ScienceBlogs Losing Bloggers Over Questionable Pepsi Deal

Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:43 AM Bookmark and Share
Update:  According to this post by PZ Myers, the Pepsi blog is gone. Science writer Carl Zimmer also chimes in.

If you don't follow the blog "Good Math, Bad Math" you should check it out - well, you should check it out once it finds a more permanent home. It looks like blogger Mark Chu-Carroll is done with ScienceBlogs, and headed elsewhere. He explains why here.

ScienceBlogs recently decided to host a blog on nutrition called "Food Frontiers," but it's run by the Pepsi company -- basically, opening up the potential for corporate pseudoscience or spin to appear along side blog posts from dedicated individuals without such conflicts of interest.

Basically, ScienceBlogs is selling their bloggers' science-cred to a corporation (i.e. a for-profit entity), with huge potential for some serious conflicts of interest. Not cool.

That said, some effort went to address these concerns before the blog went public (snippets from their first post, basically a welcome page):
PepsiCo’s R&D Leadership Team discusses the science behind the food industry’s role in addressing global public health challenges. This is an extension of PepsiCo’s own Food Frontiers blog.

This blog is sponsored by PepsiCo. All editorial content is written by PepsiCo's scientists or scientists invited by PepsiCo and/or ScienceBlogs. All posts carry a byline above the fold indicating the scientist's affiliation and conflicts of interest.

... As part of this partnership, we'll hear from a wide range of experts on how the company is developing products rooted in rigorous, science-based nutrition standards to offer consumers more wholesome and enjoyable foods and beverages. The focus will be on innovations in science, nutrition and health policy. In addition to learning more about the transformation of PepsiCo's product portfolio, we'll be seeing some of the innovative ways it is planning to reduce its use of energy, water and packaging.

You can read more about ScienceBlogs deciding to host a Pepsi blog alongside their other blog posts in the news here and here. To hear more from other sciencebloggers, you've got plenty of options including The Thoughtful Animal, Common Knowledge, Laelaps, GrrlScientist, Adventures in Ethics and Science, and some of those who have left ScienceBlogs over the Pepsi debacle: Neurotopia, Neuron Culture, and Science After Sunclipse.

You can glean more from the listing of the past 24 hours of ScienceBlogs posts, here.

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