Terra Sigillata

i-ae730819d72aeb54750d09758488a6c0-JStem.gifA lively discussion has ensued this week across the intertubes about the ScienceBlogs.com network to which we belong and what should or shouldn’t be provided as content in a blog that calls itself a science blog.

As usual, the most sober, inclusive, and non-inflammatory treatise on the topic comes from ethicist, philosopher, and physical chemist (because one Ph.D. is never enough), Prof Janet Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics and Science: she calls it navel-gazing. I submit that her navel is among the wisest around:

Why do so many bloggers at ScienceBlogs write about stuff besides science?

We’re allowed to write about whatever we want to on our blogs. Most of us wrote about a number of different things when we joined up, and we’ve been allowed to keep going in that direction or to let our focus change as part of our development as bloggers.


(If new readers have not had the pleasure of meeting Janet, check out this recent interview of her by Bora/Coturnix at A Blog Around the Clock.)

In my personal mission to be as inclusive as possible of my own community, if there are any blogs or posts out there that I should know about in chemistry, herbal medicines, natural products, dietary supplements, or cancer pharmacology, please leave a comment below with appropriate links (more than three links will be held for moderation by spam filters but that’s cool; I’ll approve them manually).

In a related question, is it more valuable to other bloggers for me to put you up in this ever growing blogroll to the left, or is it better to link to you in the context of a post when I find something particularly notable, clever, and or insightful?

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    February 29, 2008

    Her Friday Sprog Blogs are great, and they should be in a book. Sciencey, yet real-life too. I must read them often, and I suspect that most readers of you and other SciBlogs like having the option to read both.

  2. #2 Matt Penfold
    February 29, 2008

    “Her Friday Sprog Blogs are great, and they should be in a book. Sciencey, yet real-life too. I must read them often, and I suspect that most readers of you and other SciBlogs like having the option to read both.”

    She has been asked about this in the past, and whilst there was no firm commitment she did indicate that something maybe happening. My own guess is that it may be part of what she has planned for her sabbatical year.

    And I agree with you, they are brilliant.

  3. #3 Lisa Emrich
    February 29, 2008

    Bloggers really can talk about whatever it is they want, no? Unless of course, someone is telling them what they must write I suppose.

    Regarding the blogroll question – I find the list to be easy to peruse and indeed today I discovered a site that I might just follow from now on. Also, it is nice when you find something which deserves special attention to include a link and mention within the context of a post. Both are nice.

  4. #4 rutty
    February 29, 2008

    I like Sciencey things but I’m not a scientists. If the bloggers here only blogged about science then I suppose I’d not have been tempted here in the first place.

    As it is, the non-science blogging lures unsuspecting readers to the site where they’re subjected to some spectacularly good writing by some really excellent bloggers. Along the way we’re treated to some science too.

    Seems like a “win-win” to me

  5. #5 Lewis
    February 29, 2008

    It is surely permissible for a science blog author to write about issues other than science. It would be a great loss to be without the opinion of some of our countries better trained minds. So, please, blog about what you want. I am a big fan of your writing.

    However, there are numerous examples of late where scientific rationality has been left in the gutter to coexist along side bigotry and personal insult. It is, I believe, inaccurate to frame the question before us as one pitting science vrs non-science (as ‘bayblab’ did). A more accurate tag would acknowledge that some Sb bloggers pit rationality and debate against irrationality and slim.

    My poker buddies, all retired scientific professions, simply shake their collectives heads in astonishment that the reputable scientific writers at Sb allow this situation to continue UNCHALLENGED.

  6. #6 Karl Schwartz
    March 1, 2008

    Hi Abel,

    Regarding your request for questions on cancer pharmacology, how about a discussion of the plausibility of low dose naltrexone (LDN) as cancer therapy as promoted here.

    http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/ldn_and_cancer.htm

    Pharmacology (according to Bihari) posited here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_dose_naltrexone

    Our post on Reasons for Skepticism:
    http://www.lymphomation.org/CAM-M-R.htm#LDN