Science Borealis, which is a Canadian science blog aggregator (an online location where you can find approximately 100 Canadian science blogs), is surveying blog readers in partnership with Dr. Paige Jarreau; further down this posting, I’m extending their invitation to participate *(deadline: Dec. 14, 2015)* but first a few details about Dr. Jarreau and the research.
About Dr. Paige Jareau
It seems she’s a photographer, as well as, a researcher,
Macro image of the eye of an endangered California Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. Credit: Paige Jarreau
You can find more of her photographs here.
Jarreau doesn’t seem to have updated her profiles in a while but here are two (one from her blog From the Lab Bench on the SciLogs.com blogging network and one from her academic webpage,
I am a Bio/Nanotechnology scientist turned journalist, with an M.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering. Science is my interest, but writing is my passion. I translate science into story, and my dream is to inspire a love for science in every reader. I am also a new PhD student at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, focusing in science communications and policy. I currently conduct research on the communication of science—specifically climate science—to various publics, and I write about all things science on a daily basis. Please feel free to ask me questions anytime, and follow me on Twitter @FromTheLabBench.
I’m always ready for a challenge, and I live to be inspired by science.
I will earn my PhD in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University in May 2015, and will soon be a post-doctoral researcher at the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU (Fall 2015-Spring 2016). I currently study communication practices at the intersection of science communication and new media.
Her PhD dissertation is titled: All the Science That Is Fit to Blog: An Analysis of Science Blogging Practices and this is the portion of the abstract available for viewing,
This dissertation examines science blogging practices, including motivations, routines and content decision rules, across a wide range of science bloggers. Previous research has largely failed to investigate science blogging practices from science bloggers’ perspective or to establish a sociological framework for understa…
It seems that Jarreau has turned her attention to science blog readers for her latest research.
Her latest work began with phase one in October 2015. Here’s the announcement from her Oct. 21, 2015 posting on From the Lab Bench (Scilogs.com), Note: A link has been removed,
Have you ever read one of these science blogs? Then head on over to fill out a readership survey for their blogs! We will learn much more about why people read science blogs, and you’ll get awesome prizes for participating, from science art to cash!
(Note – you have to completely fill out a readership survey for one of these blogs before taking the survey for another one of these blogs – but the survey will be shorter for the second blog you fill it out for!)
The survey closes on November 20th  at midnight central US time!
In phase two, Jarreau has teamed up with Science Borealis, which started out as an aggregator for Canadian science blogs but has refashioned itself (from the Science Borealis About us page),
An inclusive digital science salon featuring Canadians blogging about a wide array of scientific disciplines. Science Borealis is a one-stop shop for the public, media, educators, and policy makers to source Canadian science information.
I wish they weren’t claiming to be “inclusive.” It’s too much like somebody introducing themselves as a “nice” or “kind” or … person. The truth is always the opposite.
Getting back to this latest phase of Jarreau’s research, approximately 20 Canadian science bloggers are participating through Science Borealis rather than the independent blog participation from phase one.
Extending the invitation
*From a Nov. 24, 2015 Science Borealis email,*
… Dr. Paige Jarreau from Louisiana State University and 20 other Canadian science bloggers [are conducting] a broad survey of Canadian science blog readers. Together we are trying to find out who reads science blogs in Canada, where they come from, whether Canadian-specific content is important to them and where they go for trustworthy, accurate science news and information. Your feedback will also help me learn more about my own blog readers.
It only take 5 minutes [I’d say more like 20 minutes as there’s more than one ‘essay’ question in addition to the questions where you tick off a box] to complete the survey. Begin here: http://bit.ly/ScienceBorealisSurvey
If you complete the survey you will be entered to win one of eleven prizes! A $50 Chapters Gift Card, a $20 surprise gift card, 3 Science Borealis T-shirts and 6 Surprise Gifts! PLUS everyone who completes the survey will receive a free hi-resolution science photograph from Paige’s Photography!
Having completed the survey, I do have a couple of comments. First, I’m delighted that this research is being conducted. I have stumbled across similar research some years ago but never had the chance to participate. (For anyone interested in previous research in this area),
Science, New Media, and the Public by Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele. Science 4 January 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6115 pp. 40-41 DOI: 10.1126/science.1232329
While the paper is behind a paywall, the link will take to you to the paper’s abstract and, more interestingly, a list of papers which have cited Brossard’s and Scheufele’s work.
Unfortunately, I found the survey a little confusing in that I was answering questions about Science Borealis as if it were a blog but I use it as an aggregator. (I used the link from Science Borealis, I believe if you use the link from here you will be asked about FrogHeart first.) Science Borealis does have a blog which I don’t read often as it represents a diversity of science interests and those don’t always coincide with mine.
Also, I was sorry to see the age demographic breakdowns which were fine for certain ages but started at the age of 15. While I realize it’s unlikely that I or my colleagues have many readers under the age of 15, it would be interesting to find out if there are any. As well, Vancouver’s Science World has a blog that’s on Science Borealis and chances are good that they might have child readers, assuming they might be participating. Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the last category was age 60 and up. We have an aging population in Canada and the United States and weirdly no one questions this huge category of 60 or 64 and up. It seems obvious to me but there’s a difference between being 60 and 75, which researchers will never find out because they don’t bother asking the question. It’s not just social science and marketing researchers, more worryingly, it includes medical researchers. Yes, all those research studies telling you a drug is safe almost always don’t apply to anyone over the age of 55.
Those comments aside, here again is the link to the survey,
Good Luck on winning a prize.
*’From a Nov. 24, 2015 Science Borealis email’ added on Nov. 25, 2015 at 1240 hours PDT.
*'(deadline for participating: Dec. 14, 2015)’ added Nov. 25, 2015 at 1535 hours PDT and changed from ‘Dec. 16, 2015’ to ‘Dec. 14, 2015’ on Dec. 14, 2015.
*Note: I have not been able to find a mention of if, when, and/or where the results of the survey will be disseminated or published. Added Nov. 25, 2015 at 1535 hours PDT.*