Having read my colleagues blog posts and many comments thereon and elsewhere, I want to suggest that we consider the new blog, “Food Frontiers,” a little differently than some have suggested (see my original post) and, actually, welcome it to the Sb fold.
As painful as it is to admit (and I’m really squirming here) Isis and Drug Monkey were perhaps right to reserve judgment. Perhaps they recognize that what others have made into a stark distinction is really a gray area: There are in fact many science bloggers (here on Sb and elsewhere) who are paid fully by a single company from a major industry. Even scientists like Isis, Monkey and a half dozen others, here as Sb, are effectively paid by a very small number of sources (like the NIH or some big Pharm grant or whatever) and thus have a (largely undisclosed in some cases) potential appearance of a conflict of interest. Somehow, that seems to never get mentioned, and that is probably because it never actually matters.
In thinking about it further, I think the Food Frontiers blog is more like Collective Imagination than it originally seemed to me. In fact, this is pretty clear. Food Frontiers has a number of scientists who work at the R and D branch of a major e-vile corporation. I had no problem working, as a co-blogger, with a set of research scientists at a different major e-vile corporation, General Electric, who’s evil ways I’ve witnessed quite first hand.
Indeed, when I was asked years ago to be a keynote speaker at a major international group of food scientists, I jumped at the chance and spent several days at a conference at which I understood only a few percent of what was being said about the science, and learning a great deal of very interesting stuff.
I think the Sb launch of this blog could have been better done. Next time it probably will be. In the mean time, let’s keep an eye on it and see what interesting things develop.
For those who have noted that they don’t like soda and thus won’t like that blog: Likely, the blog will mostly be about other things.
Also, for those who see this as part of a negative trend (increasing corporate blogging) do suggest alternatives. Is there some entity out there that should be blogging at Scienceblogs.com? Suggest it!