Type of site
|Owner||Seed Media Group|
|18,311 (April 2014[update])|
ScienceBlogs is an invitation-only blog network and virtual community. It was created by Seed Media Group in 2006 to enhance the public understanding of science. As of February 2009[update], ScienceBlogs hosted 75 blogs dedicated to various fields of research. Each blog has its own theme, specialty, and author(s) and is not subject to editorial control. Authors include active scientists working in industry, universities and medical schools as well as college professors, physicians, professional writers, graduate students, and post-docs.
According to Technorati, as of 7 July 2007[update], ScienceBlogs had an "authority" of 9,581 and its number of inbound links ranks it 37th among blogs worldwide. As of 14 March 2008[update], Quantcast charts it as having over 1.1 million monthly unique visitors, 65% of whom are from the United States.
ScienceBlogs was launched in January 2006 with 15 blogs on the network. For the launch blogs, Seed invited some of the best-known independent science bloggers and allowed them to blog about whichever subjects they wished. Revenue was generated through advertisements sold to companies who wished to attract "bright, curious consumers who buy products like automobiles, books, cellphones, computers, liquor, music and watches." 
As a result of the free rein given to bloggers and the incentive to increase traffic, bloggers on the network often discuss hot topics such as politics and religion in addition to science. These topics frequently incite heated arguments in the comment threads and bloggers on the network sometimes get into arguments with each other over a series of posts.
ScienceBlogs and Seed received some notable awards at the end of their first year of activity, including the 2006 UTNE Independent Press Award for Best Science/Technology Coverage being granted to Seed, in large part due to the success of ScienceBlogs. Additionally, two blogs on the network received Weblog awards: Pharyngula for Best Science Blog and Respectful Insolence for Best Medical/Health Issues Blog.
The creators of ScienceBlogs have expanded their collection of hosted blogs in three major waves, supplemented by individual additions along the way. Some of the most trafficked blogs include Pharyngula, Respectful Insolence, Good Math Bad Math, Deltoid, Cognitive Daily, Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted) and On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess.
ScienceBlogs launched a German language edition of the site, ScienceBlogs.de, in 2008 in partnership with Hubert Burda Media. As of 7 December 2010, the site hosted 35 blogs. ScienceBlogs Brazil debuted in March 2009 with 23 Portuguese language blogs.
In April 2011, ScienceBlogs was taken over by National Geographic. While Seed would still maintain ownership of the site, National Geographic would acquire editorial control and responsibility for advertising sales on the site.
In June 2010, ScienceBlogs started a blog which was sponsored by PepsiCo and was to be written by their employees. This led to backlash by many of the bloggers on ScienceBlogs who considered this to be an unethical mix of advertising and journalism, and the PepsiCo blog was withdrawn from ScienceBlogs. This affair was informally named "PepsiGate", and many bloggers left, including Rebecca Skloot. Subsequently other bloggers, such as Bora Zivkovic, also left although they did not all attribute their leaving directly to the inclusion of the PepsiCo blog. By the middle of July approximately a quarter of the bloggers had left ScienceBlogs. Subsequently, some bloggers such as PZ Myers of Pharyngula announced they were going on strike as part of a general feeling that the people running Seed had failed to respond to concerns surrounding the incident. Seed Media responded by killing off Food Frontiers, the Pepsico sponsored blog, but that didn't stop the defections. According to PZ Myers, "The ship is sinking". A writer at the New York Times Magazine reviewed the incident and commented, "ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd." Some other science blogging networks were launched, including scientopia.org, scienceseeker.org and one hosted by The Guardian.
ScienceBlogs consists of ten channels, or categories, of blog entries. Each blog author decides what channel his or her individual post belongs in, and each post is indexed accordingly on the main page. The categories are:
- Life Science
- Brain & Behavior
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Medicine & Health
- Education and Careers
- Physical Science
- Planet Earth
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- "ScienceBlogs Technorati Ranking". Technorati, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- "ScienceBlogs Quantcast Ranking". Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Pass the politics, please: Science blogs peppered with commentary
- Science Blogs as a Vehicle for Upscale Ads
- "Über ScienceBlogs | ScienceBlogs.de - Wissenschaft, Kultur, Politik". Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- "National Geographic Taking the Wheel at Scienceblogs.com". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Appell, David (2010-07-20). "PepsiCo and the shame of the bloggerati". The Guardian (London).
- Dobbs, David (2010-07-21). "How we tried (not) to silence Pepsi". The Guardian (London).
- Jha, Alok (2010-07-07). "ScienceBlogs, we have a problem". The Guardian (London).
- Vince, Gaia (2010-07-09). "This isn't the first time Seed has sacrificed editorial independence". The Guardian (London).
- Posted by PZ Myers on July 20, 2010 (2010-07-20). "Pharyngula on STRIKE – Pharyngula". Scienceblogs.com. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- Heffernan, Virginia (July 30, 2010). "Unnatural Science". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- ScienceBlogs website
- ScienceBlogs German website
- ScienceBlogs Brazil website
- scienceblogging.org, an aggregator site for science blogging networks