One of my coworkers forwarded me a blog today entitled “Why scientists (should) blog”. And, frankly, I’m in the “amen corner” on this one.
I’ve asked several members of the AAPG for the past three or four years if they blog or are involved in social media. Mostly I get a either a “no way” or a look of disbelief that implies I’ve asked them to add one more thing to their already huge to-do list.
The one thing that stood out to me in the blog mentioned here is the risks a scientist-blogger takes. But the fact that science is based in facts and not some sort of democratic process that brings out a collective opinion should inspire scientists to take up their collective keyboards and blog-on!
I’ve seen many members of the AAPG shake their heads over policies and misinformation that the public wants to embrace. But could the public be embracing this misinformation because the truth is not readily available? Could they be making up a reality that they want to believe because they don’t understand that the same people presenting the facts are also working to find the solutions to tough realities?
With the ever-growing number of web-enabled devices maybe it is time the scientific community found its voice.
Just watch today’s students dive for their cell phones when someone asks “Hey! who was that actor that starred in …?” or see how quickly they’ll hit Wikipedia when someone tries to tell them “Yes, turkeys really can fly.”
“Don’t confuse me with the facts” is a quote attributed to Ronald Reagan but now becoming the mantra of the general public. But maybe that mantra exists because the facts are hard to find. They are buried in white papers that are limited to exclusive access. Then surrounded with elegant and scientific words (or what some would call “big words”) that only serve to confuse and bore the average fact-seeker.
So how about reading “Why scientists (should) blog” and then consider if you might find your voice.