Introducing Correlations

I rarely watch TV, but I'm always up for a good nerd show. So when I was contacted from a representative of the PBS affiliate in L.A. about a new show they were doing in conjunction with WIRED Magazine, I was definitely interested. The show is called WIRED Science (you can watch the pilot or previews on the site). It's kind of like a news magazine TV show--Dateline but with science (and, well, better personalities.) The show premieres next Wednesday, October 3rd at 8 PM (7 Central).

So how does this concern me, besides being an interested viewer? The reason they contacted me was because they're setting up a blog, "Correlations", to go along with the show--and I'll be one of the bloggers over yonder. This will also go live on Wednesday, and it will feature 8 of us blogging there about our varied areas of expertise:

Find out all about it after the jump...

The guy on the top left may be familiar to some of you. That's Clifford Johnson of Asymptotia, a physicist who used to blog over at Cosmic Variance. Next to him is Tasmin Gray of Frozen Cheese. There's a reason for the look: Tasmin is a meteorologist working in Antarctica. Beside her is Damon Gambuto, a writer for WIRED Science.

The face on the top right will likely be familiar to many readers. That's fellow Scienceblogger Sheril Kirshenbaum of The Intersection, who will be writing about all sorts of topics that she already covers: science and the media, marine biology, global warming, and more.

On the bottom row is Ziya Tong, a host of the show; myself; Joe Brown, who covers technology for WIRED magazine; and Michael Tobis, another climate scientist, so we have an interesting mix of folks who will be writing about science from many different angles. It should be an interesting adventure.

So, while this will remain my blogging home, every now and then I'll point you over to posts at Correlations as well. I'm looking forward to working with a new group of people; blogging here at Scienceblogs and at The Panda's Thumb have been great experiences and have introduced me to so many excellent colleagues; I hope this will be just another step down that road.

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Congrats Tara, this looks both interesting and fun, which given the current state of TV is saying an awful lot. This negative outlook about TV of course does not include Nova, and what might be the best TV show EVAR, Cavemen.

Tara, you rock so hard...I aspire to one day reach your level of coolness.

Yes, you truly rock hard, Tara. I think this is very significant for you and the general public.

You go, girl.


I aspire to one day reach your level of coolness.

That just may be the saddest thing I've ever heard. :) But thanks all, and Sheril, I'm looking forward to it as well.

Something else to distract me from Nursing School.

By Ken Mareld (not verified) on 29 Sep 2007 #permalink

Hey Tara

This is going to be so much fun! I'm looking forward to learning a lot from you and Sheril about your respective fields, for a start...



Very exciting, Tara! Congratulations!

P.S. Anybody else glance at the pictures and think at first that Sheryl Kirshenbaum was Danica McKellar?

Congratulations on the recognition for your hard work. I'm glad they were able to get you onboard for something different. I mean, out of eight bloggers for a science show, do we really need three people on climate science and two journalists?

By Harry Abernathy (not verified) on 30 Sep 2007 #permalink

I agree that climate is a bit overrepresented, but I'm not giving up my slot for that.

I don't exactly know what will happen, but I'm going to try to represent high end computation. I am sure that Tasmin will have a lot to say about field work.

The broad range of the show is exciting. In defense of climate science as a focus of the blog team, I'll point out that we climatologists are of necessity an eclectic bunch. Our work overlaps a whole lot of other disciplines and so we tend to know a little about a lot. That may be a weakness of the field, but it probably is a strength on a general science site.

Michael: Dude, don't fret it (which I can tell you aren't). You are just taking advantage of a great opportunity offered to you. I only question why the show didn't obtain a broader cross section of the scientific community for the blog.

Maybe my complaint can be written off as field envy. Apparently materials science (or chemistry) isn't considered hip enough to merit representation. Although what's not buzzier than "alternative energy" or "nanotechnology"?

ANYWAY, best of luck to everyone involved, and I'll be sure to give your site a visit when it's running.

By Harry Abernathy (not verified) on 30 Sep 2007 #permalink

I can shed some light on this subject, since I'm the producer who recruited the bloggers for Correlations.

The obvious reasons for the emphasis on climate science, of course, are the lessons that climatologists can teach us about arguably the most pressing issue facing humanity. That's one reason. The other is more mundane -- I was just looking for well-written blogs that are substantive and still enjoyable to lay readers. Michael certainly fit that bill, as did Tamsin, our blogger in Antarctica. Sheril fits that bill as well, and to clarify, she's actually a marine biologist with an interest in climate science, but not a climatologist. They all happened to have an interest, professional or otherwise, in climate science, which I'm sure is more than a coincidence, since I think those who engage in scientific research on issues that intersect with pressing questions of social policy are more likely to blog about it.

I didn't happen to come across any blogs that fit the bill in chemistry -- and I looked around specifically for them -- but that certainly doesn't mean they're not there. And if you could recommend some, we would love to look into them, and maybe invite some chemists to guest blog. It would be great to give the discipline some representation on Correlations.