20 Sep 2007

Facebook - science meets social networking

In my recent look at Web 2.0 I noted that "Facebook is more for play than for work". I underestimated it. Facebook has exploded in popularity since they removed the need to belong to a recognised school or university, and the addition of applications in May has given it an extra boost. BioMed Central has now jumped onto the Web 2.0 bandwagon, with the new functionality of including links to social network sites - including Facebook - on each article, which has been well received. Facebook has a plethora of groups, allowing people to easily discuss any number of topics, and has a growing number of applications, some useful, some fun (like Scrabulous, the Scrabble app), some totally pointless (like Zombies). There are now a host of science-related groups and a handful of applications, and I'm going to list just a few that I've come across, some of which I use myself.

Facebook 'friends' tend to be people you've actually met in real life (LinkedIn is the real professional networking site), but I do have two 'friends' who I've only 'met' electronically, and one of them is Bora Zivkovic, of Blog Around the Clock fame and lately PLoS ONE. However, I may meet Bora if I make it to the 2008 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference, for which I received an invite through... Facebook.

I have almost certainly missed your favourite group or application - if so, why not leave a comment? I might even accept a Facebook friend request.

General sciency stuff

Science and Technology in Society
Neuroscience and Brain Studies
Cognitive Science
Support Stem Cell Research
ScienceHack Science Videos
Folding@Home Protein Researcher
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Integrative Medicine International
National Center for Science Education
British Research Funding E-petition
Pro-Test Cancer/Medical Research
All groups with Common Interest: Science

Open access

Librarians for open access
Creative Commons fan club
Access to Research Now!
Help make NIH-funded research findings freely available to everyone!


Nurture by Nature
New Scientist
SEED Magazine
Library Student Journal
Open Medicine
HighWire Press appreciation society
NEJM Fan Club
Student BMJ readers ...!
RCSI Student Medical Journal

Science blogging

Science Bloggers
Science Writers
Adventures in Science and Ethics
ScienceBlogs fan club
Stranger Fruit
A Blog Around The Clock
Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique
Hard Bloggin' Scientists
The DNA Network
Savage Minds
Flog Blog, to add blog posts to your Facebook profile.


The James Randi Educational Foundation
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (my religion is 'Pastafarian' on Facebook)
Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn
Homeopathy is Pseudoscience
"The Great Global Warming Swindle" is a swindle
Charles Darwin Has a Posse
Prof. Steve Steve is my Hero

Just for fun

Null Hypothesis - The Journal of Unlikely Science (and an application, The Prof's Weird Fact Box)
The Official PHD Comics Group (Piled Higher and Deeper also has an application giving a feed of the comic to your profile)
Grad Students: they're Not Bad People, they Just Made Terrible Life Choices
You know you've worked too long in a lab when
We look so sexy in our labcoats, we need safety goggles... for protection
We're scientists AND we're sexy!
Argh, the lab fairy has screwed up my experiments again!

Two groups close to my heart

The Lomas Lab (I'm also supporting alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency awareness, as it was what my research was on)
Oxford Biologists Reunite!


p.s. After posting this, I discovered a Facebook campaign that I should share. Nothing to do with science, but my hippy, liberal nature means I've got to flag this up:


Ricardo Vidal said...

Nice post. Facebook is definitely the place the be as regards to social networking. Although a bit packed with useless applications, it is a good place to contact others with related interests.

And hey, thanks for mentioning The DNA Network group. It's growing pretty quickly and we have some familiar over there.

Stew said...

And speaking of useless applications: Bookshare

(end shameless plug)

I'm surprised that so many STM publishers have groups. Are any of them doing anything particuarly Facebook-y?

We sort of are at NPG with event invitations etc. but it's difficult to see how social and professional networking can connect.

coturnix said...

Facebook rocks and scientists/bloggers are using it to the fullest.