How to Know You're Reading a Legit Science Blog.
Whilst I was preparing a new blog post, I decided to take a break on Facebook (that’s just my way of glorifying procrastination- LOL) and I saw this post – I'm not going to say by who – and it was from a blog claiming to give the truth about cancer and how a certain type of chemical in food causes obesity and “excites the brain to death”. If you know me personally, or if you realised this through my posts, I absolutely HATE scaremongering and I hate using that technique of writing in my blog. They even use this technique to scare people into not taking protective measures against possible deadly diseases - i.e. anti-vaxxers. If you want to explain something, explain it without using excessive comparisons in order to scare people. Fear isn't the right way to explain science.
There are bloggers out there that fill their blogs with pseudoscience; they are self-proclaimed experts in their chosen field, especially after they've graduated from Google University. My blog aims to debunk this pseudoscience that tends to spread in the blogosphere. You just have to remember: anybody can write anything on the internet. The issue is to find out who to trust.
So I would like to help you know when you’re reading legit science on the internet.
Here’s some things to look out for:
1 References, references, references!
At the end of each post, science bloggers usually state where they got their sources from – that’s all the scientific information, claims and research. There will usually be links for proper scientific journals either at the end of the post or linked throughout the article.
2 About profiles
Most blogs have an about page where the author(s) include a little biography about themselves, detailing their educational background and why they started their blog. Science bloggers will always list their academic backgrounds (see mine above) and most of educated at various degree levels in scientific subjects.
3 They’re not against chemicals!
Not all chemicals are bad and it’s the dose that makes the poison. Sounds cliché but it has to be said. Water is a chemical; chocolate contains chemicals and so does coffee – drinking / eating one of those in excess can cause detrimental effects. Water overdose is called hyponatremia. Any good science blog won’t have posts against chemicals in general, their posts will always be specific and detailed to a particular molecule they would like to write about.
Here’s a really condensed list of my favourite and trust-able science blogs!
Compound Interest (to understand the chemistry of things)
The Scientific Beauty (for cosmetic chemistry and a little bit of fashion for academics)
The Chemical Blog (chemistry related blog)
ASAP Science (YouTube videos explaining everyday science)