I’m a top science blogger!

I’m a top science blogger!

I’m a top science blogger!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 6 2006 12:29 PM

I’m a top science blogger!

Nature is a premier magazine of science for scientists, and as such is an unquestionable authority whose authority must not be questioned.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Well, actually, I'm a scientist, so maybe I can argue. I thought it was funny that they listed me as a writer and not a scientist (if they had me as a scientist I'd still be in the top 5, not that I'm preening or anything). Now granted, I haven't done primary research for about 5 years now, but still. And really, I've done far more writing now as a popularist than as a scientist. And...

... hmmm. I may be having an identity crisis. Am I more of a science writer, or scientist? It's fully correct to say I am no longer a professional scientist, as I am no longer paid to do scientific research. And I do get paid to write, as it happens.

Holy Haleakala! Am I now a writer and not a professional scientist?

I guess it depends on what you mean by professional. For my day job, I write educational activities and related materials about astronomy, but I was hired because I'm an astronomer. So the inevitable conclusion is, I'm both.

It's funny: I know a lot of amateur astronomers who hate being called amateurs. I can understand it, since in many cases they know far more about operating a telescope than many professional astronomers (like me). But in the end it's just a label, a handy way of referencing a group. I don't care much one way or the other... or so I thought until I saw that list on Nature.com! So I guess even though intellectually I have no issues, there's a reptilian part of my brain telling me I need to be placed into a category. I think that's pretty interesting.

Now I'll go sun myself on a rock someplace.

My congrats to PZ Myers at Pharyngula for being top blogger!