Science blogging below-the-line: a progressive sense of place?

Jonathan Mendel, Hauke Riesch

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite considerable optimism about what science blogging can achieve – as a public engagement tool for scientists and geographers and as a way of impacting policy more broadly – there has been limited academic research on the topic. This paper will contribute to analyses of geographies of new media by discussing the case study of the ‘badscience’ blogging network and also considering science blogging more broadly.

    The paper argues that the spaces of different blogging networks function in contrasting ways (sometimes being exclusionary and like a closed clique, but also sometimes far more enabling) and that – rather than offering a move beyond more conventional geographical spaces – these virtual spaces overlay and connect to them in complex ways. The paper will consider how geographical work and other social research can help us to conceptualise these spaces and places, and add to the evidence that qualitative observational research can provide valuable information about social media which would be unlikely to be gained through trials. In a challenge to growing concerns about the problems that (sometimes uncivil) below-the-line discussions pose for public engagement with science, the paper will draw on its case study of a community arising from below-the-line in order to argue that the noise and shouting of such discussions can help to build a progressive sense of place.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMediated geographies and geographies of media
    EditorsSusan P. Mains, Julie Cupples, Chris Lukinbeal
    PublisherSpringer Netherlands
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9789401799690
    ISBN (Print)9789401799683
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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