At the end of his excellent book, “Bad Science“, Ben Goldacre recommends that all research scientists consider starting a blog about their field area so that interested members of the public will at least have somewhere to go to read reliable information on that subject. This struck a chord with me because I remembered being pleasantly surprised and slightly bemused by the level of interest generated in the blogosphere by a media article which came out in 2008 describing a piece of research I’d recently been involved in.
The British Research Councils now have a requirement that, before they will fund a research project, a willingness is shown to maximise the wider “impact” of the piece of science on society as a whole. When preparing a grant proposal in late 2009, myself and co-proposers offered, that if the grant was funded, we would … ” instigate a website (blog) with the aim of engaging with and educating interested members of the public in the state of the art of geomagnetic research.” The Natural Environment Research Council liked the proposal and the idea to start a blog. This is the result. Hope you enjoy.
Andy Biggin, 27th Jan, 2011