Why Scientists (Should) Blog
Lisa M. Dellwo
Source: Science in the Triangle
January 25, 2011
Last weekend, the Triangle hosted ScienceOnline 2011, a lively annual conference spearheaded by the tireless bloggers Bora Zivkovik and Anton Zuiker. Now in its fifth year, the conference has become so popular that registration for 300 spaces sold out this year in less than a day. The participants, according to the conference website, are "scientists, students, educators, physicians, journalists, librarians, bloggers, programmers and others interested in the way the World Wide Web is changing the way science is communicated, taught and done."
As a first-time attendee and representative of Science in the Triangle, I divided my time between chasing down interviewees and attending panels, which were organized by participants on an online wiki.
A scientist-blogger has to deal with certain downsides of being an online presence, most notably "cranks . . . who come onto our sites and leave comments that foment dissension rather than productive commentary," according to Rick MacPherson, interim executive director and conservation programs director at the Coral Reef Alliance. It happens wherever evolution or climate change are discussed, he said, and he is the target for negative comments every time he writes or is interviewed about the role of climate change in sea level rise and ocean acidification, both threats to coral reefs.
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