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NZ's largest science blog network goes live

NZ's largest science blog network goes live

The Science Media Centre today launches a major new science communication effort with the arrival of Sciblogs, a network of science blogs covering everything from clinical health to climate change.

Sciblogs debuts with 26 bloggers, including scientists from universities, Crown Research Institutes and private research organisations the length of the country. It will be the largest online hub for science-related content relevant to New Zealanders and act as a forum of discussion on the important issues facing society.

Syndicating their work through Sciblogs are well-established bloggers like Open Parachute's Dr Ken Perrott, MacDoctor's Dr Jim McVeagh, Hot Topic's Gareth Renowden and Dr Alison Campbell, the founder of BioBlog.

Newcomers joining the line-up include University of Otago marine ecologist and 2008 MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year Dr Rebecca McLeod, Victoria University climate scientist Dr Andy Reisinger and theoretical physicist Dr Shaun Hendy, who is deputy director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

A full list of our bloggers can be found here.

"In business and politics, health and agriculture, science features prominently in all aspects of our lives these days," says Peter Griffin, manager of the Science Media Centre. 

"But often there's little decent discussion of the science itself. New Zealand has some great science bloggers, but they don't get the recognition they deserve because they are scattered across the web."

Sciblogs brings the best science bloggers together in one place to form the largest local online community dedicated to science. Sciblog contributors have full editorial and creative control of their blogs and new Scibloggers will be added over time.

The Sciblogs platform, built by Auckland web developer Marker Studio, is the first major implementation of the opensource Wordpress MU (multiple user) blogging system in New Zealand.

"The system is totally scalable so we can add new bloggers in a matter of minutes," says Griffin.

Ultimately the goal is to start ongoing conversations on the big issues, everything from genetic modification and climate science to health care and our use of new technology.

"It's a bit of an experiment for New Zealand where the blogosphere is dominated by political pundits and where the conversation can often turn nasty," says Griffin.

"But we think there's an appetite for intelligent comment on scientific issues and Sciblogs will be central to that."

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