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Opening Science to All: Implications of Blogs and Wikis for Social and Scholarly Scientific Communication (SIG STI, SIG BWP)

Bora Zivkovic, Jean-Claude Bradley, Janet Stemwedel, Phillip Edwards and K.T. Vaughan

(Submission #22)


A growing number of scientists are turning to Web2.0 communication tools such as blogs and wikis to provide open channels for their social and scholarly discourse. Because of these tools, scientists are increasingly able to share data, results, and analysis of research (scholarly communication) with distant, and sometimes unknown peers, and are also able to enter the realm of scientific commentary (social communication) with the general public. While many science bloggers focus on purely social commentary on science, others include conference announcements and reports, book reviews, brief discussion of “failed” experiments, and non-publishable research findings. Within this environment there is a strong awareness that readers include – and may preferentially be – non-scientists, perhaps even nonspecialist skeptics about established theories. This session is not only concerned with presenting a state of the blog for science communication, but also with thinking about the impact of “plain English” science writing on both society and on science.

This session is cosponsored by SIGs STI and BWP.

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