A Blog Around The Clock

Nature on Science Blogs

Journal Nature has published a short article about science blogging. You do not need a subscription to read it – you can find it here.

In it, they highlight Top 5 science blogs according to Technorati rankings. Those five are, quite deservingly, Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, Real Climate, Cosmic Variance and Scientific Activist. Interestingly, three of the top five are group blogs, and all five delve, either partically or entirely, on various religiously and politically motivated attacks on science. I guess this is what sells better than pure science commentary, for good reasons, and the blogs covering a greater variety of topics understandably draw greater crowds.

They also posted a list of Top 50, which you can find here. They say that 22 our of those 50 are SEED sciencebloggers.

They had a somewhat strange criterion for inclusion on the list, based on a somewhat dubious definiton of a “working scientist”. Thus, some of the best blogs that are most certainlly ‘science blogs’ are either not on the list, or relegated to an additional list of blogs by writers who write about science, where you can find Carl Zimmer and Phil Plait among others.

PZ, Alex, Tara and John Lynch have already posted their commentary on the Nature’s list.

I was happy to see myself on the list, on the 20th spot. Apparently, they used the Technorati rankings of Circadiana (14,920) to determine this, although they linked to this blog. My blog would have moved somewhat up or down the list if they chose instead to go with the rankings of Science And Politics (3,229), A Blog Around The Clock (15,456), or The Magic School Bus (35,258).

I have on my Bloglines currently more than 450 science or science-related blogs. I used to make big link-fests covering the science blogosphere. If you check out the last such linkfest it also links back to all the previous editions. Perhaps I should do another one soon. All the spotlight is on the SuperPopular blogs. I’d like you to explore some less-well-known yet excellent other science blogs, so check out those old linkfests.

Update: Josh, Mike, Hsien, Mark, Chad, Nick, Ana, Nuthatch, Frank, Osame, Jeremy, Monado, Dave and Reed also chime in .

And Orac – watch out, he is in the most dangerous 6th spot!

M.C. and Julian chime in…

Update 2: Phil Plait, Carl Zimmer and Revere have some good commentary.

Matt, Steve Rubel, John Wilkins, Curious Cat, John Scalzi take note.


  1. #1 Hsien Lei
    July 5, 2006

    You’re awesome, Bora. I liked your commentary about this Nature list the best. I think I had best be more political if I want to get myself on that list. On the other hand, am I really a “working scientist” anyway? It’s a debate I have with myself all the time.

    Now I’ll go hide in the corner with my blanky and whine about not being included. 😉

  2. #2 tng
    July 5, 2006

    When writers focus on the super popular blogs they miss an important aspect of this blogging thing. The long tail of blogs that are somewhat popular and not very popular but still excellent accounts for a number of readers far surpassing the number of readers of the super popular blogs.

  3. #3 Jeremy Cherfas
    July 6, 2006

    I agree that the arbitrary decision to include only blogs about science written by working scientists leaves out a lot of good blogs. And I love the way Nature reports on one of those “non-scientist” blogs by pointing out that the writer is no longer a working scientist … he’s working for Nature!

    The focus on the head rather than the tail is not surprising; the whole point of the head is that it is popular with many. But as you point out, we can all find stuff that appeals to us down in the tail. Your round-ups help.

  4. #4 coturnix
    July 10, 2006

    Update 2: Phil Plait and Revere have some good commentary.

    Matt, Steve Rubel, John Wilkins, Curious Cat, John Scalzi take note.

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