Government science communication vs scientist science communication

I’m currently on a break so Diabloceratops aside, it’s been a bit quiet on the Musings of late. However, I could hardly not break cover and post this link to a little bit of coverage of Ask A Biologist. It seems the (now former) UK government sank a ton of cash into a large sci comms website which is less than accurate and despite much advertising has received very few visitors. Oddly, they pick AAB as a counter example, run on a shoestring and by the good will of researchers and with no advertising and sows that we have garnered hundreds of thousands of more visitors, (we have 500 000 to their 200 000, not 100 000 as claimed) at about 1% of the cost. It’s easy to joke that government institutes are always badly run / executed / over budget etc. and doubtless they had a fortune in administrative costs that we could side-step. Still, it is immensely satisfying to see that we seem to have done a great job and done very well for our investment.

3 Responses to “Government science communication vs scientist science communication”


  1. 1 dmaas 02/06/2010 at 10:47 pm

    Congratulations! Well-earned credit.

  2. 2 dkfennell 02/06/2010 at 11:43 pm

    Dave: You know I love AAB, but I’d be careful supporting any of Murdock’s opinion-mongers on their site or otherwise. Murdoch does not care about science. He is not making a point that AAB is good. His minions are trying to show that government support is bad.

    In the US his TV affiliates are already making fun of the “waste” of funds for digging up bones. It does not pay to take his side against any scientist — without knowing anything about it, Murdoch’s side is likely to be wrong.

    • 3 David Hone 03/06/2010 at 12:53 am

      It’s a gust post anyway, so hardly the Murdock hacks taking over!

      And in any case, while he may not be a great supporter of science, those people writing about science are, so it’s not unreasonable to praise good science writing.


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