Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Write About Science

"Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition."
~ Abraham Lincoln 

Divinipotent Daily is fascinated by science and finds it thrilling (I know, cheap thrills) that the Internet offers an ever-expanding buffet of science blogs. At this point, there is so much to read, it's difficult to decide what to read next. That's why I was excited to learn that the organization Research Blogging has selected a few of the best science blogs as winners of its 2010 awards.

Let's focus on the winners in two categories: Best Lay-Level Blog (which refers not to horizontal blogging but to writing for lay people — meaning non-scientists like me and probably you) and Best Blog of the Year. And the winners and the same person: British Science Writer Ed Yong, who more or less in his spare time writes a blog called Not Exactly Rocket Science. So let's see what Mr. Yong has been writing about.

The winning post in the Best Lay-Level Blog category has an unusual title, "Ballistic penises and corkscrew vaginas — the sexual battles of ducks." And that title describes, with complete accuracy, the subject of the blog. You know you're curious, but be forewarned: the post includes videos that would be rated XXX by a duck censor.

In announcing the selection of Not Exactly Rocket Science as Best Blog of the year, Research Blogging cited a variety of posts. At the top of the list was "Pocket Science — a psychopath's reward, and the mystery of the shark-bitten fossil poo." Note: psychopaths have nothing in common with fossilized poo. Instead, the post has two subjects: (1) a new theory about why psychopaths are so impulsive and (2) musings about why an ancient shark left bite marks in fossilized dung. I certainly won't spoil the surprise; you'll have to go read it.

Congratulations, Mr. Yong. I look forward to learning more from your blog.

“I'll take any trophy. I don't care what it says on it.”
~ Mary-Louise Parker

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