Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Scientific" American Blogs Editor Bora Zivkovic: A fan of science bloggers, except when they don't align with his left-wing politics?

Twitter / BoraZ
[Feb 2012] When slimey Watts sends his hordes over, result is a comment thread like this: http://bit.ly/yCkrtp full of greedy, duped cowards.
Genetics Interview #13: Bora Zivkovic of A Blog Around The Clock
[2006] A self-described “Red-State Serbian Jewish atheist liberal PhD student with thesis-writing block and severe blogorrhea,” Bora is one of the most active and friendly members of the science blogging community.
Oil Pipeline Protesters Surround the White House Today | Guilty Planet, Scientific American Blog Network
[Bora Zivkovic, 2011] Wow! Linking to snake-oil-salesman Watts is instant disqualification in the reality-based community.
Confessions of a Science Librarian: Interview with Bora Zivkovic, Crazy Uncle of the Science Blogging Community
[Zivkovic, 2008] Science bloggers are scientists and they tend to write about the research in their area of expertise (as I would write about chronobiology papers and leave physics to others). They read the actual papers. They tend not to make mistakes. And, as only a small proportion of scientists write blogs, the science bloggers are self-selected for love of writing -- so, at least after a few months of doing it, they become very, very good writers, often as good (or better) as the professional science journalists. And, as they tend to point out the mistakes in press releases and media articles, they keep the journalists' feet to the fire, making journalists better at their job in the process.

Science blogs protect science. Most working scientists do not have the time, energy and inclination to actively fight against various pseudoscience and anti-science movements. Many science bloggers do. And, as blogs tend to have high search-engine rankings, their responses to such attacks on science usually show up higher than the original attacks. Every time someone says something stupid or pernicious (for personal, financial, religious or political reasons), a chorus of science blogs dissects the quasi-argument and replaces it with correct information. This is what people will find if they search the relevant terms.

Science blogs are starting to change the way science is done.
Science blogger Bora Zivkovic : Nature News
[2007] he took up political activism, posting on campaign blogs during the run-up to the 2004 US presidential elections.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY #1 « God, Country & Apple Pie
[Bora Zivkovic] “I don’t mind, really, when people imagine God as Faceless Nature or Mysterious Power or a Sweet Old Grandpa. What I have a problem with is the Angry Vengeful God who, like Big Brother (or Huge Father or Enormous Holy Ghost) watches over your shoulder all the time, making you nervous and making you do vile things to fellow human beings, animals and nature.
Science Journalists Have Met The Enemy, And They Are Bloggers
[2010] Old Western media, at least when it comes to climate change, had lost the ability to "ask the awkward questions". Bloggers have mostly taken that back for science. Not in all cases. I shared a beer with Bora Zivkovic, writer of Seed Media's Blog Around The Clock and community manager for PLoS One, and he mentioned that Scientific Blogging was 'unreliable' to him(1) because one casual blogger one time had written an article disputing the global warming CO2 dogma (2003 NASA Study: Soot fall in Arctic has 25 percent global warming impact), in that instance by saying soot was not getting enough respect because there was an irrational zeal about focusing on CO2 and a cottage industry in mitigating it. In hindsight, the soot fellow was at least partially right and soot has gotten a lot more studies and credibility since, but we had a guy unafraid to 'ask the awkward questions' yet 1 article out of 50,000 made the site 'unreliable' to a science blogger who complains about that same treatment by old media, right after he complained that old media critics took the entire volume of the blogosphere and compared it only to the BBC and the NY Times so they used an unfair metric.

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