Beck Smith of the Biochemistry Society and I would like to invite you to our Science Blogging Talkfest, Charles Darwin House, WC1N, 15th July. Registration is free, and online.
We'll start at 6pm with drinks, chat and cake over registration. From 7-8:30pm, we'll move into the lecture theatre for the debate. Then I thought we might go to the pub.
As several people have already pointed out, our panel is entirely made up of bloggers: Petra Boynton, Jon Butterworth, Mark Henderson, Alok Jha, Andy Lewis, Ed Yong. This is something we're actually quite proud of.
I've noticed that a lot of debates around this issue have got stuck in questions of blogging vs "traditional" journalism, which missed out on the chance to talk about blogging as something real, something that is happening (has been happening for a while) and is both exciting and problematic in its right. This isn't necessarily a big old love-in, it is a chance to grow. Neither is this to say that blogging vs. journalism isn't a debate still worth having. You go off and have it if you're interested. We want to talk about blogging. And we have cake.
Maybe we are "limiting" the scope of the debate slightly by framing it with a panel of bloggers. But there is only a limited amount of things any group of people can say in a few hours. I quite strongly believe that far from stifling a debate on blogging, this focus will encourage something more meaningful.
As Alok Jha tweeted: the strength of the project is that there'll be no time wasted on definitions, more sharing of constructive ideas. I also happen to think there are a host of in-fights, debates, differences, mis-understandings and discontinuities within science blogosphere which get glossed over when it is put in a position where it has to defend itself.
We'll be asking the audience for questions on the day, but I'd really like hear some in advance too. Please put them in the comments below (or email me). I should also stress that we want audience members to comment on questions, and answer them too. This isn't going to be an event where we all sit waiting for the panellists to impart their great wisdom, I'm planning on drawing on the knowledge and ideas of the audience too.
You can reserve a place here. Do come, and let me know any questions in advance.