Open Lab 2007 reviewed in Nature


Today’s issue of Nature contains a short review of Open Lab 2007, and the article includes a brief mention of my contribution to the book:

The editor of this second anthology of the best scientific communiqu’s from the blogosphere thinks blogs offer new ways to discuss science. The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing on Blogs (, 2008) takes the curious approach of using dead tree format to highlight the diversity of scientific ideas, opinions and voices flowing across the Internet. Every year a different guest editor – here Reed Cartwright, a blogger and genetics and bioinformatics postdoc from North Carolina State University – picks the best posts to coincide with the Science Blogging Conference (in North Carolina on 19 January). First-hand accounts bring to life the stresses of a graduate student, a mother returning to the bench and an archaeologist’s joy at unearthing mammoth fossils. Topics tackled are as varied as the writers, from Viagra and tapeworms to trepanning. Explanations are often offered with a personal twist, such as a father’s tale of his child’s Asperger’s syndrome. The measured voices of trustworthy academics make medical research easy to swallow. If you are overwhelmed by the surge in science-related blogging and don’t know where to start, then this compilation may help you steer a course through the sea of perspectives on offer — or inspire you to start a blog yourself.

Unfortunately, due to copyright and attribution problems, my contribution appears without illustrations. It is, therefore, published as A History of Trepanation, rather than An Illustrated History of Trepanation, which was its original title. The post first went up on my old blog back in June of last year, and I reposted an extended version of it here earlier today, complete with illustrations and a new photograph.

Nevertheless, it’s always good to see one’s name in print, and I’m looking forward to receiving my copy of the book. As a contributing author, I’ll be getting a free copy, but I’ll probably buy a couple of copies to give away. Open Lab 2007 is now available for purchase at, and will soon be available from, as well as from various independent bookshops in the States. While you’re waiting for your copy to arrive, you can read the extended version of An Illustrated History of Trepanation, in all it’s glory.


  1. #1 carolyn13
    January 27, 2008

    Hi, Mo! I’ve been keeping up with your blog but I’ve been so obsessed with U.S. politics, I can hardly talk about anything else. Congrats on making it in to the book. I’m going to have to order a copy since my favorite science blogger is represented. 🙂

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