Scientists: Blog or be Blogged

Professor Paul Knoepfler (UC Davis) explains in this Nature article why he joined the ranks of the blogosphere, and why you should too.

Knoepfler argues that there are too few science blogs:

Other scientists in academia tell me they worry that blogging would damage their careers. Specifically, they fear that colleagues would view them as amateurs, ‘wasting time’ on blogging, which could reduce their chances of achieving tenure. They fear the wrath of others in the field should they post the ‘wrong’ thing on their blog, and they worry about payback in negative grant and paper reviews. Some are concerned about attracting unruly and insulting readers’ comments.

And, among other things, he goes on to give some tips for beginners: Start slowly, wait a day after writing and reread your draft before posting, try to avoid discussing your own institution, critique papers or theories in the field in a constructive manner, don’t blog about issues that are unrelated to science, update your blog regularly, read and comment on other blogs, which will lead people to yours, and others. He then goes on to conclude about why you should be blogging, too:

Savvy scientists must increasingly engage with blogs and social media. A new generation of young researchers has grown up with an ever-present Internet. Publishers have been quicker than academics to react to this new world, but scientists must catch up. Even if you choose not to blog, you can certainly expect that your papers and ideas will increasingly be blogged about. So there it is — blog or be blogged.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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