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Blogs, The Press, and Science March 16, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in blog, physics life, science.
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I’ve been pretty busy lately and so totally missed that a friend of mine, John Conway (dude — fix that picture!!), has joined Cosmic Variance. First of all — Congratulations John! I’m, all at the same time, happy, envious, and a bit nervous. The first is pretty obvious: I’ve known John a long time and like him and Robin a lot. The second is because CV is one of the largest blogs out there — and who doesn’t want a large audience!? :-)

The third is a bit more complex. Check out his posts. One post (I think that is where it started!??) generated a news article. Conway is, of course, a member of the CDF collaboration and one of ~600 people that keep that experiment running and analyze its data. The article is pretty bad in the sense that CDF appears as a helper to John’s team, and it appears first quite a way into the article. It is pretty good in telling a story about what is going on (I think John’s posts are better, actually). Goodness knows that HEP needs more press like this, and more blogs or people like John and CV. But the thing that gets me is the press connection. CV has a large readership. I’ve seen science writers in the New York Times respond in the comments section of that blog — so it has a very direct access to the press — something that very few of us or our experiments have. Is that appropriate? I can’t tell. I’m really torn. We need to be out there and in the public: heck, the public funds the science we do. On the other hand, we are large experiments and it isn’t the individual: all of us contribute to these results.

Also, reading this, I wonder if I should alter the content of my blog. Because I started with the Quantum Dairies, I tended not to talk about the physics — at least, not in detail. A lot of this blog tends to be dirty details of my life (sorry). Also, frankly, it takes  a lot more time to write those types of posts (I don’t know how Tommaso does it and still maintains an active research career!). What do you guys think?

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Comments»

1. dorigo - March 16, 2007

Easy to answer you Gordon: my active research career is going down the drain… ;-)

Seriously, it does take a lot of time. But since I do not teach, I take the time from the virtual time I should be using to teach classes… So far so good.

Cheers,
T.


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