Not Exactly Rocket Science

Research Blog of the Year

Image, ironically, from FailBlog

Warning: this post contains sentiment. If you are cynical and/or British, you might want to avert your eyes. Alternatively, read this and then go watch some Charlie Brooker. For those of you still around, bear with me. It is really hard to write something like this without falling into an abyss of clichΓ©s.

i-f40234e868cf62ce699010249c5b930b-rb_badge_winner.pngA couple of days ago, Dave Munger, under a veil of tightest secrecy, told me that I’ve won the big prize in the first ever Research Blogging Awards. Not Exactly Rocket Science is apparently the Research Blog of the Year, as well as Best Lay-Level Blog and home of the Best Post of the Year (for duck sex). The announcements have just been made public and there’s an interview between Dave and myself coming up shortly on the SEED website.

Needless to say, I’m incredibly honoured, especially given that the awards were voted for by a jury of peers and colleages. I’ve been blogging for 3.5 years now. Right from the start, writing Not Exactly Rocket Science has been a labour of love, and often a lonely one carried out in the solitary hours of the night. I certainly enjoy what I do, but it’s always gratifying to learn that other people think well of it.

Plus I get a nice badge (see above), although it’s legitimacy as a blogging award badge is seriously questionable given the use of only one exclamation mark. 

For anyone unfamiliar with the Research Blogging Awards, they deal with blogs that describe scientific research, the prizes are sponsored by SEED, the nomination lists were drawn up by a panel of superstar bloggers and the final votes were cast by registered members of the ResearchBlogging community. In my mind, they are a fantastic idea. It is baffling that even now, bloggers often have to justify ourselves against straw-man accusations that we are nothing more than vitriolic agitators, when, in fact, the blogosphere is awash with excellent content. Getting bloggers together to celebrate that quailty can only be a good thing.

I’d like to congratulate and plug the other winners, including excellent blogs like Neurotopia, Highly Allochthonous, Respectful Insolence and A Blog Around the Clock. I’d encourage everyone to check them out as well as the full nominee list, which is full of writers that deserve your attention. To steal a phrase, customers who like Not Exactly Rocket Science might also like Laelaps, Observations of a Nerd, The Lay Scientist, Neurophilosophy, The Primate Diaries, Terra Sigillata, and more.

And finally, to everyone who voted, I offer my sincere and humble thanks. I can only say that I have every intention of continuing with Not Exactly Rocket Science and trying to improve the quality of material that appears here.

And while we’re on that topic, I have a big announceme.. oh look, is that the time?





  1. #1 Joel
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations! You write a great blog, so it’s certainly well deserved πŸ™‚

  2. #2 Rob
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations!!! Very well deserved. Keep up the great work!

  3. #3 rpg
    March 23, 2010

    Congrats, Ed πŸ™‚

  4. #4 hectocotyli
    March 23, 2010

    Here’s a few of more exclamation points!!!!! So well deserved. Congratulations!!!!

  5. #5 Dave Munger
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations, Ed! Well deserved! That Seed interview (which, imho, contains some excellent questions), goes live tomorrow!!!!!!!

    There, that enough exclamation marks for you?

  6. #6 Lab Rat
    March 23, 2010

    Very well deserved awards πŸ™‚ Congratulations and I can’t wait for the SEED interview!

    (hehe cynical and/or British)

  7. #7 Lauren
    March 23, 2010

    WELL DONE!!!!!!! Well deserved.

    From a British Cynic.

    Now hand me that copy of the Guardian…

  8. #8 Pete Moulton
    March 23, 2010

    No one’s more deserving, IMO, Ed. NERS became a daily staple in my internet reading the day you posted the hilarious expose on the unveiling of Ida, and you’ve never disappointed.

    Congratulations!!!!!!! (a few more gratuitous exclamation points, well, just because)

  9. #9 Henry
    March 23, 2010

    well done dude!

  10. #10 Mark Henderson
    March 23, 2010

    Congrats Ed! Very well deserved…

  11. #11 Chris Rowan
    March 23, 2010

    Many congratulations, Ed. Of course, any other result would have been an injustice.

  12. #12 Michael Fugate
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations. I appreciate your work.

  13. #13 Eric
    March 23, 2010

    Well deserved! Thanks for all your hard work!

  14. #14 Paul Browne
    March 23, 2010

    Wow, you really cleaned up! I can’t think of anyone who deserved those awards more, congratulations!

    Great to see Orac win the prize for best medical blog, he’s certainly earned that award several times over in the past year.

  15. #15 Sam
    March 23, 2010

    I haven’t commented here before, but I read regularly through RSS. There’s so much terrible science writing, and so many papers are locked behind paywalls, and responsible science writing is often sadly kind of boring. This blog rocks: the prose is a pleasure to read, the stories are fascinating, and the critical analysis of the significance of the findings is very welcome. All of which is to say, your award is richly deserved, and I hope to keep reading your work for many years to come.

  16. #16 Brian Switek
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations, Ed! No one deserved it more. (You have certainly set the bar high for the rest of us!)

    And I look forward to your forthcoming announcement. Will it CHANGE EVERYTHING?

  17. #17 Christie
    March 23, 2010

    Congrats! I’m so glad you won the big prize. You definitely deserve it!

    PS Told ya there was no topping duck sex. Hopefully, there will be no crazy penises in next year’s competition… to give me a shot! πŸ˜‰

  18. #18 Lilian Nattel
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations! And well deserved. Even at my busiest, I always check your blog.

  19. #19 Adriana
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations, Ed! And well deserved! Your blog is one of my favorite blogs, by far. I’m a scientist and I understand how absolutely difficult it is to be a good science writer. You have the gift of explaining things clearly for lay people, but you never dumb things down. I find your writing very balanced and your critiques very thoughtful.

  20. #20 retriever
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations! So well deserved! I love your blog, and link to it constantly. Keep up the good work!

  21. #21 Zoe
    March 23, 2010

    I stumbled upon your blog (literally) a few weeks ago and it has made it to my bookmarks toolbar at the top of Firefox. I feel like if I had more time I’d love to read more scientific journals, but you find the good ones for me and condense them down to be so readable. Thanks for everything, and I shall continue to follow!

  22. #22 OmegaMom
    March 23, 2010

    Major congratulations! Woot! I don’t comment much (if at all), but I do read your blog regularly via RSS feed.

  23. #23 Nathan Myers
    March 23, 2010

    As long as you’re plugging the best of the best of the competition, let me put in a good word for Small Things Considered, by Moselio Schaechter and Merry Youle and guests over at . (No affiliation.)

  24. #24 Julie
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations!! As a new reader – I have to say that reading your blog is one of the highlights of my internet time (which is plentiful). Keep up the good work!

  25. #25 Coturnix
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations! Duck sex for the win!

  26. #26 Ed Yong
    March 23, 2010

    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate it. And Brian, the announcement will change everything to the same extent that Ida did >:-)

  27. #27 rachel
    March 23, 2010

    Woooohooooo! Congrats πŸ™‚

  28. #28 Steve
    March 23, 2010

    Years ago, as I hacked my way painfully through an article in Nature, I said to myself, “We really need someone to interpret this stuff for us”.

    It seemed to me that, if one could assemble the right talent, he could produce a wonderful magazine just by re-writing the most interesting articles from science journals in a way that the general public could follow. Scientific American used to do something like that, before that horrible man wrecked it, and it has never been replaced. Then a few months ago, I stumbled upon your site, where you were doing exactly what I’d imagined and giving it away for free. I was astonished.

    Thanks. I sincerely hope that you continue doing what you do so well, but I also think that, should you be so inclined, you have the kind of talent that would play well on a larger canvas.

  29. #29 Neuroskeptic
    March 23, 2010

    Well done! The best blog won. Congrats.

  30. #30 Blackbird
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations Ed! You have a superb blog!

  31. #31 kalox
    March 23, 2010

    Totally deserved!

  32. #32 Briana
    March 23, 2010

    Whoo for you! πŸ™‚ This was the first science blog I subscribed to (found by google search). Congratulations!

  33. #33 summerwino
    March 23, 2010

    Fantastic news! I’ve been avidly hooked since finding your blog.

    Now someone needs to come up with new prizes for you to win, since you’ve just pwned the blogging scene.


  34. #34 Cameron
    March 23, 2010

    Rock on Yong! Your blog rules.

  35. #35 Ken Zelez
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations. You both should feel very proud. It is always awesome when you are recognized by your peers.

  36. #36 aratina cage
    March 23, 2010

    Super Congratulations, Ed! I agree with the choice 100%.

  37. #37 Jack
    March 23, 2010

    Congratulations! Well deserved.

  38. #38 Aatish
    March 24, 2010

    I couldn’t think of a more deserving blog. An absolute delight to wake up and read about duck sex in the morning, with a nice bowl of cereal! You’re the best.

  39. #39 che
    March 24, 2010

    Agree with the panel. This is a really fantastic blog and one that I recommend to my students.

  40. #40 Jen
    March 24, 2010

    Congratulations!! Truly well deserved, I was hoping you’d win. This blog is beyond brilliant, you really hit the nail on the head every time you and your passion and enthusiasm for the science you write about is infectious.

    Thank you Ed, for being just so damn good at what you do πŸ™‚

  41. #41 IΓ±igo
    March 24, 2010

    Congratulations! Very well deserved! Thanks for your work!

  42. #42 Gammidgy
    March 24, 2010

    Good going Ed. You deserve it for you work-rate alone. Between your obviously well-researched blogs plus all the tweets, when do you sleep?

    Now get back to work. I’m hungry for science.

  43. #43 Anne Jefferson
    March 24, 2010

    Congratulations, Ed! Even as someone who likes my science less, well, alive than most of your posts, I have to say that you do a fabulous job of making me read with great interest your wonderfully clear explanations of some really cool science. Plus, I will never look at ducks the same way again.

  44. #44 Glendon Mellow
    March 24, 2010

    Amazing news Ed! Well-deserved, and congratulations!

  45. #45 Militant Agnostic
    March 24, 2010

    Congratulations – well deserved. Your blog and Respectful Insolence are the only science blogs that I follow continuously.

  46. #46 Sarah
    March 24, 2010

    Congrats! A very disappointing outpour of emotions though – you didn’t even thank Meryl Streep! πŸ˜‰

  47. #47 Jennifer Ouellette
    March 24, 2010

    It’s an honor well deserved. Congrats!

  48. #48 Caine
    March 24, 2010

    Congratulations, Ed! Very well deserved.

  49. #49 Daniel J. Andrews
    March 24, 2010

    Heh! Good on ya, mate! (as my dad might say). Well done.

  50. #50 DDeden
    March 25, 2010

    you wrote a post on how to sex ducks? Wait. Oh. Cheers!

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