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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

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ScientificBlogging.com Featured Columnist Jane Poynter has written a book, The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 , discussing her experiences inside the legendary long-term science experiment.

Why do some online communities succeed, like Second Life, Facebook and, well, this one, and some fail?

The answer may be in what their communities think about 'giving' and it can tell us a lot about people in general.

Everyone does something on social sites for a reason. People like to 'get paid' even if that doesn't mean money. It is why people submit articles to Digg - submitters get the satisfaction of knowing they brought an interesting article to people that they may not have found themselves.

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC), new cells that are basically a biological blank slate, become more specialized as they develop and contribute to a number of organs and tissues. As such, they have the potential to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s but their progress has been slowed because of the ongoing ethical debate over how human embryonic stem cells are derived.

Some European countries - Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland - forbid the creation of new hESC lines surplus embryos, even ones that remain from infertility procedures. In June, 2006 the EU parliament only narrowly agreed to fund stem-cell research, and then only as long as it excluded activities that involve destroying human embryos. In the US the restrictions are similar.

David Houle, media executive responsible for branding MTV, VH1 and CNN Headline News, has joined Science 2.0 start-up ScientificBlogging.com as a strategic advisor to handle marketing and corporate communications.

It's no secret that science is popular these days.  I can't pick up a magazine or a newspaper without  seeing an article dealing with science and how it impacts society.   Global warming pieces are everywhere with scientists arguing about its causes or even if it exists.  Some scientists argue about framing the debate for non-scientists while others think science is too important to be left up to people.  

I read some politicians and they think they can fix every problem with regulation and laws.  I read some scientists and they think they can fix every problem with funding.