Record of the Week (Week of 12 May 2014)

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The Guardian (Comment is Free) – Animal testing should not be shrouded in secrecy. We need real reform now


Savage Minds – The Anthropologist as Scholarly Hipster, Part IV: Authenticity and Privilege


CitizenSci (PLoS blogs) – Coop’s Citizen Sci Scoop: What citizen science has told us


The Breakthrough Institute – Why Innovation Should Be at the Heart of Climate Policy

The Bridge (AGU Blogosphere) – 4 maps on America’s climate and energy outlook: 2 that will worry you, 2 that will give you hope

Climate Access – Moving below zero emissions

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience blog – Rethinking climate change-induced migration and displacement

LSE Impact Blog – A study with erroneous claims about the impacts of global warming has finally been corrected

Climate Outreach & Information Network (COIN) (UK) – Science & stories: Bringing the IPCC to life


Environmental Communication – Media Frames and Cognitive Accessibility: What Do “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” Evoke in Partisan Minds? [Ahead of Print]

Just Publics @365 – Clear Communication is Vital in Emergency Response


The Breakthrough Institute –

Citizen Joe Smith – Stories of Change: arts and social sciences support energy transitions

Climate Central – ‘Catastrophe’ Claim Adds Fuel to Methane Debate

The Guardian (Eco Audit) – What is the most dangerous form of energy?


Cultural Cognition Project blog – So much for that theory . . . (fracking freaks me out #2)

The Guardian – Sussex police under fire for ‘criminalising’ fracking protests

Science & Technology (Manchester Policy Blogs) – Evidence ignored amid Lords committee’s bullishness on fracking


LSE Impact blog – Academic opinions of Wikipedia and open access will improve with more active involvement


The Scholarly Kitchen – What Researchers Value from Publishers, Canadian Survey


Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – The triple helix and international collaboration in science


COMPASS blogs – Burning Down Communication Barriers Among Fire Scientists

Making Science Public blog – Worms: Workhorses of science and science communication

Not Exactly Rocket Science (National Geographic) – On Science Journalism, Blogs, and The Wow Beat

Research to Action – Research and the media: fighting the anxiety

Speakers of Science blog – Non-Verbal Communication: What are we really saying?


Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Struggling for space and finding my place: An interactionist perspective on everyday use of biomedical information


Canadian Science Writers’ Association – Founder of foraging gene says understanding science affects policy-making

LSE Impact blog – The Evidence Information Service: rapid matchmaker for connecting politicians with thousands of UK researchers.


Discourse & Communication – Enacting identity in microblogging through ambient affiliation


The Guardian – UK government conducting secret badger sett-gassing trials


Sociological Imagination – Thirty Years On: Lessons from the Home Computer Boom

The Scholarly Kitchen – Keeping It Real — Are Our Technology Expectations Out of Whack?


The Atlantic – Bye Bye, Barbara: The Week’s Best Pop-Culture Writing

Don’t Get Caught (Communications blog) – The Weekend Read

The Guardian – Green news roundup: Ice sheets, nuclear waste and Marco Rubio

Nieman Journalism Lab – This Week in Review: Behind The Times’ big change, and the FCC’s proposal moves forward

Not Exactly Rocket Science (National Geographic) – I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (17 May 2014)

Retraction Watch – Weekend reads: A call for retraction of therapy-breast cancer study; credit (and pay) for peer reviewers

Social Media Examiner – Facebook Audience Insights: This Week in Social Media

Speakers of Science blog – Reads of the Week 16 May 2014 – Science Journalism, body clocks and more




Example of Blogging Impact on Conduct of Science

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It has been previously suggested that science blogging has facilitated the finding of collaborators for joint authorship (Batts, et al., 2008) or the gathering of benefits from users’ comments (Butler, 2005).

In various posts found in the blogosphere claims have been made about the influence of science blogging on the practice of science itself.

The story that’s usually mentioned is about a scientist blogger who becomes a co-author on paper as a result of his blog. The story is of the PhD student in genetics at the University of Georgia, Reed Cartwright. In 2005 he disagreed with, and consequently wrote an alternative interpretation of a published paper about the mutant hothead gene of Arabidopsis (Lolle, et al., 2005) in his blog De Rerum Natura. Luca Cornai, at the University of California, Davis was publishing a similar interpretation in the journal Plant Cell, several months later, when he found out about Cartwright’s blog and the already published similar interpretation. Cornai extended the offer of co-authorship on the Planet Cell paper to Cartwright (see Comai & Cartwright, 2005).

This story has been told in The Scientist (Secko, 2007), by Bonetta (2007), by Batts, et al., (2008) and most recently mentioned by Trench (2012).

I think there may be another story to add to this list.

I came across this story in the blog Retraction Watch 28 June 2012. The blog post is entitled, ‘Controversial paper on life-extending buckyballs corrected after blog readers note problems.’

In a nutshell, a group of researchers published a paper (Baati, et al., 2012) in Biomaterials, which claimed that Buckyballs coated in olive oil could extend the lives of rodents.

Adam Marcus of Retraction Watch explains that this news was then picked up by Derek Lowe’s In the Pipeline blog. Lowe expressed both puzzlement and praise towards the work in question.  However, as soon as the next day, a problem was identified. Lowe’s readers directed him to a blatant case of image duplication within the article. Sure enough, that was the case! Do refer to the post from Retraction Watch for more details.

The journal ended up printing a correction for the article.  (It addressed the histology of the article as well as another image.)

So blogging can indeed have an impact on the conduct of science.


Baati, T. Bourasset, F., Gharbi, N., Njimb, L., Abderrabba, M., Kerkeni, A., Szwarc, H., Moussa, F. (2012). ‘The prolongation of the lifespan of rats by repeated oral administration of [60] fullerene,’ Biomaterials (in press): 1-11. (Found here.)

Batts, S.A., Anthis, N.J., Smith, T.C. (2008). ‘Advancing science through conversations: Bridging the gap between blogs and the academy,’ PLoS Biology 6(9): e240. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060240

Bonetta, L. (2007). ‘Scientists enter the blogosphere,’ Cell 129(3), 443–445. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.04.032

Butler, D. (2005). ‘Joint Efforts,’ Nature 438 (1 December): 548-549. doi:10.1038/438548a

Comai, L, Cartwright, R. (2005). ‘A Toxic Mutator and Selection Alternative to the Non-Mendelian RNA Cache Hypothesis for hothead Reversion,’ The Plant Cell 17: 2856-2858. doi:

Lolle, S.J., Victor, J.L., Young, J.M.,  Pruitt, R.E. (2005). ‘Genome-wide non-mendelian inheritance of extra-genomic information in Arabidopsis’ Nature 434 (24 March 2005), 505-509. doi:10.1038/nature03380

Secko, D. (2007). ‘Scooped by a blog,The Scientist 21(4): 21.

Trench, B. (2012) ‘Scientists’ blogs – glimpses behind the scenes,’ In: Rodder, Simone and Franzen, Martina andWeingart, Peter, (eds.) The Sciences’ Media Connection – public communication and its repercussions, Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 273-290. ISBN 978-94-007-2084-8