The Thoughtful Animal

It’s here! After more than a month of reviewing, I am pleased to announce the list of posts that will be included in this year’s edition – the fifth – of The Open Laboratory!

In no particular order:

Determining the ultimate composition of Open Lab is no easy task, especially since we started out with an unprecedented nearly 900 entries. Competition was fierce! In the end, these 50 posts (plus 6 poems and 1 cartoon), are representative of the best science and the best writing in the science blogosphere from 2010. Not only is the science accurate and the writing top-notch, but they are highly accessible, and they truly make the reader care about the topic. I hope that this final list succeeds in the goal of showcasing the breadth and depth of the science blogosphere and of highlighting the incredible diversity and talent among science bloggers.

But I could not (and would not) have done it alone! In addition to the hours of time (and cups of coffee and bags of Doritos) I spent reading and evaluating posts myself, forty reviewers gave their time and energy – over winter break, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years – to respond critically and thoughtfully to the almost nine hundred posts that were submitted. Each post that made it to the final list has been reviewed by no fewer than six individuals across three rounds of review!

My unending gratitude goes to (in no particular order):

Thanks also goes to Andrea Kuszewski, who designed the cover (which will be unveiled at Science Online next week), and thanks in advance to Blake Stacey, who has just begun working with me on designing and typesetting the book. And, of course, to Blogfather Bora, who is not only the Open Lab Series Editor, but a mentor and friend to me, and to us all.

Congratulations on a job well done, everyone!

Finalists: you can look forward to receiving an email from me in the next day or so with further instructions. If you do not, please get in touch by emailing me: thoughtfulanimal[at]gmail[dot]com. For those of you who will be at Science Online, please look for me at the Books and Beer happy hour on Friday evening – I will have a sticker for you to add to your name badges. And you are invited to proudly display one or more of the following badges on your blogs and websites!


Reviewers: You’re done! For those of you who will be at Science Online, please look for me at the Books and Beer happy hour on Friday evening – I will have an Open Lab Reviewers’ sticker for you to add to your name badges.


  1. #1 Geeka
    January 7, 2011

    And we should all thank Jason for a job well done.

    Thanks for letting me help!

  2. #2 razib
    January 7, 2011

    props dawg.

  3. #3 KBHC
    January 7, 2011

    Wow, I can’t believe I made the cut this year! Thanks! What an amazing list of posts — I feel lucky to be among them.

  4. #4 Ed Yong
    January 7, 2011

    Not an easy undertaking, Jason! Congrats on completing it and coordinating the process.

  5. #5 Carin
    January 7, 2011

    Awesome list Jason! What a huge undertaking!!

  6. #6 Southern Fried Scientist
    January 7, 2011

    Mad props to Jason. Well done! See you next week!

  7. #7 Lucas
    January 7, 2011

    Great job, Jason! Thanks for all the hard work you put into it.

  8. #8 Scicurious
    January 7, 2011

    Congratulations, Jason! I never doubted your ability to deal with this monumental task! Great list and I’m thrilled to be on it! 🙂

  9. #9 Zen Faulkes
    January 7, 2011

    Thank you, Jason and massive list of reviewers, for all the hard work. That you performed one of the fastest turnarounds in a year with one of the biggest list of submissions deserves a round of applause.

  10. #10 Elissa Malcohn
    January 7, 2011

    Jason, thanks so much for all your hard work and for that of everyone involved with the anthology. I am thrilled to be in such awesome company!

  11. #11 Cuttlefish
    January 7, 2011

    Wow–six reviewers and I still made it?

    Seriously, having reviewed last year, I know what work it is–thanks for all the work, and congrats on a job well done!

  12. #12 Hannah Waters
    January 7, 2011

    I am SO buying you a drink at science online! Great job and thanks for all your hard work.

  13. #13 Brian Switek
    January 7, 2011

    Well done, Jason! Thanks for pulling this edition together, as well as selecting one of my posts. I am delighted to have my essay included with those of so many friends and fellow writers. Congratulations to everyone who made it into the anthology!

  14. #14 Al Dove
    January 7, 2011

    Fantastic stuff! You guys give me a warm fuzzy that science is still altruistic, educational and fun, and that blogging about it is worthwhile. Thanks everyone involved!

  15. #15 DNLee
    January 7, 2011

    Can’t believe the sheer magnitude of entries this year. Who knew science bloggers were suc prolific writers?
    Can’t wait to read all of the awesome science.

  16. #16 Shecky R.
    January 7, 2011

    Whoa! 50 chosen out of 900… that’s about the admission percentage into Harvard isn’t it? Congrats to all!

  17. #17 PalMD
    January 8, 2011

    thanks so much for the hard work.

  18. #18 Brian Romans
    January 8, 2011

    This is awesome! Thanks for all the hard work curating this collection.

  19. #19 Captain Skellett
    January 9, 2011

    I’m so excited to be included!!! Thanks for putting it together Jason, reviewers, and everyone who gave up time & precious sleep working on it. Wish I could be at Science Online, instead I’ll be following from Twitter @CaptainSkellett

  20. #20 Glendon Mellow
    January 9, 2011

    Can’t wait to see Andrea’s cover!

    Lots of fun to be a reviewer, thanks Jason!

  21. #21 Kelsey
    January 10, 2011

    What an amazing list! I can’t wait to read them all. Thank you (Jason, Bora, Andrea and all the reviewers) for all your hard work–and thanks for including me!

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