As some of you know, I am a co-author on the “arsenic life” paper. Given my role as a co-author on that paper and as a co-editor of this blog, the situation presents some complications as we try to cover the story here. There’s much that I would like to say, but for me, personally, the trouble is that anything I write can be twisted out of context by those fishing for controversy about a highly public story (someone will probably twist that sentence out of context).
Shawn, Betul and I will sort this out as we go as best we can. But I’d like to hear from the PaleBlueBlog community…
How do you think that authors of a paper should engage online, especially in their own blogs? This is not just about the arsenic paper. Let’s imagine that this blog takes off, developing a large audience. How, then, should we cover our own papers here? Is this a new forum for us to publicize our own work? Or is that unfair? How, in general, should we cover criticism of our own work?
As editors, how should we approach papers by others about which we are critical? Do we ignore them? Hold them up for scrutiny? Create a refereed forum for online discussion and debate, with the authors invited to partake?
In the inaugural days of this blog, we’ve adopted a sort of objective style of “here’s what’s new” coverage, with minimal commentary. But we aspire to more – to create a vibrant community that talks about the exciting science of the day, in a way that informs and inspires. What’s the best way to accomplish that goal?