For anyone who knows me, you know that’s the highest compliment I could ever pay a communicator.
There are two fundamental errors to consider in the mass communication of science: errors of inaccuracy, and errors of boredom. It’s a lot like Type I and Type II errors in statistics. And just like with statistics, there’s a tendency to focus on one more than the other. With science communication, accuracy is usually held up as the be-all-and-end-all, for good reason. But good communicators know you not only need to get things right, they also need to be readable.
It’s obvious PZ gets things right–the scienceblog readers would tear him apart if he didn’t. But he also knows how to not be boring, which is why he has the most popular blog. So in the grand scheme of things, I have great regard for him.
But…that said…his readers who comment on his blog aren’t quite up to the same standard. So when he launched his army at me yesterday, I had a hard time making it through more than about 50 of the over 200 comments. Ho hum. I suppose it’s like a teacher and his students. They’re working on trying to emulate him. And I’m guessing they’re making progress. But most of them still have a long ways to go. They’re still learning.
Hmmm…”pharyngula”…isn’t that a developmental stage? How appropriate!
P.Z. Myers, keeping things right and readable.