Why Science needs to learn from Fashion

Left to right; Dorothy C Hodgkin, Maira G Mayer, Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie

Recently there has been a sea of blog awards here in Sweden and in the rest of the world.

Most of those rewarded blog about lifestyle, and among those lifestyle bloggers there is about a 70% that can be attributed to fashion and beauty and the rest shared between gossip, fitness and humor.

Why aren’t science blog’s there? For those given by fashion magazines, the lack of science is understandable, but all the others? Is it because science is so boring? Well, partly, many science bloggers confuse blogs for scientific articles. Is it because there aren’t enough followers? Definitely not.

It is because the scientific world has not embraced its bloggers as the powerful entities that they are.

In the fashion world, designers and brand managers contact ambitious bloggers and give them the opportunity to work with their brand. They invite bloggers to events, and use their capacity to reach a wider audience. Because they know, a fashion magazine on the stand of store will be bought by a fashionista while a blog will be read by every-day-anne on the subway. They can reach them both.

A popular science magazine costs on average 9 dollars here in Sweden. Hence, many of us  student science geeks follow science bloggers such as @BoraZ from the Scientific American. Popular science magazines such as the Science Illustrated sells very successfully because the everyday-anne wants to know how the Mars rover is doing.

An average PubMed article is neither readable or affordable to every-day-anne. I know, I was her.

If the scientific world was smart, they would realise the amazing potential bloggers have. Science bloggers. And just how many they reach. Science institutes, our universities, our research departments, should harvest our ability to explain complex concepts in a comprehensible way. Our ability to make it short, and interesting for every-day-anne.

I tried bringing this issue up through twitter, as a joke.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize how much the scientific world is missing out. How many inventions lay unsued, because a potential user is stuck in a lab and only has his/hers ipad as company, and would benefit if his/hers favourite blog wrote about it. How many brilliant statictical methods and math formulas are being unused in the office of the frustrated statistician? Couldn’t we compare different MRI brands, in a useful way where those who use it get to speculate instead of brand managers who have never spend hours trying to save images from distortions?  Being given the chance to attend events, and to report to every-day-ann.  There are thousands of brilliant well followed scientific blogs out there in all areas of science.

Some would say: can you trust a sponsored scientific blog?

I’m not talking about sponsorship. You do not need to take us on a luxury cruise and ask us to write a fun piece about your new research project/invention/drug. Just become more transparent and invite us in to your sphere. That is a great reward in itself.

Researchers, universities, institutions, pharmaceutical, hospitals, tech-companies; realise their potential. Collaborate. It is not a pack of fools you’d be dealing with. Just scientists, who like to spread knowledge, who will help you to do the same.




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