Arbiters or Agitators? Why Perception Matters For Science Advocates (Part Two)


In a previous post, I talked about the perpetual balancing act for scientists who navigate policy and politics. Several news outlets have concluded, based on a recent study, that scientists have little to lose by becoming political activists. (For a little context, I recommend reading that post first). However, this conclusion overstates the evidence. In this post I take a deep dive into that study, which looks at the effects of scientists’ political advocacy on societal perceptions. This post is not nearly as circumspect as the prior. Be forewarned: it’s about to get wonky in here.

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Who are science bloggers?

There’s nothing like a good blog in the morning.

I’m a voracious reader (and, yes, a bit of a nerd). So for me, there are few greater pleasures than digesting the latest posts from my favorite blogs—whether they’re scientific, political, or news from the RPG world. (Okay, maybe I undersold the nerd part a little.) As the 21st century rolls on, the number of great blogs continues to grow—with ever more people spilling their passion onto the (web)page, just waiting for readers like me to devour.

Even as a frequent blog consumer, though, the process feels a little opaque at times. Sitting alone in front of a screen, it’s not always clear who else is out there. Who really makes up that blog’s community, of which I’m unwittingly a part?

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