Carl and Phil - Discovery bloggers!

You have probably already heard that Carl Zimmer has moved his blog The Loom from to a new URL (which, of course, you need to bookmark) of the new The Loom.

As he started his journalistic career at the Discover magazine, this was a hard invitation to reject. Discover has just started their own blog network. Carl is not the only celebrity to move - Phil Plait has also moved his Bad Astronomy blog from here to the new Bad Astronomy site.

As of now, it is impossible to see all of their blogs - there is no blogroll yet - but so far I could see Discoblog, 80 beats, Better Planet and Reality Base. We'll be discovering the others, no doubt, over the next few weeks and months. It appears at the first glance that all the new bloggers there are already established science writers and journalists, no amateurs there like me ;-)

Now, there is no hiding the fact that I am disappointed, as all the other SciBlings must be as well, to see Carl leave us. We SciBlings here have quite a sense of community and it is always sad to see one of us leave. And although is The Borg, difficult to displace from the top, I am guessing that the Overlords at Seed Media Group are watching with some trepidation as other organizations, journals and magazines start their own blog networks.

It is a Darwinian world, after all. But the term "Darwinian world" means more than just 'nature red in tooth and claw', with the biggest, meanest, most aggressive competitor hunting down, dismembering and eating all the others. Darwinian world is also the world of ecosystems in which various species find balance among themselves, cooperate, and strengthening of one population helps other populations get bigger and stronger.

The science blogging world is rapidly growing, but it is still small. WIRED has WIRED Science and Correlations. Nature has Nature Network with its blogs, as well as their 'official' Nature Blogs. There is Scientific American has its own stable of blogs. TIME has a science blog. New York Times has a science blog. And there are now thousands of independent science blogs (and thousands of medical, nursing, healthcare, nature, birding and environmental blogs), some of which form informal blogging communities, circles or aggregators, find each other on blog carnivals, etc. Some send their posts on peer-reviewed research to the aggregator. And as we all get to know each other, we'll link to each other more, increasing each others' Google and Technorati rankings, and generally making science blogging more and more visible to the people who are not specifically looking for us, just searching the web randomly.

And while money-counters at each of the sponsoring organizations may be worried by all this competition, the overall growth of science blogging can only be a good thing. More networks - more chances for individuals with writing talent to get on and obtain a bigger soapbox. More visible science bloggers get, better it will be for the science popularization, science education and science-related policy around the world. More people get interested in science, more they will visit all of these blogs and networks and make their money-counters happy. It is a win-win situation. It is a Darwinian world in an ecological sense, not Spencerian, at least at this point in time.

So, you know I will continue reading Carl and Phil wherever they are. And I will now get to know their new co-bloggers as well. And it is all good. More the merrier.


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On the old Bad Astronomy blog, my comments always got caught by the spam filter. Now, I can join in the fun. Hooray for my new time sink!

Question: do any of these blog communities have decent math support? I know that both Jason Rosenhouse and I have griped about not being able to use equations here, which rather crimps one's style. Even if I found somebody daft enough to pay me to blog, I couldn't leave my current, independent site — pizza money is hardly sufficient compensation for losing the ability to discuss real physics.

@Blake - do you think maybe professional societies have a role in this? They would better understand what's needed to support work in that particular field - whether equations or chemical structures or VO tables or whatever?