Why write a science blog – the reasons


Coming from ‘cell’ and ‘relics’ put together, cellrelics.com was registered because the cooler space science related names are already taken. My friends keep on asking me about the purpose of doing this blog, and i almost always replied that i am doing this to get women’s attention. Since online dating is the new way to meet potential love; so why not have a blog to show off your ambitions to future partners.

Now on the nobler part of my intentions; here it goes

Science should be freely available to the public. Despite taxpayers money being used for most grants and post-grad scholarships, the fruits of science are only enjoyed within the academic and research community. Its rather ridiculous when a layperson wants to get his hands on scientific literature, he/she has to pay for it. If you don’t believe me please visit Sciencedirect or Taylor&Francis, these brands are a norm for researchers. Also look at their free sample journals, please take a look at the acknowledgment section; most likely you will see the authors stating that the $$$ is coming from some national/governmental organization, which means your money. By the way, when i use the word ‘scientific journals’ i do mean peer reviewed journals, which means that the data and science has been reviewed from another equally qualified scientist. The reason i am mentioning this is simply because you can get journals which are NOT peer reviewed and are made available. You can find them from pharmaceutical and food related industries, they constantly produce “journals” telling you how their products are scientifically proven. So the next time someone tells you that product X is scientifically proven, ask them if the scientifically proven paper is peer reviewed or not. Always remember, that real science only comes from peer reviewed journals.

So with all the mentioned reasons above, this blog was created to act as a platform where available literature are made understandable to the mass. I do hope that someday, scientific journals becomes completely open access. For now there are some notable ones such as PLoS, which is incidentally highly regarded.

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22 thoughts on “Why write a science blog – the reasons

  1. It’s really great what you’re doing here! and noble too if I may add!:) wish I was as motivated to write about my work! Its so competitive to get published in a peer reviewed journal..sometimes I feel all you need is a familiar name among your co-authors. Writing a blog is so much more fun and you can good feedback from good young scientists or even people from non-scientific background. I look forward in reading more..so keep those fingers on the keyboard yea!:)

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  2. Cool post🙂 Hope to see more? Astrobiology is fascinating and you obviously have much to offer and an expert knowledge on the subject…a Europan Icewolf could learn a lot from you given a chance🙂 So off you go😉 Get posting my friend!!🙂 Icewolf is tapping a extra terrestrial paw on the icy shores of Europa most impatiently! Have a great week🙂

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  3. The history of science speaks for itself. For example, within
    evolutionary theory the most significant discoveries were made by NON
    professionals, e.g. Mendel, Darwin and Wallace who by the way, were
    not barred from publishing their work within professional publications.
    Unfortunately, amateurs attempting to publish within professional
    publications will find this much more difficult today. Of course, in
    physics, it was the patent clerk Albert Einstein who changed the face of
    that particular science. Since the people both pay for and generate
    science all public sector funded research and publications must be made
    available to individual members of the public at no extra charge since
    they have already paid for it. The big problem with predominately public
    sector funded science is that it inevitably evolves toward a public
    sector monopoly. This ends up charging the people twice for the same
    product/service while at the same time attempting to dictate to the
    public what is and what is not acceptable within sciences. A modern
    example is the inglorious battle between privately funded Celera and the
    publicly funded Human Genome Project. Venter completed the job faster
    and more cheaply using his “shotgun” approach. This was rejected by
    Watson who headed the incredibly expensive, publicly funded Human Genome
    project from which Venter resigned to start his own company.

    The evolution of ideas via natural selection EMPIRICALLY (not just
    politically) removing theories, represents the power the sciences. This
    absolutely requires every idea to compete against every other without
    prejudice. As Karl Popper pointed out in the 1960’s, theory removal is
    only possible via theory falsifiability. If a theory cannot possibly be
    falsified it will never be removed while it remains politically
    preferred. Unless empirically falsifiable ideas compete on a level
    playing field what we historically end up with, for good or ill, are the
    entrenched politically correct views of the times. The classic example
    is the Catholic churches preferred view of an earth centric solar system
    enforced by threats of torture/death. Such an overt monopolistic level
    of conservatism was repeated in modern history when the then Soviet
    Union’s preferred Lysenskoian view, that acquired characters are
    inherited, was enforced by Joseph Stalin at the cost of Mendelian genetics.

    Today’s critical climate change debate has predictably become reduced to
    an ugly political bun fight where amazingly, falsifiability is not
    discussed by either side. The scientifically correct use of the key
    terms “skepticism” and “prudence” also remains studiously avoided. While
    CO2 production via human activity may indeed be the most prudent
    causative theory, prudence is only valid when theory falsifiability
    remains evident, actively pursued and critically differentiated from
    just a non verification. More damaging than anything else to today’s
    science is a “death by a thousand cuts” employing less extreme acts of
    “political correctness” via a politically entrenched public sector that
    allows non falsifiable theories as valid science. My example is
    Hamilton’s oversimplified Inclusive fitness model that can only be non
    verified not falsified. I have attempted to raise discussion on sbe about
    these emotive subjects for over a decade. The professionals who post
    there refuse to discuss my revision of Hamilton’s Rule to include
    epistasis represented by the variable e (r^e)b>c or more critically, my
    inclusion of Total Darwinian Fitness (TDF) within the rule to allow it
    to become empirically falsifiable: rb>K-c. K represents TDF defined as
    the total number of strictly fertile forms reproduced per parent per
    population representing a falsifiable fitness constant not just a
    variable. Darwinian theory is falsified if after maintaining K equal for
    every member of one population for as long as possible, evolution is
    observed. Note that this simple test separates random change via
    mutation and drift from non random change generated by natural
    selection. These are NOT separated within Neo Darwinism. Both continue
    to be incorrectly regarded as “evolution”. In Darwinian theory random
    changes are defined to be the variation on which selection acts.
    Allowing variation as evolution reduces evolutionary theory to non
    falsifiable for just obvious reasons.

    As I keep on pointing out, allowing sterile infertile forms a fitness as Hamilton et al continue to do, is not correct simply because none of them can possibly pass on any of their genes until they become fertile adults. This simple fact removes the problem of eusocial fitness altruism that Hamilton attempted to explain. Parents enslaving their own offspring as sterile workers has always been explicable using
    Darwinian theory since immature forms are no different to (fertile) body parts. The formal debate I initiated on the gritty subject of the falsifiability of Neo Darwinism with one of Dawkins students on Dawkins own, original website resulted in the immediate closure of that website and the suspension of all formal debate within his new website.

    Hamilton’s model has been allowed to misrepresent Darwinian theory. This
    misuse was underwritten by the University Of Oxford employing Richard
    Dawkins to publicize Hamilton’s model with his best seller “The Selfish
    Gene”. Dawkins is celebrating with a 30th anniversary edition.

    Regards,

    John Edser
    Independent Researcher

    edser@ozemail.com.au

    http://www.ibiblio.org/usenet-i/groups-html/sci.bio.evolution.html

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    1. In the modern world, politics are the worst enemy of science. Darwin & Eisntein’s work did not involve money since they were more of theories.But, now there are too many theories and the need to prove them experimentally is crucial. Darwin ideas were questioned (even by him) but now biologist have proved that he was right except for a new minor stuff. I am not fond of Neo-darwinism (altho it seems that we can choose the genes we want for our kids)..Experimentally i think thats a bit far off..but i do hope you write a critical paper on this. btw Dawkins is more of a promoter of atheism than a science junkie.

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  4. I believe you are expressing the thoughts of many scientists out there. Science is made for the people, it is payed by the people and should be freely available to the public. The situation is even more dangerous – as the serious scientific information is accessible only by a limited number of specialists this creates a vacuum which is filled by junk science and information altered in accordance with corporate interests. I think that this is one of the main reasons for the wide spread of pseudosccience in the past decade.

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  5. I really hope other people think your posting listed here as handy as I have. I manage a site personally and would be delighted for you or the guests on your site to check out. Many thanks.

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  6. Exactly, spot on. Couldn’t have put my feelings towards it any better. Don’t get me started on Science Direct. Obviously as a student you get free access through your institution but as you say – it’s taxpayers money that pay for a lot of research. And they don’t have a clue what goes on, what it’s spent on and what it achieves! I look forward to your future astrobiological postings…

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