A new analysis of science blogging and career prospects has appeared in Science’s Career Magazine. Here’s a quick summary.

Blogging about science is a hot topic these days. Aside from the raging debates about whether it can adequately replace science journalism or support it, can blogging about your science seriously affect your career prospects?

According to this new analysis by Vivienne Raper, appearing in Science’s Career Magazine… it depends on how you use a blog. As we have seen in our previous post, blogs can be powerful communications tools that can be used to successfully reach out to the public via the media.

It is clear, however, that not all academics see this benefit. Blogs might help, but many institutions value research output above all else as the main factor in career progress. That is also a fair point.  Blogs in this case, might be viewed by superiors as no more than a hobby or at worse a distraction from the day job. That might not be so good for your career but we can sort of see their point of view.

However, the major highlight from this article (for us) is the case of Greg Gbur who blogs here. According to Gbur, he has found that blogging has helped him in his career after receiving “good scores” for “broader impact” assessments in grant applications submitted to the US National Science Foundation (NSF). That is an important point because “broader impact” is one of two categories the NSF use to make funding decisions. According to the article, NSF spokesperson Bobbie Mixon has said “blogging would be considered a broader impact… depending on the specific proposal.”

Assuming that grant applications actually get funded, we think any efforts to promote your science (be it blogging or shouting from the roof tops about science), is a good idea if it helps to keep your research funded and you in a job. Many institutions say they value research output. We will guarantee you that they love it when you bring in the grants and the cold hard cash.

We suggest you read the rest of the article as it contains a very balanced consideration of the do’s and don’t's of blogging and how it might enhance or hinder your career prospects.

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