17 SCIENCE BLOGS EVERYONE SHOULD FOLLOW
Thanks to the Internet, science has never been so accessible. Entire scientific communities now connect through social media, and science blogs have prospered and grown into rich platforms of discourse. On the Internet, experts and amateurs alike can come together to talk about the topics that interest them, and in doing so have created great educational spaces for anyone who wants to learn and discuss science.
If you’re looking for some up-to-date scientific information, or just want to browse, have a look at this list we’ve compiled of the 17 best blogs currently posting about science.
Established by Elise Andrews in 2012, I F****** Love Science, or IFL Science, is “dedicated to bringing the amazing world of science straight to your newsfeed in an amusing and accessible way.” With a reputation for being one of the most important and entertaining scientific blogs currently out there, Andrews has been able to create a platform that is equal parts informative and fun. Featuring insights into a mix of scientific disciplines, the best part about this blog is science lovers of all ages and backgrounds can come together and share their love for science. The Facebook page posting daily links to IFL Science has over 25 million likes.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency. Established in 1916, the CSIRO has invented everything from modern-day WiFi, Aerogard and even extended-wear contact lenses. With such an innovative impact on both a national and global scale, it’s no surprise its blog is one of the most interesting scientific reads on the Internet. Covering a vast number of topics including farming, ocean studies, manufacturing and health, the CSIRO is a fantastic insight into some of the most fascinating scientific breakthroughs by Australian and international scientists.
Our pick: AI relieves data drought for farmers
Featuring Kruszelnicki’s trademark humorous yet informative approach to science, this blog delves into some of the most complicated and frequently asked (but not so frequently answered in an accessible way) scientific questions. From the beautiful act of vomiting to the overwhelming-grand ‘how many cells in a person?’, Kruszelnicki seeks to entertain and educate in a laidback and educational manner that young and old Australians alike will love. For more of Dr Karl, you can also check out his Twitter, and tweet him any of your burning scientific questions.
Our pick: Bacteria of champions (A look at how a gut microbiome can give a marathon runner an athletic advantage)
Nautilus “combines the science, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world’s leading thinkers and writers.” Originally a magazine and online website, the Nautilus blog is an offshoot that provides daily musings, reflecting on our connection to science in our day-to-day lives. Science with a modern twist, this blog will appeal to those who are interested in questioning the humanity of science, and the scientists who drive innovation around the world. Don’t be mistaken in thinking this blog foregoes science in the name of philosophical musings – each of its pieces are thoroughly researched and very accessible for those who enjoy a little bit of light science reading.
The Public Library of Science is a non-profit organisation that provides a collection of scientific journals and literature open to the public. The PLOS blog network features content from PLOS staff and editors, as well as independent sources including science journalists and researchers. Blogs featured on the PLOS platform cover a wide range of topics like Biology Life Sciences, Medicine and Health, and Research Analysis and Scientific Policy. Catered towards the scientific community and those who have a thorough understanding of scientific concepts, this blog isn’t for everyone but is a great tool if you are an avid science enthusiast looking to find free resources and information on many topics.
Improbable Research is all about making people laugh, and then think. A collection of real research described as “may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless,” it’s an online manifestation of the popular Annals of Improbable Research, a publication mainly known for creating the Ig Nobel Awards, a parody of the Nobel Awards. A seriously fun look into the slightly crazy and often bewildering world of science, this blog is sure to captivate your curiosity and get you thinking about the value of scientific research and innovation.
A blog presented by Scientific American, LAELAPS is written by critically-acclaimed scientific writer Brian Switek. A blog about evolution, extinction, and survival, LAELAP’s explores natural history with insights from fields such as anthropology, zoology, archaeology and palaeontology. If biological science is a keen area of interest, this blog has some great pieces of scientific literacy that bridge the gaps between complex concepts, and accessible and captivating stories.
Our pick: The Secret of the Crocodile “Death Roll
News and views on plant science and ecology, the blog is an offshoot of Annals of Botany, an online scientific, peer-reviewed journal that releases research once a month. This blog really gets into the nitty-gritty of plants, so its content is more suited to those who have a deep understanding and knowledge of botanical science. However, if you want to delve right into the world of botany, it does post some content that is accessible for all science lovers.
NewScientist would have to be the most recognisable name in scientific publications to the mainstream. The magazine has been readily available on newsstands for years, and the publication’s success can be attributed to the way it features stories of real-world interest and relevance in a very accessible way, without ever ‘talking down’ to the audience.
Note, NewScientist is protected by a paywall, so if you want to access all of its stories, you’ll need to make a small investment into quality science journalism.
Authored by academic clinical neurologist Steven Novella, MD, Neurologica covers neuroscience, scientific scepticism, philosophy, and the intersection of science and media. This blog delivers great insight into the brain and scientific news, issues and discoveries surrounding this topic, and is equal parts high-brow and approachable. Novella’s knowledge and expertise enable him to make some great thoughts, insights and opinions on a variety of subjects, from GMO’s to clickbait. A platform which broaches hot-topic issues found in mainstream media in a scientifically critical way, this really is a truly educational and eye-opening resource.
Our pick: Localizing Executive Function (Addressing the complex challenges of identifying the specific part of your brain where a specific activity takes place)
Run by The Scientific American, The Sciences is a must-read, accessible take on science topics as far ranging as Mind, Health, Tech and Sustainability. The dedicated blog section, which is separate from the main site’s repurposing of its magazine content, features fascinating little tidbits, such as ‘how to hop on an Asteroid,’ which might not be information relevant to our day-to-day lives, but certainly inspires the imagination as only science can.
WARNING: This blog is not for the faint of heart as it contains graphic material some may find disturbing (and others might find captivating). Mortui Vivos Docent is an Instagram blog run by forensic pathologist Nicole Angemi. Featuring graphic images of autopsies, Angemi captions each image with a scientific insight into the gruesome world of human biology. Her expertise lies in identifying infections and diseases in the deceased, and her lengthy captions break down some very complex medical concepts into easy-to-understand snippets. She also frequently asks followers to guess the disease from an autopsy, and will later post a detailed answer of her analysis.
Created by software developer and entrepreneur Jeff Atwood, Coding Horror is one of the most well-known blogs in the computer programming community. Atwood states in his About Me that, “in the art of software development, studying code isn’t enough; you have to study the people behind the software, too.” With this in mind, Coding Horror’s undertakes an in-depth analysis of the minutiae of coding, and also of the people who created it. This two-pronged approach makes for a refreshing take on an otherwise technical topic. Perfect for both amateur and pro coder’s, this blog is an education in how to ‘geek out’, without losing your audience’s attention.
Authored by John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences, and environmental scientist Dana Nuccitell, this blog concentrates on climate and environmental science and discusses the public scepticism surrounding popular environmental topics. It is an interesting insight into the power of ‘expert consensus’. A must-read for those with a keen passion for climate science, Climate Consensus’ articles is both accessible and thought-provoking.
Wired is a general-interest online publication, covering technology issues for the most part. However, as the technology industry is driven by science, most people with an interest in technology are interested in science beyond the tech, and Wired’s science section is impressively robust. A lot of Wired’s science coverage has to do with technology issues (Elon Musk and Donald Trump feature prominently), but there is also plenty of fun, quirky stories.
You would think that the title of this blog goes without saying. But in this day and age, people do need the occasional reminder that intelligence is something to be admired. It’s Okay To Be Smart is the blog of a Ph.D. biologist, Joe Hanson, and is really focused on promoting the videos that he produces for various outlets. Each video is highly entertaining to watch and comes with all the production values that you’d expect to find of someone who is often on TV. It’s the perfect blog to keep an eye on and link to friends and family because often topics of interest to just about everyone will show up.
Our video pick: Why Doesn’t the Atmosphere Crush Us?
Very few fields of science inspire the masses quite like space does. The great frontier, only ever experienced by many of us through the lens of science fiction, is the very definition of exotic and wondrous, and in scientific terms, it’s also a playground for startling discoveries and revelations about the nature of everything in the universe (including us). Space.com is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in no-frills, clean, and accessible reporting about space.
Subscribing to your favourite science blogs
A quick search in Google and you can generally find whatever information you need. But sometimes the mass and diversity of material on the Internet can be overwhelming. Blogs are a valuable resource that can give analytical insights into the people, inventions and discoveries driving scientific innovation. Macro or micro, the blogs in this list engage in discussions and topics that will continue to evolve and change throughout history. Up-to-date and topical science blogs are the future for scientific research, education and outreach, a future which is being built by the blogs mentioned above.
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