Site Name: SciTechStory
Purpose: Tracking the impact of science and technology
Inaugurated: November 1, 2009
Blog Application: WordPress
Contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: N. H. King
From what you know about science and technology, what do you think will have the most impact on our lives in the next ten, twenty, fifty years? Will it be robotics, nanotechnology, climate change, artificial intelligence, genetic modification, synthetic biology…or all of the above, and more? The plain fact is that there are more developments in science and technology than we can personally follow. It’s difficult even for specialists in specific fields. Yet important developments happen all the time, some of them destined to change lives or even the Earth we live on. It seems useful to track these developments.
Frankly, it is impossible to know which developments are truly ‘important.’ Any predictions acquire validation (or not) from history. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the attempt. SciTechStory makes the attempt in order to winnow the flood of news about science and technology to a flow that is less overwhelming. The first step in this direction is to limit posted information to a dynamic listing of 40 (give or take) ‘Impact Areas’ – areas of science and technology most likely to affect us in the next fifty years or so. This listing, always displayed on the SciTechStory homepage, is very broad but not inclusive. There are many topic areas, such as mathematics or archeology, that are not (currently) included. This is not because these areas aren’t important, but that they are (arguably) somewhat less obvious in their impact than say climate change or robotics.
The vast majority of posts are in one of the ‘Impact Areas’ and are filtered by a subjective evaluation of their importance. That last phrase, “a subjective evaluation of their importance” is obviously a point of contention. In an ideal situation, each impact area would have a panel of experts and they would decide what’s important. That’s not going to happen soon, if ever. In the meantime, I’m exercising judgment gained over 30 years of journalism in science and technology and several years of direct experience in collating and appraising the daily articles from approximately 120 mainly internet-based sources. In short, SciTechStory is a science and technology is a selective news aggregator with background and commentary.
Most people land on SciTechStory from a search engine, and for them it hopefully provides a source of reasonably researched and informally presented information. The posts are written for people who have a general interest and probably some education in science and technology. The jargon is kept to a minimum and sometimes explained, although a certain level of knowledge about terms and concepts must be taken for granted. The style of writing and presentation is divided into seven categories, mainly to provide diversity (and levity):
NEWS posts are news articles in science and technology.
COMMENTABLE posts are short commentary on current topics.
IMPACT posts are background articles with considerable analysis and commentary.
SPIN posts cover the ‘flip side’ and sometimes the ‘dark side’ of science and technology.
ESSAY posts are typically longer and cover topics in depth.
REVIEWS covers science fiction movies (present or past).
FUNNYBONE posts provide a change of pace to sci-tech humor.
Welcome to SciTechStory.