Thank you, SEED, for PepsiGate

Aug 16 2010 Published by under [Information&Communication], Journalism, Medicine

I have to thank Seed Media Group. In the month or so since Pepsipocalypse fractured the ScienceBlogs network, there has been a surge of writing on science blogging and science journalism (much of it by Bora Zivkovic, but also quite a lot in in other venues, such as here, here, here, and infamously here).  Science writing continues to diversify, with some networks (such as this one) being "bottom up", independent, and non-commercial, and others (such as Discover and ScienceBlogs) being tied to traditional media, or at least traditional media models.  Discover has used this well, concentrating on supporting a small stable of excellent writers, while others have attracted a diverse group of scientists, writers, and others who simply enjoy writing about science.

I (and others) have complained about the spotty quality of mainstream science journalism, but the real picture is, of course, more complex.  There are many traditional journalists who recognize the potential synergy between science journalists and bloggers, and who are looking to improve both sorts of media.  There are some data that support the idea that when scientists blog about science, they use a more diverse set of sources.  Rarely will the usual suspects in science blogging simply re-hash a press release, something all to common in science journalism (although many science journos are bravely fighting this trend of endumbificaiton).

The fracture of ScienceBlogs has helped to both focus and diversify the discussion of how to best write about science.  This is not a bad thing.

5 responses so far

  • I feel much the same way (although as a non-SB blogger, I'm sure I had a different perspective on the whole fiasco.) The writers are still around, and it gave everybody a chance to look at what we're doing and ask "is this the right way to do this?" As a new blogger, it also gave me a reason to care about the status of science blogging as an enterprise and the ethical and practical problems that go along with it.

  • alice says:

    Nah, it's bloody annoying. The entry on popular science I wrote for the Encyclopedia of Sci Com isn't even published yet and it's out of date.

    There was me being up to date and mentioning the interwebs and everything and you CHANGE it all.


  • grrlscientist says:

    relocating from MT4 to WP has been a big fucking nightmare. i am STILL fixing broken links and unrecognized (therefore broken) html tags, hunting down film embeds that have mysteriously disappeared and generally wasting my time rewriting a 4.5 years of blog entries that didn't export/import properly.

    the only good thing to come out of all this is .. um .. ah .. well, i'll tell you all my big news on 24 august. and it is really GOOD news, but even that doesn't undo all the shit i've been trying to fix these past 3 weeks.

  • palmd says:


    btw, i'm very happy to be using wp again. mt makes my eyes bleed.

  • John Hawks says:

    What I want to know is how you all managed to leave behind so much of the crap. The Scientopia feed has like 10 times the signal/noise ratio that SB ever had!