Over at The Loom, Carl Zimmer muses on blogs as vehicles for scientific debate, future directions and what it all means for science writers such as himself. He makes a variety of excellent observations, not least of which is the reluctance of scientists to engage in online activities:
What I find striking, however, is how quiet it is over at PLOS One.
I suspect this situation has come about because scientists as a group are only just becoming comfortable in the blogging environment.
What always puzzles me is why life scientists are so slow to grasp the potential for online communication, given that they’re meant to be smart people always on the lookout for the latest technological developments. It’s always seemed to me that with respect to the power of computer science there are basically two types of biologist: those that get it and those that don’t. Even now with the publishing world (slowly) coming on board, a lot of scientists just seem to me to be stuck in their old ways. It’s hard not to conclude that they’re simply not interested.
Carl’s post and the comments will take you to interesting places. It was inspired by this debate on a recent paper in PNAS. Also, take a look at this prescient article entitled Internet Groupware for Scientific Collaboration – written almost seven years ago.