Introducing a New Blog on Contemporary Science and Science Culture

By Rebecca Widiss and Jessica Stoller-Conrad

“If you build it, they will come.”

Years ago, so the story goes, novice farmer named Ray Kinsella heard a voice urging him to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa. Somehow Ray knew “they will come” referred to the baseball players he’d loved as a child. Crazy though it seemed, he built the field. And as his heroes played, they brought Ray’s community together to share baseball’s magic.

Starting a blog is a similar act of faith. You must believe that if you build it, two things will come: ideas worth sharing and people to share them with. You know it’s a bit crazy, but something still urges you on. And so you find yourself staying up late, working on a dream. 

Last week, we launched Figure One, a blog providing a fresh voice on contemporary science and science culture. The contributing writers at Figure One are alums of the AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program, which places grad-level scientists in newsrooms across the country (learn more about the Fellowship here). We represent advanced degrees in physics, geochemistry, developmental biology, bioengineering and many other fields. And though some of us will continue working in the lab, we’re also committed to another cause: the broad communication of sound science.

Figure One gives us a place to continue working towards this goal with each other, within the AAAS, and with the broader community.  So far, our humble little dream is having good success. In the first two days, we had:

  • 902 page views
  • 331 unique visitors
  • 26 countries represented by our readers
  • 11 comments on blog posts
  • 2 of those comments, encouraging ones from NPR legend and alum of the Mass Media Fellows Program Joe Palca

Never could we have expected the warmth of the welcome we’ve received from AAAS members. We’re thrilled to create a place for people to discuss how science communication can keep pace with the ever-changing media landscape – in which blogging skills are becoming vital to almost every organization.

We hope you’ll visit us often, share your insights with us, and maybe even share and idea with us for a new post.  In addition to tapping the strength of the MMF alumni, we know we have a lot to learn from the science education community. Long before Twitter, you were thinking about how to convey the essence of a scientific principle in just a sentence or two. And long before Facebook, you were figuring out how to use personal stories to capture the imagination!

We look forward to your valuable feedback and we can't wait to cross paths with you soon at Figure One!


Also posted on SB&F Online.


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