Terra Sigillata

Calling all African science blogs!

What’s wrong with this picture?:

i-a56637687c2ac8e955713178cad41ae9-2009.02.16 Visitor World Map for Africa post.jpg

You’re looking at a screenshot of a map detailing the origins of each of the last 500 visits to Terra Sigillata. I took this shot at about 2 pm local time in Durban, South Africa, home to cognitive science blogger Michael Meadon at Ionian Enchantment. Michael is a graduate student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and I learned about him via a Twitter referral – from whom I can’t recall.

Be that as it may, last week Michael put out a call last week for “Africa’s science nerds”:

Africa, then, needs skeptical, reasoned, and scientific voices, not only to foster development and growth, but to serve as merchants of light: to hold out a candle in the dark in a demon-haunted world. It is for this reason that I have long been trying to organize, promote and otherwise advance the skeptical/scientific blogging community in South Africa, and latterly Africa as a whole. So if you are an African skeptical or scientific blogger (or know of such bloggers) please contact me on ionian.enchantment@gmail.com. Participate in our carnival, post and get listed on our blogroll, and join our email discussion group. And, of course, if you have a blog, keep up the good work! If you don’t, start one!

There are an awful lot of blank spots on that world map. I’m embarrassed both that we have so few hits from African countries but that I am also guilty of having no African bloggers on my blogroll-under-reconstruction. I understand that our South American audience might be limited by language (although many of my Brazilian readers have better English than I). But English is the language of instruction in the majority of African nations. Moreover, my research area of natural products had its birth in Africa – in fact, Michael has a cross-campus colleague working currently on chemistry of indigenous Zulu medicinal plants.

There’s a lot of opportunity for cross-fertilization here. So, if you are blogging from Africa and send a note to Michael, please be sure to also leave your blog link in the comment thread below.

Comments

  1. #1 PaulM
    February 17, 2010

    I’m live in Cape Town, but I tend to read sites though Google Reader so I don’t know if my location would be detectable.

    As for blogging, I limit my contributions to the occasional comment on other person’s sites. If I were to start a blog I’m almost certain it would stagnate rather quickly.

  2. #2 PaulM
    February 17, 2010

    … and obviously that should have been “I live in Cape Town”.

    Let’s consider that typo Exhibit A in the case against me writing my own blog.

  3. #3 Grant
    February 17, 2010

    Funny, I was looking at my ClustrMap just a few minutes ago thinking similar thoughts. Mind you, I was also thinking it surprising I was getting the rare visit from the likes of Sudan or Nigeria, and wondering if they were just google searches that ended up in an unlikely place. (The unlikely place being my wee blog.)

    I’d like to see more than I’m getting from central Asia (I’ll toss Iran into that mix). South America is a little quieter than it might be, too.

  4. #4 Michael Meadon
    February 18, 2010

    Thanks for the link and the shout out! We do have a blogroll, the most recent version of which can be found here. Alas, there aren’t very many African science bloggers, and even fewer African scientists who blog. Hopefully that will change as the internet becomes more widely available in Africa…

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