Sunday, May 24, 2009

Should we have disclaimers at out science blogs?

I don’t remember exactly how, but I started thinking about disclaimers. I think it was because I saw one at a blog somewhere… or maybe was it on TV?...anyway….

The question I want to throw out there today is the following (which also gave the post its name): should we have disclaimers at out science blogs?
Maybe something on the lines of “The views and opinions expressed here represent only my own and not those of my employer” (or PI, etc) sort of thing, or maybe something like “these are just opinions and may contain errors”?
I’ve yet to see this sort of disclaimer on the science-related blogs I follow, although, as I mentioned, I’ve seen them around other blogs.

Sure we like to rant a little (some bloggers more than others… yes, you know who you are!) about lab work, University, grant awarding institution or even about some annoying labmate or professor, but we never use their names (or just use pretended names, on the lines of “Coronel Mustard”). Further, some bloggers don’t even use their own names. So, should we be worrying about this to the extent of having a disclaimer?
What about the science facts we give… of course we think of them of just being an opinion, and we also allow for comments: people can then express themselves which leads to a discussion, which is nothing less than the basis of science, and a great advantage of blogging. Should we also have a disclaimer for these facts?

So, here's the question I today put out there in the open, for all science-related bloggers: should we have a disclaimer?

ScienceBlips: vote it up!