the admins via email.

We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by our members seriously. This includes harassment that took place at any point in time in connection in our community space. If any member is found to violate these principles, Science Friday may take any lawful action we deem appropriate, including but not limited to warning the offender or stripping membership from the offender.

Science Friday may amend the guidelines and procedures it sets out where appropriate in a particular case. We will let you know when these guidelines are updated, and your agreement to comply with the guidelines will be deemed agreement to any changes to it.

We welcome your feedback, and thank you for working with us to make this a safe, enjoyable, and friendly experience for everyone.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. We used help and borrow bits and pieces from the following codes of conduct and engagement guidelines: Ada Initiative HOWTO Code of Conduct Guide, Massive Consortium’s Code of Conduct and Engagement GuidelinesDjango Community Code of ConductCommunity CovenantMozilla Community Participation Guidelines, and the Ubuntu Code of Conduct v2.0.

Updated August 2020


Q: Who can become a member of the SciFri Book Club? 

Anyone! You don't need to listen to the radio show—although we do think you'll like it—to join our online community.

Q: Do I need to read the chosen reading?

You don't, although we did think the books, articles or other media we choose are pretty stellar. This community is a space for all things science reading, so members are welcome to participate however makes them feel most connected.

Q: How do I become a member?

Click the "Join" button and fill in your information—now you have an account on our new community space! 

Q: What can I do as a member of the SciFri Book Club community?

There are lots of ways to be involved: You can answer our discussion questions posted during our radio kick-off event, post messages or images related to our chosen reading, chat with other community members, attend events hosted by Science Friday producers, help choose the next reading, and more! There are ways for everyone to get involved, and as we grow, we'll develop new ways of engaging together.

Q: Wait, what's SciFri?

SciFri is short for Science Friday. For 25 years we’ve introduced top scientists to public radio listeners, and reminded them how much fun it is to learn something new. But we’re more than just a radio show. We produce award-winning podcasts, digital videos, original web articles, and educational resources for teachers and informal educators. We like to say we’re brain fun, for curious people.

All of our work is independently produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information. WNYC Studios distributes our radio show, which you can catch on public radio stations across the U.S.

Q: Can I make a donation?

We'd love if you made a donation! Science Friday relies on the generous support of our listeners and fans. Our content is always free (and definitely awesome), but it does cost money to produce.

You can donate online here. If you'd like to send us a check via the mail, please write your check to “Science Friday” and mail to:

19 West 44th Street, Suite 412
New York, NY 10036

Q: I've got a different question – who can I ask?

You can email Diana Montano at [email protected] or Christie Taylor at [email protected] with any questions!

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