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Science blogs in research and popularization of science: why, how and for whom?

Abstract : As the Internet emerged as an efficient channel for sending information and fostering collaborations on a global scale, this unanticipated phenomenon paved the way for a new era of science, namely e-science or digital scholarship [Borgman, 2007]. Massive data repositories moved online, academic publications (preprints and articles alike) became searchable across disciplinary boundaries, collaborations grew larger. But the Internet is now developing into so-called web 2.0, where active participation is replacing passive broadcasting: every user can become their own media maker and share videos, images or text. To date, the most popular form for the latter are blogs (short for web-logs). The blog format was originally used for online diaries but has rapidly evolved into a versatile publication and conversation tool. This shift is also being embraced by scientists, on a limited, albeit growing scale. First isolated, then grouped in communities, science bloggers (I use the term to include professional scientists as well as students, journalists, science amateurs, science museums, concerned groups…) have already demonstrated the potential to influence how research is done, results are communicated and the public is reached. Among the many topics that blogs discuss, I will focus here on science and the academic life, thus defining a type of " science blogging " that is effectively turning digital scholarship into conversational scholarship [Gregg, 2006]. But in concrete terms, how is that different? And where might this evolution be leading us? I try to shed some light on the matter in the following pages.
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Antoine Blanchard. Science blogs in research and popularization of science: why, how and for whom?. Moira Cockell; Jérôme Billotte; Frédéric Darbellay; Francis Waldvogel. Common Knowledge: The Challenge of Transdisciplinarity, EPFL Press, pp.219, 2011, 978-2-940222-32-2. ⟨hal-01249315⟩

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