One of the main reasons science blogs excite me is the possibility of communication between scientists. It allows for a medium that scientists can use to hash out ideas and do so publicly. This has the added advantage that those who are not big names in a field or somesuch can listen in, as it were, or even step in and participate.
The discussion of science between scientists here, online, also has the added advantage of allowing the public to see inside of scientific debates and discussions in realtime. How do we think? What conclusions can we reach when we talk online rather than through the slow-moving medium of the peer reviewed literature?
I think we have been luck to have just witnessed a great example of how scientists talking through a problem in an online milieu can lead to an interesting conversation – one worth seeing from both the inside and the outside. It concerns the ever contentious issue of overfishing and the eating of (delicious) fish.
I can’t really do better than Emmett at summing the whole thing up, but, I’ll give a rough timeline of what’s been talked about online so far. Enjoy the conversation.
It all started… well, it actually got kicked off by three posts in The Nature Conservancy’s Cool Green Science.
- Why Do We Keep Hearing Global Fisheries Are Collapsing? by Peter Kareiva
- Focusing One’s Microscope: Daniel Pauly on the State of Global Fisheries
- How Should We Measure Fishing Impacts on Marine Food Webs?
These posts and the corresponding comments are well worth a read. Then came an NYT editorial that really got things roiling – and this is where things got interesting.
- Let Us Eat Fish by Ray Hilborn. kicked it off.
- There was the predictable and interesting slew of response letters, and the conversation could have died there.
- Although, at the same time, the NYT’s blog posted One Fish, Two Fish, False-ish, True-ish which included extensive quotes from Trevor Branch and others.
- And then John Bruno really got things going with a response to Hilborn, Let us eat (other people’s) fish, at The Sea Monster.
- This has all lead to the massive awesome collision of many scientists hashing it out at The Sea Monster in a post entitled Forum on fish, food, and people with Emmett Duffy providing a wrap-up.
It’s very cool stuff that is a must-read, I think. If you read nothing else, really, go see Forum on fish, food, and people right now. Enjoy!