Adventures in Ethics and Science

The 2007 DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge is in its last few days, which means there may be enough data to start identifying trends as to which ScienceBlogs readers are the most generous:

By scientific discipline:

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Chad Orzel of Uncertain Principles is our lone full-time physical sciences blogger with a challenge this time around. He’s more than halfway to his goal, but if you physics, astronomy, chemistry, and math types think you can do better vote with your donations and give Chad a boost.

Two of the brain and behavior blogs that mounted challenges actually met them (Retrospectacle and Omni Brain). However, the original ScienceBlogs brain and behavior blog, Cognitive Daily, is languishing at 20% of its goal. I think that there are more brainiacs out there who appreciate thoughtful discussions of peer reviewed research in psychology than this number would suggest. If you’re one of them, make your presence known and Dave and Greta will throw in one dollar of theirs for every ten you donate.

Given the preponderance of blogs here that touch on the life sciences, it’s no surprise that a bunch of these bloggers jumped into the challenge. But I know that there are some strong tribal loyalties within the big tent of biology and medicine bloggers.

First to the finish was Deep Sea News, because fans of marine life totally rock. Similarly, med-blogger Signout demonstrated that readers of the travails of a medical resident are happy to give for a good cause. And evogen readers showed that folks who care about the ways that genetics and evolution come together also care about improving education for kids.

Still in play in this category:

Aetiology, where infectious disease fans have reached the 80% mark. Is philanthropy infectious, or our Tara’s readers developing a natural immunity to these appeals?

Terra Sigilatta, where Abel Pharmboy’s readers have come up with 47% of his goal. Can those with an interest in natural-products pharmacology get him closer to the goal?

Gene Expression, sitting at 4%. Oof. I know a bunch of you are interested in genetics — maybe even geneticists yourselves. Is the plan to make the next crop of geneticists in the lab? Because otherwise helping teachers educate those future geneticists seems like it might be a good idea.

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Representing for those who blog on the history and philosophy of science, Stranger Fruit readers have reached the 34% mark. I understand, though, that John Lynch has a posse, and I fully expect a bunch of them to rally to support his challenge before time runs out.

My generous readers have given donations that amount to 48% of my goal, but we seem to have hit a lull. The sprogs keep asking if there are more pictures to be drawn. If you want to keep my kids busy while helping other kids get engaging educational experiences, give to my challenge.

We’ve seen a strong showing from blogs focused on what it’s like to be part of the culture of science. Thus Spake Zuska readers have so far made donations amounting to 59% of Zuska’s goal. I have a feeling the lure of a “Zuska says: Don’t make me puke on your shoes” T-shirt will prompt some last-minute donations to Zuska’s challenge.

On Being a Scientist and a Woman readers have reached an impressive 92% of ScienceWoman’s goal. But surely there are a few more readers who will feel like they’ve missed out if they don’t get in on a Minnow handprint while Minnow is still small … especially when a $25 donation to ScienceWoman’s challenge will help the kids in the classroom, too.

For those who like political commentary with their science:

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the success of the 800 lb. gorilla (in pirate regalia), Pharyngula, whose readers showed themselves to be generous as well as numerous in exceeding PZ’s $20,000 goal. But there are a bunch of challenges still unmet among the bloggers who regularly discuss the intersection of science and politics.

Mike the Mad Biologist could become Mike the Sad Biologist unless some loyal readers hit the donate button and bring him up above the 17% mark.

Somehow, The Scientific Activists readers have gotten less than active when it comes to giving to his challenge, leaving it stranded at 32%.

Readers of A Blog Around the Clock have gotten Bora halfway to meeting his goal, but the clock is ticking down to get further on his challenge.

Thoughts from Kansas readers have reached 63% of Josh’s goal. I think they can go further with their generosity in these last few days.

The Questionable Authority readers performed so awesomely in the opening days of the drive that Mike Dunford raised his goal. Currently, he’s at 91% of the new and improved goal, and there’s no question that a few more donations could reach it.

If your first loyalty is not to a discipline or a blog, but to the kids:

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There are six challenges that are so very close to completion (and the 10% completion bonus from DonorsChoose that puts more money toward teachers’ classroom projects). If your first priority is to make your donation count 110%, these are the challenges that we could wrap up today:

On Being a Scientist and a Woman – $83 from goal.
The Questionable Authority – $222 from goal.
Thoughts from Kansas – $366 from goal.
Aetiology – $410 from goal.
Thus Spake Zuska – $610 from goal.
The Scientific Activist – $680 from goal.

Don’t forget that Seed is offering some fabulous prizes to thank donors!

There’s one more drawing for mugs, T-shirts, books, and subscriptions to Seed tomorrow, plus the drawing for an iPod Nano at the end of the drive. Be sure to forward your email confirmation from DonorsChoose to scienceblogs@gmail.com to get in on the drawing.

We’re in the home stretch. Show us just how awesome our readers are!

Comments

  1. #1 Tara C. Smith
    October 29, 2007

    Had an additional donation roll in today, so I’m down to $395 now…

  2. #2 Coturnix
    October 30, 2007
  3. #3 potentilla
    October 31, 2007

    It would be interesting to know how the results correlate with the international readship of the various blogs. Someone on a Pharyngula thread said that donations from outside the US were not being accepted (he had tried). I didn’t test this claim myslef, since my charitable giving is not directed at the richest country in the world, much as I love Scienceblogs.

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