Please compare the following five blog posts without paying attention to the sources. Imagine someone printed and gave them to you obfuscating where they came from.
You will most likely draw the following conclusion:
1. There is consensus among scientists (based on the first four links), while the fifth guy stands out, because he possibly does not understand science.
2. The first four links are presenting well thought-out arguments on a topic, whereas the fifth link is from someone, who is interested in name-calling those respected scientists.
Both of those conclusions are wrong, and only the fifth link comes from a scientist. When we say ‘scientist’, we do not care about whether the gentleman is famous, respected or teaches science somewhere. We call him scientist, because he followed scientific principles to arrive at his conclusions, while the others did not.
Science does not advance by ‘consensus’ or ‘easy access to reporting’, but your career will. Pay attention to the following two paragraphs of Titus Brown’s commentary.
But what if no one likes what I have to say?
What do you care what other people think? Seriously, see “articulate, awake” point above. Thats more important than being particularly likable.
Is it a competitive advantage if everyone is doing it?
Good question. Maybe not, but if youre the only one not doing it, then its definitely a disadvantage, eh?
The truth is that your are still at a disadvantage, if nobody reads your blog. The best way to get read is to say things that others like or agree with. What if nobody likes the truth?
Nevertheless, we encourage you to blog, because the fourth link from the top of the blog is is not from a blog, but an actual science journal.
For those who are wondering whether the above piece is a criticism of blogging, hell, no. We are rather trying to show that the general criticism about blogs (‘who knows what garbage they carry’) is equally applicable to so- called respected science journals.