If Big Science complains about U.S. budget skepticism in the future, they are going to have to answer questions about the James Webb telescope.
It is currently 3 years and $1.5 billion over budget with no end in sight. The latest projection, 2014 and $5 billion, has been greeted with so much derision that even the people behind the project in government have demanded an outside panel to oversee the boondoggle.
The difficult thing about popularizing movements is that, in the beginning, you want recognition but as time goes on the interests of the movement may be divergent from the people involved in it.
So it goes with the singularity. In 1993, Vernor Vinge said "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." But 17 years into that, only the most optimistic thinkers think substantial progress has been made. Ray Kurzweil thinks so, but he said so in 2005 also, including a whole book called The Singularity is Near.
J.L. Vernon echoes many of the points I made in Are Science Blogging Networks Dead?
but also focuses on a distinct aspect, writing Just like the NBA, “Science” is a brand
. It's a message that may be lost on some, or they would self-police a little better and certainly ask their commenters for a little more maturity - but it may be that while science is a brand (Science 2.0, Discover, Nature, etc. certainly always want to make sure writers get benefit beyond traffic from being in respective publications) at Scienceblogs, bloggers are themselves
Colin Schultz, a video journalist in Ontario, has some tips for aspiring science journalists
. Science readership is going up each year but science journalism jobs are decreasing. How so? Some of it is that science literacy is increasing(1)
so more and more people can read science directly from the sources, like here, but without editors or journalists pitching stories the breadth of coverage is not complete so independent writing did not harm journalism - the market is up regardless of reasons.
Fabio Casati and his collaborators at LiquidPublication
, an EU-financed research project, want to change how you do science. Namely by allowing you to do more of it, instead of sifting through journals.
“The more papers you produce, the more brownie points you get,” says Casati. “So most of your time is spent writing papers instead of thinking or doing science.”