Just Science 2008 is not for me.

I have nothing against anybody who does this, but I have some negative feelings about the whole idea. The idea is for bloggers to take a “science only” pledge for the week of February 4th.

The web site where you can read all about it and sign up is here.

There are three reasons that I will not participate.

First, I do not want to constrain the contents of my site to disallow posting on important things that happen during this period that are excluded by the Just Science pledge. The world would not come to an end if I did not have my say about some crazy creation science activities, but th is is only about a week before the Twin Cities Creationist Home Schooling Science Fair, at Har Mar Mall, for instance. That is a good example of a topic I may be writing about by that time. I would not be able to write about things the candidates say about science, either. That would make me uncomfortable.

Second, I feel that scientists have spent too many years ignoring the political side of the science business, and the result of that has been politically very costly. The “science only” pledge seems to have the feel of purification about it. There is an implication that writing about science is what we science bloggers are here to do, and other things we write about are filler. I sort of resent that.

Third, and closely related, is that I think my readers would not appreciate this shift. Some of my readers are here mainly for the science, but that is not true of everyone.

So don’t count me in.

However, I do encourage blog readers to visit the site and subscribe to the RSS feed. I will. There could be a lot of good science.


  1. #1 Elf Eye
    January 6, 2008

    Why compartmentalize? Science doesn’t take place in the proverbial vacuum, and social and political events may often best be understood within the context provided by scientific data and reasoning. By the way, I’m an English professor who haunts this site because I am fascinated by the intersection between science and the humanities.

  2. #2 razib
    January 7, 2008

    well, thanks for posting the link anyhow 😉

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 7, 2008

    Razib: I do think it is a worthy effort for those who wish to participate. It just does not fit me…