“In Conversation” – science communication goes semi-pro!

I started Katatrepsis in 2011 and this is the 200th post! At the time of writing, the blog has been viewed 138,967 times by 85,866 different visitors (according to the WordPress stats). That might sound like a lot to some people, but others would scoff at such puny numbers. I think it probably puts me around the median for a science blog – I’m no superstar but some people seem to like some of my posts. There are some oddities, as well. While the most views in a day came for a post about a paper that my colleagues and I published in Nature (1,069 views in a day), the most popular post I have written was a piece on funding for breast vs prostate cancer. That post gets a lot of regular traffic as people cite my data in various arguments on other blogs (thanks, guys!).

However, I have recently had a couple of papers published on The Conversation, which describes itself as:

an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

I have found the experience of writing for the Conversation to be extremely positive, and it has been great to be associated with such a high-profile online magazine. It has been great for publicising my work and ideas, as well, and since my first article was published on 20th September I have already had >8,000 article views. Over the 9 days that my articles have been online, the posts have had roughly 900 views per day, which is pretty close to the highest number my own blog has ever had! The other great thing about the Conversation is that it allows its content to be reposted elsewhere, which has meant that my work has appeared on I F**king Love Science and Newsweek. The second article I posted (in collaboration with Martin Dallimer and Ian Kellar at the University of Leeds) has triggered a number of interesting conversations on social media about the relative merits of fake vs real nature.

All told, I’m definitely a convert. I’m not going to stop using Katatrepsis as a means for communicating my general thoughts and miscellaneous ideas, but for the bigger topics, I’m going to pitch to the Conversation. If it isn’t published there, I can always publish here, and even if it is published there, I can republish here!


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