ScienceBlogs Jumps The Shark

Pepsi has a blog. What’s next? HuffPo Woo meistering?

Update 1: Okay, I have to admit that Badger3k makes a good point:

If SciBlogs can host Nesbitt without losing credibility, what is a corporate “blog” going to do to it?

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6 Responses

  1. So what? The only question that should matter is whether the science stands on its own merits. Given that there hasn’t been a single post put up on Food Frontiers, it seems a little premature for everyone to be losing their minds over this.

  2. I don’t know, I agree with those who think this is dubious at best. On the other hand, ScienceBloggers are quite capable of ripping hacks to shreds…

  3. Hanging around the whole evolution creation thing I have heard three things ad infinitum:

    1. It is all about the evidence. Science stands and falls on it’s own merits.
    2. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your credentials are, so long as you do good science.
    3. Science is self-correcting. Bad ideas and faulty science are discarded through the process of good ideas and better science.

    The Sciencebloggers were presented with a teachable moment (as someone called it yesterday, apparently unironically) as to how science works. They could wait to see what was actually posted. They could evaluate what was posted to see if it was good science or not and, if they disagreed or felt it was flawed, they could present contrary evidence. But that wasn’t what happened, was it?

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of research scientists working in the private sector. Are they all irretrievably tainted because of where they work? I don’t think anyone intends to slag everyone of them just because they work for a corporation. So, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff relative to corporate research.

    People may think they are standing on principle, but unless they are an ascetic living on a mountain top living by eating nuts and berries, and treating illness with herbs and lichens, they probably have (likely unknowingly) links to, and associations with, people and organizations that they might find objectionable.

    Have they looked at where their universities endowment is invested? Have they scrubbed their organizations vendor list? Have they scratched below the surface of their research grants to see where the grantor got the money? Do they think the government picks up the phone to the Mint for batch of brand new clean dollars when it is time to fund the NSF, NIH, etc? Heck, have any of them even looked below the top line in their retirement plan to see who’s stock and bonds are in the various funds?

    We live in a highly interconnected world. No one, save the ascetic, is free from troubling associations.If anyone thinks, just because they work in the public sector, that they are above all that, they are wrong. And, frankly, as the developed world struggles to deal with dangerous levels of public debt, more and more funding for scientific research will have to come from the private sector. Even hallowed halls in ivy covered buildings will reek with the smell of filthy lucre. Then what? I would suggest that then, even more than now, the 3 principles that matter are the ones stated above.

  4. That is a good point. Also, note that there are other things that they could be getting upset about with much more justification:

    And we newbies haven’t been paid, months after starting.

  5. Seems like a HUGE conflict of interest to pure science. The deep pockets of Billion Dollar Corporations can skew results any which way they please. Think they can’t? Look at the pharmaceutical industry. Anyone remember Vioxx? Especially when you are talking about “proprietary” products and processes. Bullocks, I say!

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