Blogging For Science

USF anthropology professor is featured in Public Library of Science initiative.


By Michelle Dye

College of Arts and Sciences

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept.1, 2010)  -- A University of South Florida professor is one of 13 scientists and journalists selected to participate in the Public Library of Science Blogs, a new network for discussing science in public that covers topics in research, culture and publishing.
Associate Professor Daniel Lende, from the Department of Anthropology, is one of the writers for the Neuroanthropology blog, which he co-founded with Greg Downey of the University of Macquarie, Australia. Lende said he is humbled to be a part of a talented group of scientist and writers.
“This amazing new network of people includes writers we’ve followed, others we’ve admired from afar, and some new names with impressive track records,” Lende said. “A Pulitzer Prize winner, the former editor-in-chief of ‘Scientific American,’ professors at Duke and North Carolina Central University, a range of award-wining science journalists, and some top-quality science bloggers with rigorous science backgrounds – that is a great group of people.”
PLoS Blogs is an innovative concept because it brings together an equal mix of science journalists and scientists who are establishing more open, efficient and effective ways to communicate new ideas and discoveries. Everything that is published on the blog is freely available online throughout the world, for anyone to read, download, copy, distribute and use with attribution.
“PLoS has really revolutionized traditional scholarship by making sure it’s online and open access,” Lende said. “The PLoS site gets 2.3 million visits per month. Their journals are very well respected with some of the highest impact factors.”
Lende said publishing in traditional print journals is a lengthy process, and blogging about scientific research and ideas allows for accelerated peer review and instant feedback from a large audience. It also allows bloggers to network and collaborate with fellow scientists and writers.
“Although online discussions are no longer new to academia, many of us are searching for ways to better integrate online discussion with serious scholarship to increase the quality of the former and the vitality of the latter,” Lende said. “We want PLoS blogs, and Neuroanthropology in particular, to be a place where readers can reliably turn to find a broad engagement with new research at the intersection of brain and culture.”  
PLoS Community Manager Brian Mossop said, “PLoS is built on the principle that the public deserves access to information, which is the heart of the open access movement.”
 “PLoS Blogs will follow suit, not only making its content open access, but by opening up the discussion, and debate, on science and medicine,” Mossop said.