Deadline looms for science blogging challenge

Entries for the science blogging challenge close on Monday, 5 January 2009. The challenge is, simply, to “get a senior scientist blogging”. The ultimate aim is to help scientific blogging gain more momentum and credibility – and also to have some fun. Points will be awarded for:

• The seniority and reputation of the blogger (both in absolute terms and in comparison to the person who convinced them to blog)

• Their previous lack of experience with blogging and other new-fangled online habits

• The quality and quantity of the posts, their relevance to science, and any demonstrable positive impact they might have already had

• Other criteria that may occur to the judges (Peter Murray-Rust, Timo Hannay, Richard Grant and Cameron Neylon) later

Please submit nominations (including self-nominations) by email to ‘t dot hannay at nature dot com’ using the subject line ‘I got a senior scientist to blog’. Please include:

• Your name and affiliation

• The name and affiliation of the blogger

• A link to the blog

• Any interesting anecdotes, or reasons why you think it deserves to win

The winning blog will earn the chance to be included in the book The Open Laboratory: The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2008. The blogger and instigator will also each earn expenses-paid trips to Science Foo Camp 2009, to be held in July or August (exact date still to be confirmed) at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Timo Hannay, one of the judges, notes some background reading: one article to describe the wildly different conference (more accurately, unconference) SciFoo; and another providing news of the extent of the competition one is up against to win this contest. The first post at the newly hatched “senior blog” is here, coincidentally describing various pieces of research published in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.


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