What is academic blogging about?

From the lowly Ph.D. student at a small school, to the Havard professor, researchers are blogging. Here are some of the reasons why they blog: Research is a social activity. Blogging allows us to keep and create links with diverse researchers whose varied interests keeps our mind open and fresh. Blogging is a personal activity, … Continue reading What is academic blogging about?

The negative myths about academic blogging

Blogging is dangerous for non-tenured faculty: Blogging will not get you tenure. Neither will giving talks worldwide. Tenure is usually granted because you were able to hold a decent research program, and you showed respect for the students. However, if blogging prevents you from getting tenure, something is very wrong with your blogging or your … Continue reading The negative myths about academic blogging

Academic blogging: why still bother?

One of my colleague who started a blog, and then shut it down, is putting into question blogging as a useful activity. While he won’t deny that blogging can be fun, he is arguing that it is simply not very useful in a career. He is also making a comparison with real life meetings and … Continue reading Academic blogging: why still bother?

Blogging is networking

Two years ago, I asked whether academic blogging was still relevant. At the time, two famous bloggers had stopped (Sébastien Paquet and Stephen Downes). Evidently, I kept on blogging. I even took up microblogging. Let me revisit some of the benefits. Bloggers are more visible. This blog has over 900 readers. Some are students, others … Continue reading Blogging is networking

How I built my Web presence as a researcher…

Suzanne Bowness asked me to answer some questions for a paper she is preparing. I reproduce here the content of the interview. It is mildly incoherent. When did you first start your web site? Has your purpose for it evolved over the time that it has been online? How did you decide what sections to … Continue reading How I built my Web presence as a researcher…

Early impressions on Facebook

(source) Facebook has been the hot networking site for quite some time now. Founded in 2004 by a teenager, this same teenager, Mark Zuckerberg, is now 23, has no degree, and is about 2300 times richer than I will ever be. (No, I am not bitter.) Some colleagues asked me to join facebook today. My … Continue reading Early impressions on Facebook

Peer-reviewed papers are getting increasingly boring

The number of researchers and peer-review publications is growing exponentially.  It has been estimated that the number of researchers in the world doubles every 16 years and the number of research outputs is increasing even faster. If you accept that published research papers are an accurate measure of our scientific output, then we should be … Continue reading Peer-reviewed papers are getting increasingly boring

Revisiting “Holy Fire” (Bruce Sterling, 1996)

Bruce Sterling in a famous scifi novelist. One of his most celebrated novels was written 20 years ago: Holy Fire. It is a near-future novel, set in the late XXIst century. Sterling set it about a century in the future from the time he wrote it. Near-future novels provide a set of “predictions”. Of course, … Continue reading Revisiting “Holy Fire” (Bruce Sterling, 1996)

Science is self-regulatory… really?

Many theoretical systems are self-regulatory. For example, in a free market, prices will fluctuate until everyone gets a fair price. But free markets are a mathematical abstraction. The business of science should also be self-regulatory. Scientists who produce bad work should build poor reputations. We have journals that have strict peer review: these journals will … Continue reading Science is self-regulatory… really?

Open Access is the short-sighted fight

My colleague Stevan Harnad thinks it is silly to boycott for-profit journals. My ex-colleague Stephen Downes admits to being a boycotter, but he claims not to be silly. Both of them are silly. Stephen Downes has worked outside the realm of prestigious academic journals (so he says). He claims that his career suffered in the … Continue reading Open Access is the short-sighted fight