Science blogging gets some street cred…

I’ve been unfaithful to the Grad Life blog. You may have noticed that I’ve been absent for the past month. I have been spending time with … *gasp* …another blog.

Yes, it’s true.

Logo of the Entomological Society of Canada

But is was all for a greater good.

Today, a very exciting new online venture was launched, and I was a part of it. University of Guelph co-conspirator (er, I mean, c0-administrator), Morgan Jackson, and I have been working like mad fiends behind the scenes for the past few months so that we could announce that the blog of the Entomological Society of Canada is now officially live!

This is kind of a big deal.

Blogging (generally) and science blogging (more specifically) is slowly gaining recognition for its value as a venue for meaningful information dissemination, discussion, critique, collaboration, networking, and outreach.  However, there is still a lot of resistance to blogging, especially in some academic circles.

Now, I don’t get this at all, because my own experiences with science blogging have been nothing short of absolutely fantastic. I’ve expanded my network far more than I ever would have by simply attending conferences, I’ve been exposed to cutting-edge research both in and outside of my field, I’ve found collaborators and really fascinating ideas for my own research…I can’t say enough about how great it’s been. Other people are getting on board and experiencing these benefits as well (including at two McGill entomology professors, Dr. Chris Buddle and Dr. Terry Wheeler). But the fact remains that many, many people are highly dubious (or even suspicious) about this “new” form of communication.

Given this resistance, the fact that the new ESC blog exists at all is pretty awesome. What makes it more awesome is that (to the best of my knowledge), it is the ONLY blog run by a national entomological society. I really think that the ESC is at the forefront of a new wave of online science communication and outreach that is not only embraced, but also endorsed, by academic circles.

In addition, we think that this blog will help bridge some of the artificial gaps between academics, professional researchers in the public and private sectors, naturalists, amateurs and students. All of these people make important contributions to good, well-executed, and meaningful research. By enlisting people from all these groups to contribute blog posts, we hope to start bringing these groups together in a collaborative way.

If you’re a bug geek, and want to make your mark on the ESC Blog, we invite you to contact us at with a blog post; it can be a photo essay, a summary of your (or someone else’s research), a natural history observation, a job or graduate position announcement – just about anything!


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