Cognitive Daily

Regular CogDaily readers know that I don’t usually harp relentlessly on a single issue. Believe me, I’d much rather be talking about things like this, but it’s not very often that I get a chance to make an impact in the blogosphere. Thanks to a link from Fark (via BoingBoing) it looks like today might just be that chance.

If you voted in the Weblog Awards Best Science Blog Contest yesterday when I first posted about it, you can now vote again. If you didn’t get a chance to vote because the site was down, it looks like it’s up again. I’ll post the poll below as well for your convenience. This is your last chance to vote — polls will be closing at 5 p.m. EST today.

But first, I did want to address some of the issues brought up by commenters in yesterday’s post.

  • “It’s not that big a deal — everyone knows online polls are easily manipulated”
    I’m not sure “everyone” knows that. The Weblog awards have a very official-looking site and many reputable blogs have won the award. What I don’t want is for a site that abuses science to come away with the “best science blog” award, and be able to wear that badge for the next year.
  • “You’re cheating too. It’s better to lose honorably than win unfairly”
    I’m not cheating, and I’m not accusing the other side of cheating either (not in this contest, anyway). There’s nothing in the rules that prohibits stumping for blogs you like.
  • “Climate Audit is real science.”
    Climate Audit starts with a conclusion and seeks evidence to support its conclusion. Real scientists seek to understand nature — whatever they learn from nature, that’s the science. Further, Climate Audit doesn’t adhere to established scientific standards, such as citing sources.
  • “Bad Astronomy isn’t science either. There are lots of non-science posts there.”
    I have to admit, it’s not my favorite science blog, but at least it is a science blog, with lots of posts on real science, including links to sources. There are more newsy posts than I would like, but there are also plenty of great explanations of recent discoveries. And it’s the only science blog with a shot at winning this.
  • “I’m interested in psychology. Why should I care about this?”
    You should care about this if you believe psychology is a science. Do you really want non-science to get to wear the badge of “best science blog” for an entire year?
  • “You’re just pushing your own biased politics on the rest of us. You’re no better than them.”
    It’s possible that my personal politics are part of what’s motivating me — I do think we should be doing something about global warming. But valuing science is more important to me still. I want a blog that values science to be the one that wins this award.

Comments

  1. #1 Josh
    November 8, 2007

    “Bad Astronomy isn’t science either. There are lots of non-science posts there.”
    **I have to admit, it’s not my favorite science blog, but at least it is a science blog, with lots of posts on real science, including links to sources. There are more newsy posts than I would like, but there are also plenty of great explanations of recent discoveries. And it’s the only science blog with a shot at winning this.**

    I find it interesting and vaguely ironic that this Q&A is a perfect metaphor for the modern democracy is what is ultimately a political argument between two blog front runners.

    Regarding the uproar: I’ve always found your blog to be an incredibly read, especially as it involves a field that I have no background in. Please, please, don’t turn your reporting to something that is so intrinsically opposed to the meaningful content your blog contains. This poll is ultimately worthless. I’d be surprised to hear about it on CNN, BBC, etc. This one result will not sway the stream of global warming activists in government or in industry, and it will not have an impact on science’s reputation or development.

    I don’t even know what to think about the whole global warming thing anymore, but I do know that I enjoy every one of your reports.

  2. #2 Dave Munger
    November 8, 2007

    Don’t worry; it won’t. But I don’t really see Bad Astronomy as a political global-warming blog. It’s a blog about astronomy, and doesn’t even seem that political to me.

    I don’t like to get into the politics at all on this blog, and that’s what really bothers me about the “best science blog” competition. It got political, through no doing of Phil Plait.

  3. #3 Alvin
    November 8, 2007

    If only this made it to Digg on time…

  4. #4 Dave Munger
    November 8, 2007

    Wait, Bad Astronomy has pulled ahead, after the polls have closed. That’s bizarre…

  5. #5 P. Tane
    November 8, 2007

    “Climate Audit starts with a conclusion and seeks evidence to support its conclusion. Real scientists seek to understand nature — whatever they learn from nature, that’s the science. Further, Climate Audit doesn’t adhere to established scientific standards, such as citingsources.”

    Replace the words “Climate Audit” with “Al Gore” and you still have a true statement.

  6. #6 grog
    November 10, 2007

    P. Tane: No, you don’t. Gore cites his sources.

  7. #7 Dodgy Geezer
    November 11, 2007

    I have just looked at this argument, and can’t understand it. Surely everyone knows the world is in danger? Why are people allowed to question this?

    That can’t be what real science is about!

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