Science Blogger Critiques

By: Savanna Ronco

Our environmental communications class is currently doing an assignment where we are reading certain groups of science blogs each week and critiquing the blogger’s work. The assignment requires that we tweet at least 4 of the bloggers each week for a total of 10 tweets.

We were told to stick to critiquing three specific areas:

  1. Sensationalism (noting that the blogger tells the audience if something isn’t totally proven);
  2. Links (if the blogger could link to something specific in order to better help the audience understand);
  3. Methods (asking the blogger if there’s something about the method or limitations they could better clarify).

One of the blogs I was assigned to critique last week (week 3 of the assignment) was Tamsin Edwards’ blog, All Models are Wrong. I found her blog extremely interesting. Edwards is very good with explaining complex science in a simple way and linking to outside information.

However, in her article “How to Love Uncertainty in Climate Science,” I noticed that there was an area where Edwards to use a link to better show her audience both sides of the topic at hand when she says, “Yes, there are people who don’t believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and likely never will. But in my experience many sceptics in the blogosphere, media and politics absolutely agree we are having an effect on climate.”

I suggested via twitter (@flimsin) that Edwards could’ve included a link to an article written by someone who doesn’t believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Within a few hours, Edwards had responded to me with two links. She also had tons of her followers sending her links to outside information. In fact, so many people were responding that she sent out this tweet: “@flimsin: Had loads of “CO2 not a GHG” names and sites, thanks – will RT a few but I won’t be able to reply to all the rest – getting too many now!”

I thought it was extremely cool how this assignment opened up a twitter discussion for Edwards and her blog. I’m glad I was able to make a suggestion for her to positively improve her blog, which she works so hard on!

Here’s a link to my Storify from Week 3 where I interacted with Edwards.

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