The Sciences

Are Scientists Who Blog Undercutting Professional Science Writers?

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticOct 29, 2013 1:21 AM

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Recent events have got me thinking about writing for free.

When I started out, I blogged for free. I did that for four years. Now Discover pay me some, but my day job as a neuroscientist pays the bills. Many other scientists blog, and I don't know any who didn't at least begin by writing for free. Honestly, I'm OK with that. For me, writing is its own reward (although money is nice). But what about people who do (try to) make a living from writing? Are they OK with it? Or are scientists who blog for free undercutting them? This is a worry of mine. Now this concern is based on the idea that science writing is some kind of zero-sum game - the idea that there's only so much work to be done, and that if some people do it for free, that means no-one gets paid for it. Is that an accurate description of the market? Surely not entirely, but maybe there's enough truth in it that my worry is not unfounded. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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