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Can Blogging Damage Your Career?

Michael White at Adaptive Complexity asks whether it's possible for scientists to sabotage their careers by blogging. Branching off of the musings of writer Jared Diamond, who wrote in 1997 that "scientists who do communicate effectively with the public often find their colleagues responding with scorn, and even punishing them in ways that affect their careers," White contemplates the issue. He calls the problem "unfortunate," and suggests that blogging might be the appropriate intermediate between writing for the public and remaining silent. White also writes that blogging can propagate a researcher's communication skills throughout his/her career, adding that "with blogs in the game, the possibility of being a good public communicator and a good researcher at the same time doesn't seem so inconceivable." Still, many scientists choose to blog under pseudonyms in consideration of their careers (among other things), as bloggers discussed in October 2008 as part of the ramp-up to the ScienceOnline '09 meeting, which included a session on anonymous and pseudonymous blogging.

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