Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Calling South African Science Bloggers

Update: the carnival has been launched. See also the substantive update.

South Africa needs science and South Africa needs prominent scientific voices. Unfortunately, like the media in much of the rest of the world, South Africa's media is not nearly welcoming enough to the skeptical and scientific views of the world. Luckily, we have great examples from the United States and elsewhere of how self-publication through blogs can affect public discourse, promoting science and acting as a counterweight to indifference, ignorance, and gullibility. However, unlike our comrades elsewhere, South African science bloggers are unconnected and not organized. I propose to change that...

Here are some suggestions. (Please let me know what you think of these and whether you'd be interested in participating. Also, other ideas are more than welcome).

  1. We need to keep in contact with each other - we're a small community right now, so we can all read each other's blogs, contact each other and so on. This will allow us to coordinate and react to developments particularly relevant to South Africa.
  2. We need to promote each other's blogs: I think we ought to create a South African Science Blogroll that we can put on our respective pages. (A bit like the Atheist Blogroll, but much smaller).
  3. A monthly South African science / skepticism blog carnival would be a great way to draw traffic and promote our cause.

Things you can do: firstly, if you are a South African science or skeptical blogger, let me know via email (ionian.enchantment@gmail.com) or by commenting on this post. Secondly, spread the word - please blog about this initiative and link to this page. Lastly, contribute your ideas: let's have a public discussion about how best we can coordinate our activities and support one another.

South African science blogs I know about other than my own:


  1. I am in favour of listings, interaction, carnivals, you have it. Keep me posted. I am linking to this post on my blog.

  2. I support this idea 100%. Will link to this post on my blog and check back here regularly to see what happens.

  3. Thanks Darthfishy - I'll add your blog to the list. And I'm glad to have discovered it, I'm adding it to my rss!

  4. Absolutely. I agree that increasing the general interconnectedness of all things rational in South Africa can only serve to make us stronger. www.vood00.blogspot.com

  5. Great! Please spread the word, and send me your contact details via ionian.enchantment@gmail.com.

  6. Good idea. It's great that there are so many skeptical blogs popping up everywhere. Would be useful to have some cooperation between them. I will be pointing people to this post ;)

  7. Thanks, Bluegray. Do you have a blog? Is it "The Skeptic Detective"?

  8. No, that's not me. I run the site skeptic.za.org.
    The Skeptic Detective is Angela: See here

    I also started a thread to keep track of skeptical blogs: South African Skeptic/Science Bloggers Unite

  9. Oh, thanks.

    By the way: will all of you who haven't done so already please email me? I think sharing email addresses between all of us would be a good idea. And it will allow me to contact all of you with updates about SA Science Blogging (I'm still working on the name...) and let you know when the carnival is out, and so on.

  10. Emailed you already (thanks to bluegray) but for the record I think this initiative is great.

  11. Thanks Ewan. I hope you participate!

  12. Hi all
    I've been writing, well attempting to write, a skeptical blog this year based on a uniform format. The idea is that each entry will included 10 reasons why I think "X" is pseudoscience. The idea will be to give 10 facts about a subject (e.g. homeopathy) that most people haven't thought about, but which would certainly bring into doubt the efficacy of the subject. The idea is that if I write enough entries, I could potential put together a "Beginners guide to Rational Thinking/Skepticism" book.

    It's called "Pause and Consider" and you can find it at:

    Tom Maydon
    (Jhb, RSA)