Could science blogs become part of scientific publishing?
As a fabulous Easter visit with my family and a looming grant deadline has made it difficult to get off a real post, Bora Zivkovic (the famous Coturnix) at Science & Politics gets me off the hook with his treatise on what science blogs are.
Most interesting are his comments on how he has taken to posting some of his own hypotheses and unpublished data:
"What does publishing a hypothesis mean? I guess there are two possibilities:
A) "This is my hypothesis and I am staking the territory here. I intend to test this hypothesis in the near future and you BETTER NOT try to scoop me!"
B) "This is my hypothesis, but I have no intention to follow it up with actual research. However, I'd love to see it tested. Please someone test it! And if you do, you will have to cite me in the list of references as your source for this hypothesis""
One of my more popular posts on a hypothesis whereby a fatality might have resulted from hallucinogen use, usually quite rare, meets most of Bora's definition of part B.
I don't work in this field but I used to teach about it. Therefore, I'd be interested if a real CNS pharmacology lab were to test my hypothesis on the potential for food-drug interactions with an herbal concoction used by the Uniao do Vegetal religious group if ingested while also taking an antidepressant drug capable of inhibiting the CYP2D6 drug-metabolizing enzyme.
Revisiting my post on this topic makes me realize how lengthy and convoluted my discussion reads. However, this is my most highly-read post out of the 50 or so I've done to date. Perhaps I'll come back to this with a more concise and clear post after my current deadlines.
In the meantime, Bora's excellent analysis makes engaging and thought-provoking reading for anyone who writes or reads science blogs.