Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tags, Blogs, Tweets: Social Media as Science Tool?

From the article: "Is social media changing the way we do science—even speeding it up? Preliminary data, and a growing number of cases, suggest that the answer is yes.

One now-famous example of its growing ubiquity is the social media storm that followed the publication of a NASA-funded paper in the journal Science, on 2 December 2010 (doi:10.1126/science.1197258). The authors of the paper claimed to have discovered a bacterium that could substitute arsenic in place of phosphate as a key nutrient necessary to support life.

Rosie Redfield, zoology professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), wasn’t buying it, and said so on her blog. Ironically, this was a communication platform that UBC graduate students chose to parody, along with Redfield, at their Christmas party. Asking the fake Redfield, “What’s a blog?” the reply was, “it’s a publication that nobody reads, not even reviewers.” Their mockery was to be quickly proved wrong." Read more