The Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics is a new venture being spearheaded by Piet Hut, also known as Pema Pera in Second Life. Piet and collaborators have already done some actual scientfic collaboration a virutal world, through Qwaq. However, he— and others, to the point that I can start using the pronoune "we"— are starting to do more in Second Life in an attempt both to bring in more astronomers, professional and amateur, as well as interested community members. Activities are going to include a regular journal club, as well as a monthly outreach talk at the popular level. I will write more about MICA later.
Right now, though, I want to (at the last minute) publicize that I will be giving tomorrow's in-world popular talk. I'll be talking on the title "The Power of the Dark Side: How Dark Matter and Dark Energy dominate our Universe". This talk will be in The Galaxy Dome in the ISM's Spaceport Bravo. This is going to be a version of a talk that I've given before, last Spring when I was still at Vanderbilt and going around giving AAS
Seyfert Shapley Lectures. (I think I gave five of those last year.) The talk will be in-world using Second Life Voice, and will be at a level accessible to all (although I always do try to challenge your minds when I give these sorts of talks).