Adam Bly, CEO and Visionaire in Chief of Seed Media Group (to which Scienceblogs.com belongs), has pulled the plug on the Pepsico blog titled "Food Frontiers".
Undoubtedly he hopes this will stop the hemorrhaging of talent by giving the fence-sitters a way out. This is a big backdown on Bly's part, make no mistake. It gives all of us (you know I blog over there, with co-blogger PhysioProf, right?) some very serious cover.
Will we take it?
Some stalwarts of the ScienceBlog community have already jumped ship. Lots of the journalist types have as well. I differentiate these two because there IS a palpable distinction between the way the journalist-leaning and book-author leaning bloggers approach the ScienceBlogs experience and the way just-bloggers do.
This is the focus of my current internal discussion, btw.
I'm not a journalist or a book author. I didn't join Sb to give myself a platform for promoting my professional career. I didn't do it to sell books. I don't have their sensibilities when it comes to the alleged "Chinese Wall" of journalism and traditional news media.
What I DO have is a tremendous amount of scorn for what purports to be "ethics" in journalism. I see their obsession with appearances, the "Chinese wall" and confusion of advertising with news-ifying because they have to. They have brought this shit upon themselves.
My conceit is that we scientists have not quite done so yet, although the problems exemplified by the ongoing (and going, and going) Nemeroff affair should give me pause in my confidence.
Nevertheless, our normal workaday conflicts are, I believe out there in our declarations of grant funding sources. This is relevant to our industry, not blogging of course. Pseudonymous blogging makes it slightly more complicated but I believe the basics are covered. Sharing a blog collective with a corporate PR blog does not strike at my core the way a scientist who fails to disclose material conflicts of interest for his scientific writing does.
So I'm having to think a little harder about whether I want to continue with the borg.