A colleague asked me for a list of blogs that next year’s science communication MSc students might like to read. I figured the only way to share this information was in a blogpost.
Warning: there is no such thing as a reading list of science blogs, you need to explore for yourself. These are just starting points.
- If there’s a hot new biology story, you can bet Ed Yong will have a thorough and humour-filled post over a Not Exactly Rocket Science. He also regularly writes about issues in science and (new) media too, and his recent thread on the origin of science writers should be of particular interest to science communication students.
- Another blog everyone recommends (and I’m just going to agree) is Mindhacks. A very joyful neuro/psychology themed read, great for sending you to some of the more interesting ends of the internet.
- Two notable science writer bloggers currently developing personal sites after the recent mass-exodus from scienceblogs.com are Brian Switek and David Dobbs. Carl Zimmer’s post on the scienceblogs diaspora contains a feast of links to more great writers once of this network (Zimmer’s blog is worth a mention in itself too).
- I expect my prospective students to already know Bad Science, and I can also recommend his posterous account. The phenomenon of “bad science” blogging is bigger than Ben Goldacre though, two blogs in particular I’d recommend because they often write about science in the media are Lay Science and Gimpyblog (most of the media discussion goes on his posterous account).
- Fiona Fox of the Science Media Center doesn’t blog very often, but when she does, everyone talks about it. On a similar note, Natasha Loder’s blog is worth a look, as is Framing Science, from American science communication academic, Matthew Nisbet. Real science media nerds might also like Ivan Oransky’s embargowatch.
- The Times & Guardian both have good (though very different) science blogs, note the former now has an “entrance fee”. I really like Nature’s the Great Beyond, and it is worth keeping track of New Scientist’s range of blogs.
- The Science Museum’s collections department has a nice blog, as does the Wellcome Trust. (and the Wellcome Library, and the Wellcome Collection…).
- Research Fortnight’s Exquisite Life is a must for following UK science policy. It is also worth having a look at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog and the Campaign for Science and Engineering. The Royal Society policy team have just started a blog too, which (I hope) will be worth watching.
Twitter is a good way of engaging with the science blogosphere. My “awesome science” list of people who write and/ or link to great science writing on the web should be a useful starting point. Twitter is also brilliant for discussing/ eavesdropping on debates about science in the media and policy, so I can recommend people on my science policy and science communication lists too. Please note, many of these accounts will tweet about other things too.
These links are really just the tip of the iceberg. Or, a small section of a big chunk of ice, as I’m not sure something iceberg-shaped is the appropriate metaphor. I should also add that I don’t agree with everything these people blog/ tweet about. Not even close. They do, however, tend to write about topics a science communication student might be interested in. At the very least, they’ll point you towards some new ideas and make you think.
Click on a few links here and see who they link to. See what entertains, educates or enrages you. Go, have a play.