I was entertained by a couple of articles recently, one from PLoS Blogs and one from Ed Yong both bemoaning the low social status of bloggers at least in some peoples minds. As the front page of the PLoS blog says:
Blogging is just one of the outlets science journalists use. It’s about time we separate the person from the medium.
Of course, I agree with this. There is some excellent material floating around the blogosphere. But at the same time, there is a subtle irony in all of this. Both of these authors, I think make a similar confusion about the medium. For instance,
my point is that the world of science blogging is populated with some of the best journalists I know.
— Deborah Blum
At the moment, within science, blogging is still see as an appropriate place for Journalism about science, or in some cases scientists describing their personal experience within science. I don’t denigrate this in anyway, but I think to some extent it misses the point. Science blogging should be about scientists. Many of use now use blogging as part of doing science itself; take Allyson Lister’s excellent and extensive meeting or seminar notes. Or Simon Cockell’s experience sharing. Or my own move to just blogging my own papers and grants. And the occasional technological rant.
The blog is not the point here, it is just the tool that we are using to advance our science. This is also the point of my knowledgeblog project; it is not about adding to the blogosphere, it is not about using WordPress for science. It is about better, faster, cheaper scientific communication.
Ironically, it would help to solve Ed Yong’s problem as well. In future, maybe he won’t have to ask for the paper, because it will be on the web, with all the data, for all the world to see.
After this diversion into journalism, this blog will now resume normal service, as a place to describe my science.