One of the blogs I’ve really valued over the years was written by a pseudonymous academic blogger called DrugMonkey, but for two months the Monkey’s blog has been silent.
Has he called it a day? Dropped the mic after successfully having big impact?
What’s the deal?
After many years could it be that the DrugMonkey decided to move on to focus on other things? He provided valuable, no-B.S. perspectives on science and in particular on NIH funding. There was also the occasional post on the science of drugs that gave that blog and blogger his name.
One of the commenter’s on DrugMonkey’s last post, many of whom have been lamenting the possibility of the end of that blog, noted that he is still very active on Twitter.
Maybe he’ll be back to the blog eventually?
DrugMonkey’s disappearance from his blog has made me think more about my own blog. I’ve been at this blog more than 7 years and on the web with various websites for about a decade. You can read more about my web history here. If DrugMonkey is done or even just taking a blog sabbatical, I’m curious what was the deciding factor.
I still find the educational outreach on this blog to be a meaningful, positive thing to do despite being crazy busy overall. While there are many potential or even concrete risks, especially for me blogging as myself by name about often controversial subjects including reporting on stem cell clinics that have at times even threatened me, I continue to feel strongly about keeping this effort going.
It’s a shame that National Geographichas become part of a corporate empire that is not always consistent, to put it nicely, with data-based reality. Can NatGeo maintain its credibility and impact, when it is owned by a climate change denier (quoted for example as dissing folks as “extreme greenies”) who also has other very non-scientific priorities?
There’s been an increasing amount of discussion of the technology that could produce GM humans. This dialogue includes the new Hinxton Statement (my take on that here) and George Church’s quotedthat Hinxton (which BTW did not call for a moratorium of any kind) was being too cautious nonetheless. Church is quoted:
“seems weak on addressing why we should single out genome editing relative to other medicines” that are potentially dangerous”
Should we push pause, stop, or fast-forward on human genetic modification? asks Lisa Ikemoto. Is there a rewind or edit button too?
The NEJM published a new piece on stem cell clinics run amok and the lack of an effective FDA response. Sounds awfully familiar including the use of “Wild West” in the title, right? My gripe with these authors is that they didn’t give credit where credit is due to those of us on the front lines of this battle and in particular to social media-based efforts to promote evidence-based medicine in the stem cell arena. Still, their message was on target.
Are men more likely to commit large-scale scientific fraud? Check out RetractionWatch’s leaderboard. Of course the sheer number of retractions does not take into account the impact of any one or two given retractions that had a disproportionate toxic effect like the STAP pubs. Maybe another calculation to do is the # of citations to a retracted paper.