Why I rarely go to Scienceblogs.com anymore
Let me first say that Highly Allochthonous and Green Gabbro will always be in my aggregator whether they’re on Scienceblogs or not…they are fellow geoblogspherons. And there are a few other blogs on there (e.g., Laelaps, Deep Sea News) that I read semi-regularly as well.
What I’m talking about here is the front page of Scienceblogs.com … the chatter, the latest debate, the latest drama.
For example, check out this idiotic exchange on the blog The Intersection. Most of you might know what’s going on, if you don’t, it goes like this:
(1) atheist blogger gets thrown out of screening of creationist movie, (2) atheist blogger blogs about it in his usual brazen style, (3) those claiming to speak and strategize for science tell atheist blogger to shut up, he’s doing more harm than good, (4) atheist blogger tells science “framers” to ____ off (again, in his usual brazen style), and finally, (5) a different science framer tells atheist blogger to be nice.
Perhaps all of this is entertaining in some way. I used to spend more time reading blogs and their comments over there … not anymore. This latest brouhaha is particularly energetic and getting a bit nasty. Those advocating better science communication via “framing” (Nisbet, Mooney, et al.) have gone a bit too far. Essentially, they are telling outspoken scientists that they should keep their mouths shut and let “professional” communicators take care of it.
I hear and appreciate their overall message … yes, scientists aren’t always the best communicators in every instance. But, c’mon … telling us that we should just shut up! They are wrong on this one.
Sean over at Cosmic Variance wrote a great, succinct post summing up exactly how I feel. You should go read it now.
So, while I have my favorite handful of science blogs that happen to be hosted at Scienceblogs.com, I can neither find the energy nor the time to wade through a sea of banter anymore. Maybe it’s my new job (I am definitely way busier), or maybe Scienceblogs has really changed since I’ve started paying attention (late 2006). Any thoughts?