Toward a historioriography of science & social media

I love this stuff. The idea for this panel has generated some high-quality discussion around the histsci community. Just wanted to quickly gather them here for anyone thinking about these issues–hopefully we can keep this going!

Jai Virdi excavated her 2010 article from the HSS newsletter, pecked out with a primitive stone tool on a Nokia 8210, on the use of social media by historians of science. It’s chocked full of the history of this topic and prescient reflection on some key issues. I’m blogging about blogging about blogging now, but seriously, this article is golden.

In response, Mike Thicke, over at the Bubble Chamber, posted this great discussion of Ben Cohen’s “Ayers-Onuf axis” and an alternative model for thinking about the connections among social media, popularization, and the pleasures and dangers of being a public intellectual. The comments on this are almost as good as the post itself.

Naomi Lloyd-Jones blogged about a workshop on social media, hosted by the Institute of Historical Research and Social Media Knowledge Exchange. She came away with some good rules of thumb for successful use of Twitter and blogs–and some reflections on what it all means for historians. 

Finally, just to bring together into one post some more of the secondary literature on this topic…

Here’s Ben Cohen’s HSS Newsletter article from 2008, in which he anticipates not only that there will be a thing called the internet but that a small number of historians of science will have an inexplicable drive to blog in it and about it, as well as a more recent article in Endeavour by Michael Barton, reminiscing about the formation of the Bering land bridge and the halcyon days when men were men and the mammoths frolicked and gamboled upon the verdant tundra.