Why is a scholarly journal sponsoring a blog? We’re no ordinary journal. The American Journal of Bioethics has from its inception been an experiment in broadening the reach of bioethics. From the day we first met with MIT Press to discuss their ideas for a new bioethics journal, we have been stretching our imaginations. Why not let writers read each other’s commentary before it is published, so that a collection of commentaries on a major article reads like a conversation? Why not publish qualitative and even quantitative studies in a journal about bioethics? Why not use the online page of a journal to collect the core set of information about bioethics? Some of our ideas have been flops. We’re betting that an “editors’ blog” won’t be.
Good points all, and I’m glad of an easy way to keep in touch with news and ideas in bioethics. (It’s one of my frequent laments that I have a “doctor of philosophy” degree, and was not required to take even one philosophy of science or ethics class; all my learning in those fields has been self directed since I graduated.)
Via Preposterous Universe, 411blog (the service interface is here): a “mechanism whereby a symbiotic relationship between blogging and traditional forms of journalism can be deliberately cultivated”. Another of the tirades to which I regularly subject longsuffering friends and relatives concerns the accuracy of science reporting. It seems that every time I see a mainstream media story about a subject I happen to know in some depth, the reporter gets important details wrong — which does not inspire confidence in stories concerning the many subjects about which I know squat. This (411blog) is an attempt to connect reporters to bona fide experts who are self-selected for an interest in outreach and science communication and who are available on, essentially, a minute-by-minute basis via the web. I hope it succeeds; I’m going to nominate a bunch of folks from my blogroll.