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Planet Earth

A Call to Bloggers Around the World: How First-World-O-Centric Are We?

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerMay 22, 2007 12:09 AM


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Jennifer Jacquet at SB blog Shifting Baselines just returned from the Galapagos, where she got the feeling that blogging has not made much of an impact, even among the scientists at the research stations. It left her wondering if science blogging is mainly restricted to the so-called "First World"--i.e., affluent places such as the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. If true, that would be a shame, since it is potentially such a powerful tool for getting scientific information, no matter where you are in the world. It's a fair question, but an answer really demands more data than one trip by one person. The only information I can offer is what comes through my own blog. I'd say most readers come from the "First World" (I hate that phrase), but some also visit from South America, India, Southeast Asia, etc. I only know of a few science blogs beyond the US, Europe, and Australia--Brazil comes to mind at the moment. So there's at least some connection, but it may actually be a rather tiny one. I don't have many connections in the blogosphere to the parts of the world where much of the most interesting biological research is carried out in the field--places like Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador. It's not as if there aren't some scientists who live and work in those regions...They're just not blogging, as far as I can tell. But the view from outer Connecticut is very blurry. So--are there any readers out there who can help answer this question? And given all the other pressures on science in the developing world, does the question even matter all that much?

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