Come To Science Blogging 2009 in London

I am delighted to hear about this year’s Science Blogging conference. Last year was really great a superb introduction by Ben Goldacre destroying yet another hydra head on the pseudoscience monster. Lots of targeted discussions, followed by a panel.

I am really impressed by the quality and impact of the scientific blogosphere. An ou tstanding example was one blogger (I think it was Grll scientist) who was invited but who was in the USA. Her readers clubbed together and found the transatlantic fare I certainly couldn’t count on that.

I felt guilty at last year’s event because I’d stopped blogging a few months earlier so I felt a sham. I could, however, contribute knowledgeable on the session about not feeling guilty about not blogging! And at the end we knocked together ideas about how we could promote blogging. We suggested a prize for any young scientists who convinced a senior scientist to blog. Timo and colleagues came up with a very generous prize which was a trip to SciFoo. I can’t promise that it will happen this year but why don’t you go out and do it anyway.

Blogging matters to science and science should take it seriously. One area where it is almost unique is the immediacy and power of any whistleblowing on bad science , bad ethics etc. So when Proteomics (Wiley) published a paper promtoing creationism or when Elsevier published fake journals the blogosphere made sure that people knew all about it in hours.

So come. It’s great fun. If you haven’t been to the RI it’s fantastic worth the trip for the lecture hall alone. I can feel the great scientists, Davy, Faraday looking down.

Building on the success of last years Science Blogging 2009: London conference, wed like to announce that Science Online London 2009 will take place on Saturday August 22, 2009 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London. We hope that you can attend.


We decided to change the name of the conference this year to reflect the wide range of science-related activities occurring online today. This years programme will include sessions on blogging and microblogging, online communities, open access, new teaching and research tools, author identifiers, etc.


Registration will soon open on the conference website: You can now sign up to receive email alerts on the site.


There will probably be a registration fee to cover the costs. Exact amount tbc, but likely to be in the range of £10.


Suggest sessions/topics

We need your ideas for sessions and speakers: panel discussions, keynote speakers, demos, etc. Volunteer yourself as a speaker or suggest others youd like to hear from. Please post your ideas to the conferences Nature Network forum, Friendfeed group, or email them to



We need sponsors! If you or your organization would like to be a sponsor, please email You can also suggest organizations you think we should approach.



The event is co-hosted by Nature Network (Nature Publishing Group), Mendeley and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.


Start the networking and spread the word!

Youll find groups for the conference on Nature Network, Twitter (tag: #soloconf_09)

and Friendfeed.


Please also blog/Twitter/etc about the event (if you havent already!) to help us spread the word. Attached is our logo for you to repost on your blogs. And forward this message to your friends and colleagues!


~ The Organizers


Matt Brown / Nature Network, Martin Fenner / Hannover Medical School,
Richard P. Grant / F1000, Victor Henning / Mendeley, Corie Lok / Nature Network and Jan Reichelt / Mendeley

Corie Lok
Senior Editor, Nature Network;

25 First Street, Suite 104
Cambridge, MA   USA    02141

Tel.: 617-475-9220
Website: and

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3 Responses to Come To Science Blogging 2009 in London

  1. Brian Kelly says:

    Hi Peter
    The event sounds really interesting. I hope I can make it.
    I was interested in your comment: “Blogging matters to science and science should take it seriously. One area where it is almost unique is the immediacy and power of any whistleblowing on bad science , bad ethics etc.”
    Coincidentally I have just written a blog post entitled “Defend this Tory MP (yes, really!)” at which discusses the dangers of organisations putting pressures on dissenting opinions, whether those are of Tory MPs (with whom I’m unlikely to be in sympathy with”) or whistleblowers.
    I think there are dangers that existing institutional AUPs covering use of institutional IT services such as blogs could be used to stifle dissenting views. Which isn’t to say that I feel that anything should be permitted – rather that we need to revisit the approaches which institutions take in formulating and implementing AUPs.
    A topics for the Science Blogging 2009 event, perhaps?
    Brian Kelly, UKOLN

    • pm286 says:

      @brian many thanks. (BTW I assume AUP = “acceptable use policy”). Yes, I have been conscious that I am using the good offices of the University of Cambridge when I blog (though now it would be fairly trivial to migrate the actual address and a blogger could be pseudonymised). So I have trusted – and my trust has been honoured – that I can be fairly outspoken and this is the role (and even the duty) of academia.
      There are obviously areas which are non-bloggable – details of people – especially students. Personal grievances. And perhaps some science which is outside the pale. Thus Patrick Holford has been disassociated from the University of Teesside ( It’s often difficult to know when science is truly bad, but a University has to be able to draw lines and keep out Scientology, Creationism, etc. as part of its core. I suspec this will become a more common problem and this is certainly a good idea for #soloconf_09

  2. Pingback: The first blog posts about Science Online London « Science Online London Blog

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