10 thoughts on “Academia’s love-hate relationship with social media”

  1. Pingback: Google

  2. I am not a teacher, just a retired former consultant to the ophthalmic industry, who, upon retirement (and a love of writing — more than 150 published articles), decided to begin blogging as a means of putting some of my published work online and available to historians and researchers — I wrote about contact lenses, laser refractive surgery, and new ophthalmic technologies before there was an internet!

    I then got interested in new drugs and devices being introduced to treat retinal diseases such as macular degeneration and decided to write about them in a way that both doctors and their patients would understand. I now have over 240 posts on my online Journal, including, for the past couple of years, how stem cells and gene therapies are being used to treat retinal diseases,

    This is my way of giving back after a 35 year successful career of consulting.

    If you are interested in learning what’s going on in new treatments for retinal diseases, please take a look at Irv Arons’ Journal (http://tinyurl.com/ijablog)

  3. First, a few relevant blogs that I like, in addition to those already mentionned:
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/ by Larry Moran
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/ by Jerry Coyne
    http://bytesizebio.net/ by Iddo Friedberg
    http://genomeinformatician.blogspot.com/ by Ewan Birney
    http://oikosjournal.wordpress.com by Jeremy Fox

    (Obviously biased by the fact that I do evolutionary biology and bioinformatics – saw this post through the twitter of Jonathan Eisen.)

    Second, some junior colleagues have expressed weariness related to the type of attitudes summarized in this blog post by Sean Carroll:
    “How to get tenure” http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/03/30/how-to-get-tenure-at-a-major-research-university/
    Money quote: “Suspicious hobbies include writing of any sort (novels, magazine articles, blogs), programming or web stuff, starting a business, etc. Why? Because there’s a feeling that this kind of activity represents time that could be spent on research”

    Third, an issue which I feel is that, working in a non-English language country, I can either address my colleagues in English, or the public at large in French. On my blog I chose French, which obviously limits the relevance of my blog, whereas my tweets are mixed but mostly English.

    Finally, I wonder whether due to your examples there is more (open) blogging by grad students or postdocs in your department than elsewhere?

    1. Thanks, great stuff in this comment! I’m going to explore those blogs! That quote about suspicious hobbies is on the money…laughing but shaking my head because I think it rings so true.

    1. Thanks, Amy. I’ve heard of her, but didn’t know she blogs. I think a lot of people still don’t believe the arsenic story. Purple hair is always good!

      1. #1 – Rosie rocks

        #2 – am trying to force/cajole/beg people in my lab to blog … am making it a requirement for undergrads who do research in the lab and probably will make it a requirement for everyone soon

        #3 – blogging / tweeting has been more helpful for my career than anything else I do these days — gets attention to papers, helps discover new people for my lab, best way to keep up with information, etc etc

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