Continuing the Conversation: Friday Links

Dear Reader, have you entered this month’s giveaway yet?? Leave a comment in THIS POST for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

Toronto’s deciding on an open-fare public transport system. My trips to London, UK were my first experiences in using public transit with a smart card. I love the Oyster system and was marveled that despite the constant overcrowding in the Underground, the system moved people so much efficiently and faster than I’ve ever seen in Toronto’s TTC.

How safe is your research and original ideas? A good friend of mine warned me about posting original research on my blog, without previously publishing it and I took her words to heart, thinking twice whenever I post something related to my research. Sage Ross discusses issues on plagiarism and authorship.

Note to self: Visit Down House during the next trip to London

I have a habit of posting links of videos and images of the absurd on my Facebook and Twitter. I had no idea why I was so impressed by the horror and the gore (or even why others would want to click on the links), until I read this post over on Biomedicine on Display, on the aesthetics of disgust. By the way, you should totally check this post over at Morbid Anatomy--but I warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart or those with queasy stomachs.

Another reason to bring the whole Blackberry vs. iPhone debate into question. On a related note, should we even bother anymore? Have we entered a new way of communication that transcends personal, face-to-face conversation? If not, are we heading down that path? I’m suddenly reminded of the movie Demolition Man and how no one has any physical contact whatsover in that utopian world…

Have you ever wondered about the politics of eating?

Oh no, he didn’t! Is that Galileo flipping the bird or pointing to the heavens?

Literally fashionable science.

Another bed-time story or horror story in the making? Can being a lowly grad school kill you?

My Scrabble peeps, this is for you! Real-life lessons from Scrabble.

Fellow blogger Michael D. Barton (The Dispersal of Darwin) just posted a new and updated list on the history of science blogs and twitter accounts. This is an incredible resource for historians of science to keep themselves updated and aware of what’s on the blogosphere. Thanks Michael, for adding my blog as well! On a related topic, a new paper remarks how science blogs can work with traditional media outlets in order to counter exaggerated scientific claims held by the public.

Hope this tides you over until next time! Have a fantastic weekend, Dear Reader !

7 thoughts on “Continuing the Conversation: Friday Links

  1. I would say just the opposite, blogging is a great way to assure that you get credit for your original ideas. In the humanities, there are way more great ideas than people/time to carry them forward. So having someone “scoop” your ideas is pretty rare. But when that kind of thing does happen, it happens because of conversations and privately circulated writing. If you blog about it, there’s a public record of what you thought when.

    More likely than an intentional scoop is that someone might do similar research to what you’re doing because they independently had a similar idea and didn’t know anyone else was doing something along the same lines. So blogging about active research can be a way to sort of mark territory.

    But most importantly, it’s a way to actually get some attention for your ideas. That’s worth a lot more than a bit of protection against people using your ideas. If you have ideas worth using, the more you are public about them, and the more people use them as starting points for their own work, the better it will be for you.

  2. @Sage:
    Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with what you said. My cautiousness has more to do with making sure my research points at the very least, make some sense.

    The main reason I started this blog was to connect to a wider community of scholars whose works intersect my dissertation. The blog has already become a valuable research for me, as some have given me directions to priceless resources and archives that I wasn’t even aware of.

  3. I agree with Sage on this. The internet has become the new document of record. It’s very easy now to see who has priority of text and ideas. I’ve never been scooped in my blog posts or denied citation for my ideas (at least as far as I know). On the up side, my posts have been covered and cited in ways that traditional publications haven’t done.

    I do think there are a couple of areas to be careful in though. First, I don’t talk much about my current book projects on my blog because I worry that the ideas & narratives could be tweeked and lifted by a trade press. (I’m clearly humoring myself here!) Second, I think the stakes of blog writing are a bit higher for grad students than profs. since they are newer to the academic community and usually not as well known. Blog posts may be the way the community forms its first impression. Then again, most grad writing (including my own) is so damned tight. I find the informal tone of blogs really refreshing and it generally works to the benefit of the writer – as long as it isn’t a screed against someone. So I guess I take it all back :D.

    1. It’s interesting how a lot of bloggers in histsci agree on the benefits of blogging for graduate students. I know many students (myself included) who have tried blogging only to give it up down the line either because the demands of grad school are too overbearing, or because they’re told to be protective of their work.

      I find it refreshing to write in such an informal tone here. In fact, it actually helps me to polish up my writing for formal papers or presentations–I don’t want my paper to sound like a blog post!

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