- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Science writing I’d pay to read – May 2011
It’s time for May’s Science Writer Tip-Jar picks. For those new to this, here’s the low-down:
Throughout the blogosphere, people produce fantastic writing for free. That’s great, but I believe that good writers should get paid for good work. To set an example, I choose ten pieces every month that were written for free and I donate £3 to the author. There are no formal criteria other than I found them unusually interesting, enjoyable and/or important.
I also encourage readers to support these writers through two buttons on the sidebar. Any donations via “Support Science Writers” are evenly distributed to chosen ten at the end of the month. Donations via the “Support NERS” button go to me; I match a third of the total figure and send that to the chosen writers too.
So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the picks:
- An incredible post on how a family quest exposed barriers to open-access science by David Dobbs
- The world’s longest cells in the nervous systems of sauropods – a great example of blogging your own research, by Matt Wedel.
- “For one individual, this breakthrough was… more than 27 years old.” Curing paralysis – again, an amazing personal story by R. Douglas Fields.
- “It’s not a disease. It doesn’t need curing.” Steve Silberman talks to John Robison, a “free-range Aspergian” and best-selling author.
- Plague hits LA: a great two-parter on the bacterium behind the plague, and the man who gave it his name, by Puff the Mutant Dragon.
- Why retractions fall on deaf ears and why it’s important for journalists to get it right first time round, by Vaughan Bell
- A light-hearted tour de force through the cranial nerves, in several parts and growing rapidly, by SciCurious
- Why life is like Lego, and why it matters for the search for aliens, by Lucas Brouwers
- A great three-part series on Alan Turing’s homosexuality & how it was treated as a mental illness, by Romeo Vitelli.
- Levees can make things worse. A great and relevant post on the illusion of flood control, by Anne Jefferson.
And for interest, the tip-jar initiative has raised US$650 over the last two months. Thanks to everyone who contributed.