Tag Archives: journalism

How to increase blogging?

Nature has a headline about “how to stop blogging

Is the scientific conference in its death throes? Researchers have long anguished about the hyper-competitive culture that leads attendees to suppress their most interesting unpublished results. Such protectiveness can only be worsened by the increasing dissemination of results beyond the conference hall by bloggers.

Oh, do they really ask if scientific conferences are in its death throes? Big scientific conferences that have deadlines 1 year in advance? Big scientific conferences where I take notes for 6 or 8 hours and discover in the evening that there is nothing, definitely nothing new?

What discriminates science journalists and science bloggers?

A recent opinion article in Nature may serve as my diving board here. Althoug texts are much better edited by professional journalists, the content isn’t better (driven mainly by press release). And of course, journalists must write about topics outside of their knowledge zone. Funny, they resemble

more that of a priest, taking information from a source of authority and communicating it to the congregation.

Journalists don’t have enough time for the details while bloggers can restrict themselves to their main expertise ;-) raising also a large amount of public awareness.

Are science blogs dangerous?

Amnesty International reports that an Egyptian blogger is now facing up to 10 years in prison for criticizing Egypt’s religious authorities. A German blogger writing about constructing buses in China even faced an invitation to a court in Bejing. And everybody knows of Ellen Simonetti becoming famous for being fired by Delta.
A major difference of blogs to accredited journalism is also the limited capacity to respond to any prosecution: I don’t have any money for a lawyer while newspapers and journals can hire dozens.
Sure, science blogs are much less intrusive but there is always a risk that the empire will strike back; 99% of grant and paper reviews are anonymous.
BUT, there are good news – the blog community is large and always alert. As a science blooger writing on bad science you can now even get nice prizes – gratulations to Ben. Don’t forget that all students arriving in your lab have read your weblog first.
Refraining from all activities also involves some risk, yea, yea.