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Friday, August 05, 2005

science blogs

Thanks to Jorge for alerting me to the New Scientist's article about science blogs.

I think it is important to distinguish between the different kinds of blogs with that label.

1) General Science updates. These basically report on news in science as it comes out in press releases and publication in major journals. Many of these are interchangeable. Useful to keep on top of major announcements but short on detail.

2) Personal science blogs. Usually anonymous. Reports on the daily grind of working in a lab. If you have ever worked in a lab you will appreciate these.

3) Scientific results. This is what I would like to see a lot more of. Experimental details. Links to literature. Basically scholarship. By definition these blogs should not be widely popular because the detail required to explain the concepts makes them accessible to those familiar with the field (a nice example of the long tail). These can be new experimental results or detailed reviews of the literature. This is what I am trying to achieve with the students working in my lab or taking my organic chemistry class. It is much more difficult to maintain the standard of scientific rigor with undergraduates but I think we are getting there.

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