On the occasion of the ASM General Meeting in Boston early in June, about a dozen of us interested in science blogs met for a discussion of blog-related issues. Several of the people in attendance were bloggers, notably Tara Smith of Aetiology, Jonathan Eisen of Tree of Life, Mackenzie Cowan of Diybio, and myself. Others were people interested in diverse blog-related isssues.
Over breakfast, we discussed the various modalities for using blogs in the classroom. Some teachers use them for reading assignments or cultural enrichment, others glean from them exam questions. Interactive “internal” blogs, specific to a course, appear to be useful in promoting discussion and student participation.
The use of blogs as repositories of research is relatively rare at present, but holds great promise as a means of ready communication that bypasses the restrictions of conventional publishing. Of course, a bunch of blog-minded people could be counted on to bring up issues of individual concern, and so it was for this meeting. We hope for a repeat next year when the ASM meets again, this time in Philadelphia.