Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Facebook and science

Like all the best London based media outlets (ha!), I'm going to go on and on and on about Facebook for a bit (but about a year too late, I really am cutting edge).

Facebook (*sigh*): I think I hate it, but amazingly I find myself a regular user; a fact that makes me sad on the inside. And yet some in the scientific community have taken to it like geeky ducks to nerdtastic water, no doubt a large part due to Facebook's origins as a university/workplace social network tool. There are over 500 science groups on Facebook, and I'm sure some are actually about science, such as the "American Association for the Advancement of Science" groups, and more frivolous ones such as the"I listen to the Guardian Science Podcast" and "Null Hypothesis - the journal of unlikely science" groups.

Now Biomedcentral have the option to post articles published by them on to Facebook (along side social bookmarking sites like digg and cool specialist scientific bookmarking sites like citeulike). I cannot quite work out if I'm angered or amazed by this. I think I'm amazed, it's really great to see social networking and all that web2.0 stuff creeping into biomedical science. The only think that makes me slightly scared is that Facebook is just a passing fad, and in a years time we'll all be like "hey remember Facebook? No one uses Facebook now, all the cool kids use Kidney Network". That said, BMC have nothing to lose in adding Facebook functionality. Who knows, maybe these social networking sites might revolutionise the scientific publication system in ways we are yet to imagine.

This reminds me, I really should add digg, del.icio.us, etc.. this blog.


Anonymous said...

So what? You have a bit on your Facebook page saying 'here's a thing about mitochondrial DNA I thought was interesting' and other people happen across it and think 'ooh - that DOES sound interesting'?

Is that how it works? I don't really get it.

Then again, I suppose that all modern communication has to take place via Facebook, so you have to work with that fact in mind.

Ne said...

Well, yes. That's definitely part of it, because that sort of thing happens all the time in erm, meatspace, so why not on Facebook (ir where ever. The other thing I imagine people will do it post their own work. I would.

Ne said...

Also, having just had a play, you can comment on the posted article. You can say "this is cool, it says such and such about mitochondrial DNA, which means such and such about this or that", or "they say such and such about mitochondrial DNA, but I'm not convinced for these reasons blah, blah and blah de blah".