2:48 PM

You're Not the Only Ones

While sifting through my emails this week, this story from the Columbia Journalism Review popped up.  It's about a group of high school bloggers who are writing for Scitable, a new site from Nature publishing group featuring student writing of all kinds, but focused primarily on college-age audiences.

Scitable is a form of public engagement, an effort on the part of the publishers of the journal Nature and other publications to reach out and create conversations about science among different sorts of audiences.

Take a minute, visit Scitable, and let me know what you think.  You all (college students) are the supposed audience for the site.  How do you navigate it?  Does it interest you?  Could you imagine doing this sort of writing yourself?  How does your blog compare with the blogs at Scitable?

Most important, what does this sort of "engagement" accomplish?  To paraphrase Sarah Davies, what is the purpose of this kind of Public Engagement in Science and Technology (PEST)?  Is Scitable accomplishing that purpose?

Comments (6)

Just a thought on some of the student blog posts, some of the posts list all sorts of references (bibliography style) as if the posts are more formal than a generic blog. Why is that?

Zach, my guess is that their teacher required that for their class. I don't think it's common to see it in more typical science blogging (hyperlinking is more standard). Either that, or Nature requires it in order to impart a certain level of professionalization.

The idea of the website is great. The fact that students can ask professionals about their questions makes the site exactly the kind of public dialogue as we read in section 2.2 of Investigating Science. I only wish there were more sites like it, with topics other than genetics and biology, or maybe a single, all-encompassing website.

I like the idea of this. Obviously it needs to be expanded to include all forms of science and eventually potentially other subjects. This would allow for certain classes such as ours and other higher level classes that require a lot of research and computer time to be conducted online so students don't have to attend a classroom as often (especially with such a spread out schedule as most seniors have).

This could also help for larger classes with a lot of homework where students can have a centralized textbook and forum for asking homework questions as opposed to the standard method where one student asks the teacher and then must teach others what they said.

My favorite part about this site is how "grown up" it looks. Maybe I am out of line here, but I want to say that most sites created for young people or students look like they have been created for children. They often seemed dumbed down like walking into a Toy'R Us or something. This site does not have that. It has a very modern feel and looks like it is aimed at everybody, not just young people. Someone has put a lot of work into putting together something so professional!

That's a great comment, Aaron. I think you're absolutely right.