29 July 2010
|Not that kind of impact! Courtesy NASA/Don Davis.
David Bressan over at History of Geology poses the questions du mois: How can geoblogging impact society and “real geology”? Should and can we promote the “geoblogosphere”? Are blogs private “business” or public affairs? Are institutions undervaluing the possibilities given by this new method of communication?
I don’t think geoblogging is only breaking down barriers between Earth and space scientists and the non-scientist public, either. Personally, I’ve found that geoblogging has opened up a whole new social and professional group to me – one that I never would have been able to build from the “traditional” routine of academic collaboration and conferences. I hope that someday I’ll be able to collaborate with my fellow geobloggers and broaden the impact and usefulness of my work. And I think that’s a worthy goal for E&S; scientists as a whole: not to only bury themselves in a narrow area of research, but to remember that acquiring new knowledge depends on a foundation drawn from many disciplines.
In the past, collaboration depended on the post office, the telephone, and face-to-face meetings; the final products of our research on conference schedules and journal editors. With email and blogging, we now have an even faster and more powerful way to share our work with each other and the public. Though it certainly will not – and should never – replace the systems that have developed over centuries of research, I think geoblogging is a wonderful way to supplement them.