Navel gazing

I'm long overdue saying this, but SciencePunk has evolved once again, and diversified to the point where not a tremendous amount gets published here anymore. Some very exciting projects including a return to freelancing and a new gig at Medium called Futures Exchange is consuming most of my time, energy and ideas. SciencePunk started as a paper and glue zine, a thoroughly obsolete format, and blogs are looking a little antiquated these days too. I'm looking forward to what comes next.  
So a couple of weeks ago I unfollowed every science-type person in my Twitter feed. Not because I don’t like them, in fact, many were friends and colleagues. But there’s something sickly in the online science community, and this was an experiment in ways I might build around that. I have mixed feelings about Twitter. On the whole, I think it’s a marvellous invention, which exposes me to people and ideas that I might not ever come by otherwise. I’ve gotten work through it, made pals, and learned many interesting things. But there’s also a certain predisposition to sourness. It’s a poor format…
First: the backstory. I'm slowly going deaf. No one knows why. First doctor blamed rock'n'roll.  Next one blamed my genetics. I'm still waiting for video games and teen sex to be indicted. They all agree that it's irreversible.  Just shitty luck.  Today I went to have some phones fitted - something I've been putting off for quite a few years. The audiologist has a soft face and clean,  nimble hands.  His examination room is a brightly-lit white cube buried in a North London basement with a soundproof isolation chamber in the corner like a phonebox you'd go into to avoid speaking to someone.  …
As part of my job I occasionally get emails from young people (well, younger than me) who want to know this or that about science communication.  I don't know why they ask me, I feel I know about as much about the subject as they do, but that's the way it is.  (They also ask for career advice, which I'm even less qualified to answer.) So this guy has an essay he's writing, on the role of the science journalist in the 21st century, and his opening question stops me dead: Why do you think it's important to have good public communicators of science? The more I thought about it, the more I…
This is an adaptation of the talk I gave at Westminster Skeptics in the Pub on Monday 2nd August. You can hear an audio transcript of the talk at the Pod Delusion website. I was invited to stage the talk again at the Winchester SITP, a recording of which is here. I'm very much a child of the skeptical community. I started writing about bad science in 2004, in a scissors-and-glue zine titled War On Error (a very droll play on words at the time, and a lot easier than coming up with a twist on Overseas Contingency Operation). Eventually this moved online, morphing into SciencePunk. Over…
A conversation cropped up on Twitter the other day about shared audiences. Specifically, Ed Yong and Alice Bell used this tool to compare the overlap in their followers. So we science nerds wondered, how does that overlap look when you start adding in more bloggers? What is the shared audience between five, 10, 20 of the most prominent writers? This is very interesting to me, because I suspect that, even within a portal like ScienceBlogs, there is in fact very little sharing of audiences. Perhaps that's a reflection of the number of blogs people can reasonably follow. Maybe it's the…
tags: meme, blogging, Why Blog?, navel gazing, lint picking Steffi Suhr, who writes Science Behind the Scenes at Nature Network, is (re)asking this popular meme in the wake of the internecine explosion that ensued after a misunderstanding at the recent Science Online 2010 conference expanded to encompass the two best and biggest English-speaking science blog sites in the world: Nature Network and ScienceBlogs. The questions; What made you start blogging? Is a sense of community an important part of blogging for you, or do you prefer blogging 'solo'? Are there blogs you never look at? If…