A brief word of thanks

Many thanks to everyone who has read, commented, and promoted my posts on “Ida”, the ‘missing link’ that wasn’t. I have been floored by the response – over 25,000 visits in the last 24 hours; being mentioned on Wikipedia; being quoted on Slashdot; and being picked up by blogs on the Guardian, the New York Times, the Times online (twice!), Popular Science, and New Scientist websites. And to think I was worried that no one would pay attention to my little ‘ol blog amongst all the hype…

I think the prize for the best response has to go to Ed of Not Exactly Rocket Science, though. Ed writes;

Yesterday, the entire world changed noticeably as the media, accompanied by some scientists, unveiled a stunning fossilised primate. The creature has been named Darwinius masillae, but also goes by Ida, the Link, the Chosen One and She Who Will Save Us All.

It only gets better from there; read the whole thing!


  1. #1 Michael D. Barton
    May 20, 2009

    No, Brian, thank you.

  2. #2 BrianR
    May 20, 2009

    congrats for the well-deserved coverage — you were able to combine reporting of important info with level-headed commentary just as swift as the mainstream media (and other science bloggers I might add) did with their sensationalized pieces … I look forward to reading more about the find after the hype dust settles

  3. #3 samk
    May 20, 2009

    I’m no scientist but I love science in its popular, easily digestable form. I was shocked when I first heard about Ida yesterday.

    I immediately came to scienceblogs (where many articles are beyond my ken) and found your article. And you put the story in perspective. It’s still an awesome fossil but I think the hype has been rightly skewered.

    So, as Mr. Barton said, “Thank you!”

  4. #4 dave souza
    May 20, 2009

    Yes, thanks for an informative and detailed first impression of this fascinating fossil, where its real significance has been overshadowed by the hype. The authors appear to have been cautious in their PLoS paper, but wildly speculative in promoting this find like a pop star, with every inaccurate cliche in the book feeding the worst tendencies of the press.

    Hope to see a full and authoritative analysis in the near future, it will be fascinating to see how much you got right in a very quick reading.

  5. #5 Lilian Nattel
    May 20, 2009

    Congratulations! And Ed’s post is terrific, too.

  6. #6 cromercrox
    May 21, 2009

    What has struck me most about the whole affair is how (in general) the conventional news media completely bought into the breathless hype, whereas the blogosphere (with you in the lead, but honorable mentions to Ed Yong, Greg Laden and Carl Zimmer) was able to cover the story rationally and sensibly. The contrast is such that I am resolved to have no more contact with the conventional news media, except on my terms, until they learn to cover science news stories in an informed and dispassionate way that doesn’t patronize the readers or cheapen the scince they are supposed to convey.

  7. #7 JLT
    May 21, 2009

    The Nature News Blog The Great Beyond linked to your post, too.

  8. #8 Ian
    May 21, 2009

    Save Ida, Save the world….

  9. #9 foolfodder
    May 21, 2009

    An interview with Brian is in the material world podcast, I don’t know if this is available outside the UK though.

  10. #10 Ed Yong
    May 21, 2009

    Save Ida, Save the world….

    Heh. Quality.

    Well deserved Brian. Your analysis was by far the most interesting piece on Ida – the first and most detailed critical analysis of the paper.

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