Science blogger vs. blogging scientist
Every once in a while I post about some misleading or erroneous science reporting (or at least what I perceive to be misleading) . If I’m in a particular mood, the post becomes more of a rant than a well-written essay. This is the freedom of blogging, right? A science book author and blogger took exception to my admittedly sloppy rant about sloppy use of words…fair enough.
Yami Maria recently touched on why she won’t be using her blog for semi-serious “reporting” of peer-reviewed research (her and some commenters there have some good points). Ole chimed in as well about why he blogs about geology.
This made me wonder about the constantly-growing group of blogs we tend to group into “science blogs”. What are science blogs?
A wise person once said there are two kinds of people in the world; those that divide the world into two kinds of people and those that don’t. For the sake of argument, it seems to me there are two kinds of science-related blogs:
(1) blogs about science
(2) blogs by scientists
Let’s call them science blogger (Type I) and blogging scientist (Type II). Some of Type I blogs are by authors/writers/journalists who may have experience and a degree in science but are now within the general field of science communication. Some Type II blogs are by practicing researchers/students/faculty and cover a broad range of topics, most related to science in one way or another, but also including a few off-topic or personal posts as well.
These types are fluid. That is, one blog can exhibit traits of either type from post to post. Some blogs switch back and forth a lot, some stick to one type or the other most of the time.
This is, of course, a grossly oversimplified classification of something that is more of a continuum (as always).
I tend to view my own blog (right or wrong) as a mix of both types. The last half of 2007 contained numerous posts about finishing my dissertation. Not so much about the content, but the general process and thoughts about it. But, I also attempt to write posts every once in a while that delve into a scientific topic, concept, or recent paper in more detail.
What about you? What kind of mix do you think you have? Or, is my oversimplified view so oversimplified that it’s not even worth discussing?
Note: Don’t read this post as if I think I’m the first to discuss this … obviously, this issue has been covered before. Probably many times. I simply do not have the time nor the energy to do that research. Searching and sifting through the myriad blog threads would take some serious effort. Feel free to leave links in the comments for any discussions or threads you think address this (probably better than I have).