The Intersection, the blog written by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, filed its last post on yesterday afternoon.

In closely related news, The Intersection, written by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, has just started up at its new home on Discover!

You know that Chris and I have disagreed on a number of issues (mainly “framing” and the marketing of “expelled”), but you also know that we have agreed on even more issues (like AGC, etc.), and our relationship has been mostly civil, ever since the slap down anyway. That is important because although we have disagreed on certain (but not all) approaches to science education and communication, we are totally on the same page when it comes to the actual important issues that motivate us to engage in this process. We are on the same team using somewhat different but overlapping techniques.

I want my readers to understand this, because I think there was a bit of a Lord of the Flies effect back in those days, and I regret the level to which that developed. I especially regretted it after I read Chris’s excellent book, and it became even more clear that we are on the same team and that we should be using our differences as an asset rather than a distraction. Which is something that can only be done in the context of civility.

It is to me very poignant that Chris and Sheril left their so-long post and closed it for comments. I would have done the same thing. The “civility is an excuse” crowd, which has found a major voice on the internet and is well represented on, simply could not be trusted to not mar this good bye post. (I do not know that Chris and Sheril were thinking this, but is certainly is what I would have been thinking.) And, yes, I’ll say it out loud: I wonder how much that lack of civility was a factor in their decision to move on to Discover. Which, by the way, clearly has different standards (for lack of a better word, tell me if you’ve got one) than in this regard.

Both Chris and Sheril have been an asset to Science Blogs and I’m very sorry to see them go. Of course, as they note on their good-bye post, they’re not really going anywhere because the entire internet is 18 inches away (or however far you sit from your computer screen).

Anyway, good luck Sheril and Chris. Keep up the good work, the good fight, and stay in touch!


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    March 24, 2009

    I think there are some important distinctions to be made between civility and things like kindness and generosity. One can be civil without being kind or generous just by adhering to the rules of the dominant culture when delivering one’s blows. One can also be kind and generous while still breaking those rules.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 24, 2009

    Well, yes, the very definition is a big problem here, and I should say (as I mentioned over on Wilkin’s blog) that I’m not into a priori rules.

  3. #3 Mr. Gunn
    March 24, 2009

    I won’t comment on the civility, or lack thereof, of people on the internet, but closing a post to comments is almost always the wrong move. That said, the title of this post matches poorly to the conciliatory words in the text. All this comes from a relative outsider to the whole thing, so take that for what it’s worth.

  4. #4 Mouse
    March 24, 2009

    All comments are closed there and at The Loom. Probably what happens when a blog ends.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    March 24, 2009

    I won’t comment on the civility, or lack thereof, of people on the internet, but closing a post to comments is almost always the wrong move.

    Yes, as Mouse says, I think this is just what happens. It’s how you tell the blog is dead. Like when you knock the pope on the head with the Pope Knocker and he doesn’t flinch.

  6. #6 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    March 24, 2009

    Thanks for the lovely send off Greg. And you and mouse are right, The Intersection 2.0 is no longer live.

    More importantly and as you wrote–we’re always just the screen’s distance away. Chris and I are looking forward to continued exchanges across the blogosphere and back again!

  7. #7 Ahcuah
    March 24, 2009

    Actually, I’m just curious as to what would make folks move along from one host to another. Better donuts?

    Does Discover pay better? Have a chance to draw a larger audience? To me as a reader, it doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. I assume the content of the posts will still be similar (just harder to find, in my case).

  8. #8 Badger3k
    March 25, 2009

    But I’ve never been able to get the Discover feed to work in Newsfire. Scienceblogs combined feed works…Discover gives me gibberish. To avoid having 200 blogs I look for combined feeds, and since Discover hasn’t worked yet, I won’t be reading. Just my 2 cents on the matter.

    I’m thinking that the hassle with Nisbett gave Chris & Sheril a bad rep, for many. It certainly soured me on their writing – it made me trust them less. Maybe a “fresh” start is better, even though some of the posts here reference some sexism happening at the new blog, but hopefully it will get better for them. Just don’t bring up framing, please.