Saturday, April 18, 2009

Praise for "Not Exactly Rocket Science"

A Blog Review.

Perusing the corridors of the free buffet of information out there precious few minds deliver a steady stream of clear, insightful, and inspiring material to ponder. One shining star has emerged for me. This is Ed Yong, author of Not Exactly Rocket Science.

While reading some background on why Ed writes his blog I came to the following sentence which sums up the way I feel about sharing information over the internet through thought-posting.

And I prefer to talk talking about science than attacking anti-science. Many people already do that very well and I appreciate the need for that approach in order to defend ourselves from nonsciencical rubbish. But I don't personally believe that bashing creationists or homeopathists is going to inspire people to take an interest in science in the first place. The things that have done that for me are popular science books, wildlife documentaries, good teaching etc, things all united by the common theme of making science seem less complicated and more beautiful. That's the approach I fancy.

"Taking on the System" a book by Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga presented one thought that really jumped out at me and stuck in my head. That is that the purpose of a blog is not to tell people what they SHOULD think but to provide people with the information they need to form their own opinions. I did not agree with many other points Mr. Zúñiga made in this book but this is certainly a worthy ideal that I feel Mr. Yong embodies by making statements as I have just displayed.

For individuals who do not "believe" in evolution it is not the duty of scientists to berate them and tell them they are wrong but rather to present the beautiful data demonstrating evolution in action. It is not a climate expert's job to have a screaming match with an oil & gas investor on the message boards of big newspapers but rather to simply clarify their explanation of the data by further refining their delivery of the facts.

On top of these lofty standards Ed Yong has set for himself he also infuses his blog with wonderful mental excursions down scientifically related cultural avenues. His review of the evolution of Ballet serves to bridge understanding by drawing in readers that might otherwise give no care to the thought of evolving cultural elements.

Not Exactly Rocket Science takes a positive tone in diffusing big ideas and intricate data in a most accessible fashion. In a sea of information this is one island I would suggest revisiting over and over again.

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