Science blogs (Eureka)

Hidden behind the fuss over the Science 100 in last week’s Times Eureka magazine, I picked six science blogs for them. I thought it was worth re-posting it here, with a couple of added notes.

  • Mind Hacks. Thoughtful critique of neuroscience issues, plus various brain-themed cultural detritus Vaughan’s found down the back of the internet.
  • SciCurious. Another in the army of brain-bloggers. The 3rd person style isn’t for everyone, but Sci’s funny, clever and writes with irreverent curiosity.

Along with Mindhacks and SciCurious, I could easily added Neuroanthropology, Neuron Culture, The Frontal Cortex, Neurophilosophy and Neurotribes in this “army”. I wasn’t really that into neuroscience (and associated fields) until recently, but this community of imaginative, thoughtful and skilled writers has pulled me in.

  • Gimpyblog’s posterous. I don’t always agree with Gimpy, but his posterous notes are generally thought provoking, always well written and often make me laugh.

I picked the posterous over the blog because he writes more about policy and media there, which I’m personally more interested in. But it’s worth noting the freshness of the posterous posts too. I could say similar about Ben Goldacre –  his posterous can be a lot more interesting than the polished columns on his blog. Ben headlines the posterous as things “not clever enough” for his main blog, but there is something about seeing clever-ness in action (even when it means the author’s got something slightly wrong).

  • Exquisite Life. ­ One for UK science policy anoraks, from Research Fortnight. I especially enjoy their annotated versions of political speeches. Is gradually building community of commenters.

On the point about commenters, I really wish the Royal Society policy blog had a comment button. I don’t think I’ve ever felt a desire to comment there myself (which might say something about the style of writing) but it’d be nice to know I could if I wanted to, and I’m sure they’d get some authoritative and interesting commentators. Comment spaces are also an opportunity for readers to talk to each other, reflecting blogging as a dynamic and broad discussion. It’s kind of sad the RS blogs don’t have them.

  • Wellome Library. I love science blogs for the same reason I love libraries: ­ piles of interconnected knowledge just inviting you get lost within. Visit this blog, but visit the library too.

I really like the idea of libraries blogging. I wish more did. I’d love to see some less polished blogging – “ooo we just found this”, or “a visitor’s reading this” as well as the more essayistic pieces (perhaps using twitter or posterous, or just working more loosely on a standard blog platform). I’d also like to underline how wonderful the Wellcome Library as a place and a blog is. Really, can’t recommend it enough.

  • Not So Humble Pie. A cooking blog, but one that is famous for its science-themed cookies, I added this as an example of how science pops up across the blogosphere (see also).

I should stress this isn’t a list of “top” science blogs, it’s a list of  blogs I put together as a group to share with Eureka readers. For example, I’ve missed The Bubble Chamber, Laelaps, Atlantic Tech, Soft Machines, Wonderland, STS Observatory, The Guardian’s Notes and Theories, the Times’ Eureka Daily and Not Exactly Rocket Science (and that’s just tip of the iceberg…).

11 thoughts on “Science blogs (Eureka)

  1. Neil

    Re sciencey food blogs, I really like the ones Andy Connelly (‘ a cookery writer and former researcher in glass science at the University of Sheffield’) does for the Guardian. A recent example being his cinder toffee post: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2010/sep/24/sugar-honeycomb-cinder-toffee

    And another one I follow is Khymos: http://blog.khymos.org/ which is firmly in the molecular gastronomy zone, with a fair amount of emphasis on the molecular.

    Reply
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  4. Emily Anthes

    Wow, I’m honored to even be mentioned in the same post as some of these folks. Thanks! (And thanks for the link to Not So Humble Pie–it’s going on my blog list.)

    Reply
  5. Tas

    Hi Alice,

    Love your blog and tweets. I think the main reason why people like the Royal Society dont have comments buttons is to avoid their inboxes being clogged up with comments from idiots. Either you have an open comments system which gets filled up by spammers and those with nothing useful to say or you can review them comments which takes time that may not be available.

    Reply
    1. alicerosebell Post author

      Tas,

      Personally, I think bloggers should factor in time reading and working with comments (and spam) as part of the time they decide to devote to making the blogpost. It’s part of being a blogger.

      That said, the best reason I’ve seen for NOT having comments came from Dr Petra, who writes about sex and relationships – she wants to retain control over what is published on her site because comments may say things which offend her readers. (similarly, many sites will delete comments flagged as offensive).

      I’m not sure that applies to the science policy issues I refer to above though.

      Reply
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