I’m a late addition to a Sunday panel at Worldcon:

Science Blogging – The New Science Journalism?

Touted as a new way of reaching the public, has science blogging matched its initial promise? Has it caused more problems than it solves?

Well? What do you all think?


  1. #1 Jonathan Vos Post
    August 3, 2009

    If you get more comments by blog and facebook than by email and snailmail, then science blogging HAS matched its initial promise.

    Has it caused more problems than it solves? Ask again when Web 3.0 is in common use.

  2. #2 Eofhan
    August 3, 2009

    There will always be more Newtons, or Sagans, than Feynman’s. It’s a special genius to not only do extraordinary work, but be able to explain it to most any listener. Expecting many scientists to do research, teach classes, and capture the attention of a disinterested public is a pipe-dream. Science blogging, like other dot.com dreams, won’t ever match its initial promise.

    The biggest problem is that it generates Loreleis of seductive, simple “authority,” each with accompanying chorus and echo-chamber. It’s not a new problem, but the scale is unprecedented. The upside is the ease with which a new and valuable voice can find a stage. At least readers will have a chance to listen for it.

  3. #3 Prem Lee Barbosa
    August 4, 2009

    What was it’s initial promise?

    I’m 22 now and ten years ago I didn’t imagine myself enjoying science. Even less so did I expect I’d spend countless hours reading about science, both passed and present, through such a convenient and open medium.

    Feynman’s may be hard to come by, but one thing that science has today that it’s never had before, is such a wide audience.

  4. #4 cookingwithsolvents
    August 4, 2009

    Science blogging certainly is important to the SCIENCE community (example 1: http://totallysynthetic.com/blog/?p=1903 and http://www.coronene.com/blog/?p=851). It allows lunch-table discussions to go “internet-wide” and, probably more importantly, leaves a record of the discussion for future people to see. I can imagine some young chemist bumping into that NaH article and googling it (’cause that’s where the answer to everything is) and coming up with those two blog posts (the top hits for NaH as an oxidant). That’s a Good Thing.

    I don’t know how much blogging will inform the general public. The people who seek out science blogs are going to likely be the ones that would pick up “surely you are joking” etc in the book store. It’s snagging the wayward searcher from a google search into our world that should be our hope. I especially hope that my biologically inclined fellow scientists can educate some sadly ignorant people about animal testing (e.g.).

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