About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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November 5, 2007

Bright Lights and Applause?

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Posted by Derek

I see that this blog is getting creamed in the Weblog Awards voting, which is similar to what happened last year. Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy are once again fighting it out for supremacy, this year joined by the fans of Climate Audit.

That last one not a blog I've read yet, since I regard most arguing about global warming to be as much religious as scientific. In my college years I largely lost my taste for arguing with people whose views were not susceptible to change, and too many people on both sides of that one fall into that category as far as I can see.

But the fierce arguing does lead to a lot of blog traffic, that's for sure - the same goes for a lot of the discussion on Pharyngula, as far as I can see. Disputes about sulfonamides and logP don't stir up the same passions, though, but if you're inclined, throw in a vote for this site to keep things from looking too disgraceful.

Comments (17) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. Justin Liu on November 5, 2007 10:07 AM writes...

disgraceful + 1 vote

good luck

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2. Wavefunction on November 5, 2007 10:14 AM writes...

Keep up the good work Derek. We cannot expect a chemistry and drug development blog to get as much traffic as one about creationism and the sordid tales of conservative loons. But of course, chemistry is the "enabling science" and we are all glad that you blog. I really don't care how much traffic your blog gets vis a vis the others.

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3. Al on November 5, 2007 10:45 AM writes...

RealClimate (the AGW True Believer site) is far more of a hornets nest than Climate Audit (which actually manages to keep fairly on-topic regarding the actual science - most of the time). It's actually extremely illuminating to find out how poor some of the science behind the headlines actually is - I learned a lot, and now know more about bristlecone pines than I probably require.

And Derekfans, IIRC can vote for him once every 24h!

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4. eugene on November 5, 2007 11:03 AM writes...

This year, I'll try to vote more than once (since you can do it every 24 hours). I think that Derek's downfall will be the fact that he doesn't advertise this thing as heavily as his enemies... er, I mean other science bloggers.

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5. JSinger on November 5, 2007 11:49 AM writes...

A couple of weeks ago I followed a link to ScienceBlogs, and their main page was pushing the Big News Of The Day: seven interchangeable blogs crowing about how Albus Dumbledore's newly disclosed sexual orientation would doubtless enrage some (purely hypothetical) religious conservatives.

Meanwhile, you, Milkshake, Kyle and the rest were all going on about brominating terpenes, or whatever. I know it's not as lucrative in pageviews as driving traffic from furious atheists (I'd never heard of Bad Astronomy before -- did he used to write about astronomy but gave into temptation, or has it always been mostly "vocal about the issue of religion and politics"?) but lots of us are glad the chemists keep talking about real science.

Frankly, my projects need all the help they can get, and if God wants to chip in, He's more than welcome to...

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6. Deepak on November 5, 2007 12:17 PM writes...

FWIW, I voted for you, even though it can be difficult getting past the Scienceblogs crowd,

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7. JH on November 5, 2007 1:57 PM writes...

I think the greatest value of arguing in the internet with people whose opinions aren't going to change is the fact that there might be great many folks who are reading, but not taking part in the argument themselves. They are less likely to take it personal than the opponent, and their opinions are more susceptible to change. Then there are arguments that are indeed futile.

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8. SNP on November 5, 2007 10:46 PM writes...

You've got my vote already. But if you'd like to throw a little red meat, you can certainly weigh in on Andy Grove's words of wisdom...

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9. John Spevacek on November 6, 2007 8:21 AM writes...

As they say in LaLa Land, "It is an honor just to be nominated!"

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10. Sleepless in SSF on November 6, 2007 10:49 AM writes...

I voted for you today, Derek, but going forward I am going to alternate my votes between you and Climate Audit. I don't want to start an AGW war here, but no matter how you feel about AGW I would recommend that everyone at least have a look at the work that Steve McIntyre is doing over at CA. I have been shocked at some of the lax practices tolerated by climate researchers and exposed by Steve.

Derek writes more clearly and much more entertainingly, but in the long run CA may turn out to be much more important. I would argue that it is providing services that are necessary to science (peer review, replication, etc) that have been abdicated in the current climate (sorry) by journal editors and the scientific community at large.

If you find Steve's work compelling, or even interesting, I would also recommend that you look at the work Anthony Watts is doing over at There is at least some chance that we may not even know what we think we know about surface temperatures.

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11. Keith Robison on November 6, 2007 12:01 PM writes...

Depressing that Junk Science, which is an ideologically-driven blog, is getting more votes than you are. I've put my 1 vote in.

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12. Analytical Scientist on November 6, 2007 2:59 PM writes...

You have my vote, Derek.

It's an honor to be nominated...especially with the handicap of an obscure subject matter. It's not really fair to be measured against blogs about global warming.

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13. caveat bettor on November 6, 2007 3:10 PM writes...

yours is by far the best, and i voted for you.

a prophet has no honor in his hometown.

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14. Gregory Block on November 6, 2007 3:17 PM writes...

Blog for blogs sake, don't let the hype get to your head!

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15. TFox on November 6, 2007 6:57 PM writes...

Re: Climate Audit. I stopped arguing over there once it was clear that not only did Steve McIntyre not understand the math that he was attempting to critique, he didn't care that he didn't understand. There's a reason that scientists don't take the skeptics seriously. That was a couple of years ago, but it looks like he's still at it.

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16. MrPete on November 9, 2007 1:47 AM writes...

TFox, I don't know your qualifications to critique Steve M's math skills, but Wegman and other eminent statisticians have 100% agreed with his statistical assessments.

I suppose you could be qualified to go up against the entire statistical profession. I know I'm not :)

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17. crescentdave on November 12, 2007 5:31 AM writes...

It's a spurious poll, heavily slanted towards sites already getting lots of hits. Add the (sub)genius capability of voting once every 24 hours and you've motivated a whole new level of interactive exhortation (vote early, vote often!).

Ah well. I'm sure the weblog owner is making advertising dollars and that's all that really matters.

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