Unconformity

A post by Chris RowanA post by Anne JeffersonAfter some discussion, Anne and I are putting Highly Allochthonous on hiatus whilst we consider our future here on Scienceblogs.
This decision is not made lightly. But the events of the last 24 hours have forced us to consider whether we can continue to contribute here without damaging our public and professional credibility.
Seed Media run this space and can therefore invite whoever they want to contribute to it; but allowing the employees of a major multinational to blog, not in a personal capacity, but on behalf of that multinational, raises serious questions about impartiality and conflicts of interest that, as scientists, we find hard to ignore. However, regardless of how the current furore is resolved, it has merely added to our feeling that although we have both enjoyed, and benefited immensely from, our time here at Scienceblogs, the network is moving in a direction that we may not want to follow.

Siccar_Point.jpg
Hutton’s Unconfomity, Siccar Point. Here, deposition began again after some time and upheaval…

No long-term decision has been made on future blogging, except there will be future blogging, at some place on the Internet. Hopefully you will join us again when we work out where that will be.

Categories: bloggery

Comments (19)

  1. Ron Schott says:

    You’re more than welcome, Chris and Anne (and Erik Klemetti, too), to have some space to blog at the Geology Home Companion. Mi blog es su blog!

  2. Sad situation. Whatever choice you make, I’ll remain a loyal reader (and lurker).
    Good luck!

  3. Chris says:

    Hi Chris.
    Deeply sorry to hear the news. Likewise, I will remain a loyal follower to the blog, wherever it may end up.
    I’m a graphics bod, as well as being ex Geol alumni, so any help you need, just give me a nod.
    Best,
    Another Chris.

  4. Geoff says:

    I haven’t followed your blog, but agree with your disappointment over Scienceblog’s newest addition. Whatever your decision, good luck!

  5. Hank says:

    Serious people who write good stuff always have an audience waiting to read it.

  6. Maitri says:

    Sorry to hear this. On the bright side, in this day of the feedreader, it’s just a matter of updating/changing the feed which is little effort on our part compared with the service you provide. I know you’ve built up a brand, credibility and a following here but content is king and people will follow it wherever it goes. Good luck and I will read you wherever you decide to set up shop again.

  7. Brian Romans says:

    What Maitri said. I don’t know about others, but I follow a handful of blogs here at Sb because I like the writing and content … and I’ll follow them wherever they go.

  8. cisko says:

    I’ll be reading you, wherever you post!

  9. Jackie says:

    Hey, we need more earth science bloggers at Nature blogs!

  10. Divalent says:

    Just curious: can you tell us more about why it is a big deal to you guys? I mean, its not like Pepsico is going to be posting on your pages. And it not like any reader (even “drive bys”) are going to think the two of you are backed, influenced, paid-off, or being censored (implicitly or explicitly) by Pepsico.
    I mean, if you went to Blogspot or some other host, does the content of other blogs at those places reflect on your blog? Maybe I’m unusual, but I don’t view your blog and the other SciBlogs I read (or any others that I visit at other hosts) as representing anything other than the independent people that post there. (And I’d bet most of your readers are savy enough to know that as well.)
    Am I missing something?

  11. EKoh says:

    If you guys and Erik (Eruptions) are boycotting, Seed media has something to think about.
    @10 its the same thing as Exxon-Mobil writing an energy column in the NY Times. It may have good content with regards to oil exploration and production, but would be suspect in say the amount of oil resources.
    It further blurs the line between organizations created for conducting business and actual human beings. Besides, Pepsico already has a Food Frontiers blog, why start another that mimics the research and ideas of individual scientists ans science writers acting of their own accord.
    Pepsico already has plenty of advertising and PR. They’re hardly martyrs in this.

  12. Clay says:

    Make sure you post up where you move to if you move.
    I wonder what we will see next, a Phillip Morris blog?

  13. Sandbian says:

    What is this latest addition to their blogs that has caused this?

  14. I read the blogs I read because either they are in the geoblog reader, or someone in one of the blogs I read mentioned them and I clicked on the link and liked them enough to add them to my GoogleReader page. Most of them I read right in Google, only clicking through to the blog if I feel inspired to comment. As such I don’t ever see any other blogs hosted in the same general area as the ones I read. If you hadn’t mentioned the above, I’d have had no idea that Pepsi were blogging, and am not curious enough to look for it. From my perspective, it makes no difference who else is blogging, where. So long as you guys post here to where you move, or it stays on the geoblog feed (likely!) I don’t care where you blog…

  15. Passerby says:

    Might want to consider An Inconvenient Truth.
    Eighty percent of all geology grads are employed in the mining and petroleum industries.
    These two industries are responsible for a motherlode of contaminate pollution issues. If you knew just how much it influences human and environmental health, you might just have a twinge of unease here.
    You trod a very slipper slope of ethical challenge here.
    Without hesitation, from an environmental toxicology standpoint, I can say flat out that energy and mining sectors have impaired global human and environmental health a thousand-fold over the carbonated beverage industry and it’s addicted followers.

  16. Maitri says:

    @15: And if geoscientists who work for a mining/petroleum company set up a ScienceBlog under the auspices of that company, the concern would be exactly the same. (Disclosure: I am a former oil geoscientist and started to delurk on geo/science blogs only after quitting the industry.)

  17. EKoh says:

    @16 exactly. We have to distinguish between an individual writing independently of their employer and one writing as a duty of their employment.
    I’ll use an example that I know young Dr. Klemetti would enjoy:
    While a member of the Boston Red Sox, Curt Schilling wrote his own blog. His thoughts and words (which many found annoying), not those of the Red Sox organization and not as part of his duties to the club.
    Now imagine that ESPN offered to host Schill’s blog. A lot of sportswriters with blogs would probably be annoyed, but it would still be Schilling’s thoughts and words and probably some insights to life inside the locker room etc. However, if the Red Sox paid to have a blog in their name, it would be quite a different story. Then we have nothing more than extension of the same Sox’ PR you can find on their own website. Putting the same material on a third party site is nothing more than organizational promotion mimicking the independent opinion and analysis of an indvidual.
    Besides organizations created for a purpose (such as business) are not the same as human beings.

  18. EKoh says:

    Oops, got confused with tabs and thought I was still on Eruptions (hence the reference to the Eruptions host). Sentiment remains the same.
    Hope Anne and Chris don’t feel slighted.

  19. Solius says:

    Where ever you guy/gals are, I look forward to your next post.