Traditionally, media's reporting of non-medical science rests on small numbers of articles published in a few major journals; with a heavy emphasis on the "cool stuff" and framed in ways that are poorly adapted to science reporting. The common use of the scientist as an impersonal expert does little to foster interaction between science and the public. In contrast, blogging leaves the choice in the hands of the bloggers, who can decide for themselves what to say, how and when. Blogs are by their nature personal and interactive, making the medium an attractive platform for contact between scientists and laymen.

Outside of the scientific world, access to published research is very limited: few people can afford expensive journal subscriptions and don’t have the language skills required. Scientists blogging in their native language can do much to alleviate this gap. Furthermore, science blogging – especially interactions between bloggers - can incorporate and spread other underreported fundamentals of the research process, such as patterns of reasoning.

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Beyond the "cool stuff"
Science blogging as a democratic tool

Malin Sandström   Computational Biology and Neurocomputing, Royal institute of technology

Traditionally, media's reporting of non-medical science rests on small numbers of articles published in a few major journals; with a heavy emphasis on the "cool stuff" and framed in ways that are poorly adapted to science reporting. The common use of the scientist as an impersonal expert does little to foster interaction between science and the public. In contrast, blogging leaves the choice in the hands of the bloggers, who can decide for themselves what to say, how and when. Blogs are by their nature personal and interactive, making the medium an attractive platform for contact between scientists and laymen.

Outside of the scientific world, access to published research is very limited: few people can afford expensive journal subscriptions and don’t have the language skills required. Scientists blogging in their native language can do much to alleviate this gap. Furthermore, science blogging – especially interactions between bloggers - can incorporate and spread other underreported fundamentals of the research process, such as patterns of reasoning.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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