I remember an episode of The Critic where Jay Sherman got abducted by an obsessed fan but was eventually saved by his life-sized cardboard cutout that kept annoying repeating over and over again, “Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book. …”
Now I have a need for such a cutout.
Today Bora and I met for coffee, and I got a chance to look at our book: The Open Laboratory: The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007 (Lulu.com, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-4357-0832-7). The printing was wonderful and a joy to look at after the frantic two weeks that I spent typesetting the book in LaTeX. The cover was less green and more blue than we’d planned, and there are plenty of errors in punctuation and spacing that I wish were caught before our deadline, but over all I’d unbiasly give my work an A. (Note: I’ve adjusted the image on this post to better approximate the published cover, I’ll do more once I get my own hard copy.)
If you want to purchase the book, you can do so from the publisher’s website. All profits of the book go to ScienceBlogging.com, which uses the money to fund the free North Carolina Science Blogging Conference and future versions of the book. We are hoping to get the book into retail distribution channels, but regardless ScienceBlogging.com will earn more royalties for copies purchased on Lulu.com than at other locations.
Feel free to donate a copy to your local library, and please talk to your local bookstore about carrying it. Also we’d love to hear from any teachers or professors that would be interested in using this anthology in their classes. In addition, I can provide a free review copy pdf to journalists. We’re hoping to convince the publisher to allow us 10 free review hard copies, but we haven’t worked it out yet.
And finally, today, Nature published its review of the anthology: Parallel Lives by Joanne Baker
BOOK REVIEWED-The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing on Blogs
by Reed Cartwright
The editor of this second anthology of the best scientific communiqu’s from the blogosphere thinks blogs offer new ways to discuss science. The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing on Blogs (Lulu.com, 2008) takes the curious approach of using dead tree format to highlight the diversity of scientific ideas, opinions and voices flowing across the Internet. Every year a different guest editor—here Reed Cartwright, a blogger and genetics and bioinformatics postdoc from North Carolina State University—picks the best posts to coincide with the Science Blogging Conference (in North Carolina on 19 January). First-hand accounts bring to life the stresses of a graduate student, a mother returning to the bench and an archaeologist’s joy at unearthing mammoth fossils. Topics tackled are as varied as the writers, from Viagra and tapeworms to trepanning. Explanations are often offered with a personal twist, such as a father’s tale of his child’s Asperger’s syndrome. The measured voices of trustworthy academics make medical research easy to swallow. If you are overwhelmed by the surge in science-related blogging and don’t know where to start, then this compilation may help you steer a course through the sea of perspectives on offer—or inspire you to start a blog yourself.
Of course, I can’t take all the credit. We had nearly 30 judges, who read subsets of the 470+ submissions, and provided me with scores to produce a short list of potential essays. Then Bora, the series editor, worked with me to trim the list to fifty-one essays, plus a poem and a comic.