Bad Astronomy picked as one of Time.com's 25 Best Blogs of 2009

By Phil Plait | February 17, 2009 8:47 am
Time Best Blog of 2009

Time.com has announced its picks for Best Blogs of 2009, and I am very honored that Bad Astronomy — hey, that’s here! — is one of them.

They seemed to like the idea of a skeptical blog, which is probably what I like most about what they wrote. It’s very gratifying indeed to know that people out there appreciate a reality-based opinion. One of my overarching goals is to avoid dogma and bias and use only factual evidence on which to base my opinions. I know some people will disagree with this, but in general I think that’s because they don’t like the conclusions I reach. But I have found over the years that the hardest thing to accept as a skeptic is that the Universe doesn’t care what you think is true, it only cares about what is true.

There’s a big difference, sometimes.

So I’m thrilled and honored to be on the Time.com list, especially with such great company like Boing Boing, Metafilter, Life Hacker, Mashable, and Google. I swear I will use this award only for good, and not to pimp out my book or my Twitter stream. Except for just then. Or maybe in the future.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff

Comments (83)

  1. uselesstwit

    Well done. You definitely deserve it.

  2. Hey, that’s great Phil. Congratulations.

  3. Jack Mitcham
  4. Hooray Phil! Way to represent the skeptical community at large, you old smartie.

  5. Top 25 is pretty darn good out of a field of several jasquillion.

  6. IVAN3MAN

    Phil Plait, you might like this T-shirt:

    SMUG T-SHIRT
    (Click on the image for product details.)

  7. Old Muley

    Way to go Phil! Your blog is actually in my top two…

  8. Geek Goddess
  9. Sunny Ng

    Way to go, Phil! Keep on rockin’!

  10. The Central Scrutinizer
  11. Well deserved. Congrats!

  12. Tim

    Hooray! Glad to hear that SOMEone in the mainstream media appreciates reality. And, of course, the awesomeness that is the field of astronomy. Congrats!

  13. Woohoo! BA has been a favorite of mine for years. Your success and recognition are well deserved!

  14. I’m happy to see that the Time editorial staff spends its work days reading blogs, just like I do!

  15. Icepick

    Fantastic! Some high profile, positive, press for your blog and the movement. Keep the smarts and humor coming.

  16. It’s about *Time* your blog is recognized for being one of the best! Congrats, Phil!

  17. So says Time: So say we all!!

  18. Amy F.

    Most excellent, Phil, congrats!

  19. tim

    Congratulations, Phil. You deserve it.

  20. I see your WOOHOO and raise you a YEEHAWWW!!!!

  21. Congratulations Phil!

    The last line in the article says “Entry you’ll never see: Why is the government spending so much money on exploring space? We’ve got enough problems right here on earth.”

    Actually, IF that were the case, I’m sure you actually would say something. Wouldn’t it be great if spending levels were so high that we DID have to complain about cutting NASA’s budget?

    We can dream, can’t we?

  22. bjn
  23. zaardvark

    Congratulations, Earthling.

  24. JohnW

    Grats! It’s well deserved.

  25. davidlpf

    Congrats, now all you need is a bigger house to fit the ego. ;-)

  26. Todd W.

    Wait. Phil has a blog?

  27. Christine P.

    I echo the woo-hoo!

  28. Sandra

    Woo hoo!!! I’ve known you were top for quite some time now.

  29. NICE! Well-deserved.

  30. Russ

    Given your company, I’d say your relentless Bush bashing finally paid off! I suppose it was good for something after all.

  31. PG

    You know what they say- you’re nobody until you’ve been bitten by a troll on BadAstronomy.com! Congrats and well deserved!

  32. Wayne

    The article says “Entry you’ll never see: Why is the government spending so much money on exploring space? We’ve got enough problems right here on earth.”

    But he HAS written that entry, more than once. It’s just he does it in such a way as to show what a stupid question that is in the first place. Here’s a quick example:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2006/10/18/katie-couric-is-a-bonehead/

    Are the Time folks really Katie Couric level boneheads, or were they just trying to be funny? From the context, it’s a bit hard to tell…

  33. Well done Phil, but then you deserve it. :)

    Roxy

  34. mus

    Congrats!

    You know, I was once the times person of the year :P

  35. I suppose it was good for something after all.

    Shining a light on stupidity and lies is always “good”.

  36. We add to the woohoos and yeehaws, Dr. BA.

    Of course, all this publicity is like a huge woo magnet. Prepare yourself for a wave of all new crankiness.

  37. We add to the woohoos and yeehaws, Dr. BA.

    Of course, all this publicity is like a huge woo magnet. Prepare yourself for a wave of all new crankiness.

  38. BigBob

    My three cheers beats your yeehaw.
    Congrats Phil.

  39. Well deserved Dr. Plait! :) Your blog is the number one blog I read (as I said earlier; if BA hasn’t blogged it, is it really worth knowing?). Now if we could only get you on the Daily Show, you could bet bigger than Dr. Tyson (in popularity, not stature).

  40. Oh yes, now I AM sorry I left astronomy for medicine. I hope astronomy won’t think me shallow for wanting to return only after it has become famous……

  41. Well, and of course, now that it is “bad”, too…even more appealing…..

  42. josh k

    Good work, Phil. It’s nice to see you get the kudos you deserve.

  43. Totem

    Well done! Congratz!

  44. rhea
  45. Vortmax

    Congratulations! For this, you deserve a bunch of cookies!

    (PS: I got your book, and it is far too much fun! I really enjoyed it.)

  46. Quiet Desperation

    And to think I was here when you were still picking on Pop Up Video.

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/popup.html

  47. «bønez_brigade»

    Congrats, Phil. Well deserved, it was.

  48. Congratulations! You should do an entry called, “Why is the government spending so much money on exploring space? We’ve got enough problems right here on earth.”

    -Just to spite them.

  49. @QD,

    Wow, I haven’t read that about pronunciation- and I’m pretty familiar with the old site. Come to think of it- after the kilometer debacle- I really want to see Phil do a video on it. If only to see the comments that follow.

    Professor Farnsworth no doubt approves. Urectum for the win!

  50. Michael I

    Congratulations!

  51. Many congratulations, thoroughly well deserved – keep it up :-)

  52. Erik J

    Congrats, you’re certainly worth it.

  53. Congrats, and well deserved.

  54. JasonS

    Congratulations.

    Does the universe really “care” about was is true and what is not true? Why assign human emotions on an inanimate object?

  55. Congratulations! You should do an entry called, “Why is the government spending so much money on exploring space? We’ve got enough problems right here on earth.”

    -Just to spite them.

    I’m of the opinion that Phil should actually do that – but then seriously answer the question.

  56. Kimpatsu

    Wot, no PZ in that list? That just gives Phil even more to crow about the next time those two cross swords!

  57. Davidlpf

    PZ, PZ who. Oh that biology prof in that small almost unheard university.

  58. Big huge congratulations! That certainly is a select group!

    …wait, this list didn’t appear in the February 23 TIME magazine with the cover story on “How Faith Can Heal”, did it?

    Irony…meter…pegging…

  59. Jason, it’s a metaphor. Sometimes scientists use literary devices.

  60. Infophile, I’ve actually answered that question a half dozen times on this blog! I linked to one in my comment above, actually, too.

  61. Anthropomorphizing is a very effective communication technique, I agree! It is especially useful for scientists to get their point across to non-technical audiences. Makes science less scary…..

  62. Michelle

    Congrats to the BA!!!! You certainly deserve it!

    And the evil cephalopod isn’t even in the list! HA!

    …oh how can they tell Gawker is overrated… They gave us IO9!!!!!

  63. fco.

    Well congrats!

    This is indeed a great blog, although unlike Time Magazine, I enjoy it way more for what I’ve learned about astronomy than for it’s “skeptic blog” posts. Personally, I don’t really see the fun in reading stuff I already agree with.

  64. W00t!

    Congratulations Phil, this is well deserved. Keep up the good work, we do appreciate it.

  65. Blue Fire

    Phil, of course it’s a metaphor – we Know that. And we all know that scientists often use them. BUT I have to agree with Jason. By using such metaphors with anthropomorphism and other strictly “inaccurate” devices, scientists set themselves up for misunderstanding by those of the masses that aren’t so scientifically savvy as to put it into proper perspective all the time! And gosh, the scientific community doesn’t need to engender more misunderstanding by the general public. For example, I have often railed at evolutionary explanations for things like some birds evolved bigger, thicker, stronger beaks in order to crack the harder nuts available to them. NO! It was simply that the birds that did have bigger beaks were able to take advantage of harder nuts and they were thus more equipped to survive and pass along the gene for bigger beaks. There is a BIG difference here between the two explanations. And so, why couldn’t you have just said something like “… the truth of the universe is quite independent of what you think is true.”

    But hey, I do Congratulate you! And I continue to be a big fan.

  66. Excellent news Phil. Congratulations. Time’s Person of the Year Cover is next.

  67. Congrats Phil. Unfortunately, the Huffington Post also got a nod. Ugh!

  68. Walkiria

    I join the wooohoooo’s and yeeehaaaww’s and add a w00t!!!

    I loved the part in the article that said: “Plait is a voice of reason amidst the nonsense of non-science.”

    Phil, you are my voice of reason :D .

    By the way, have you written anything about the huge pile of non-science nonsense that is done in Mexico? We have to find your Mexican version here, a Felipe Trenza or something.

  69. JasonS

    Phil
    Thanks for the clarification and helping me understand you better.

  70. Corad_F

    Grats Phil! It’s about Time. (don’t hit!)

    By way of celebration how about we all go to TAM on your dime?

    No?

    Shoot. Had to try.

  71. Congratulations, Phil.

    You’ve earned it :)

  72. CurtisP

    There are other blogs?

  73. BigBadSis

    Wow. Another feather. Congrats Phil!

  74. BlueFire

    First, Congrats Phil! I remain a fan.
    But,… Second, I’m afraid I have to agree with Jason S’s first comment. And re your reply to him:

    Phil, of course it’s a metaphor – we Know that. And we all know that scientists often use literary devices like them. BUT I have to agree with Jason. By using such metaphors with anthropomorphism and other strictly “inaccurate” devices, scientists set themselves up for misunderstanding by those of the masses that aren’t so scientifically savvy as to put it into proper perspective all the time! And gosh, the scientific community doesn’t need to engender more misunderstanding by the general public. For example, I have often railed at evolutionary explanations for things like some birds evolved bigger, thicker, stronger beaks in order to crack the harder nuts available to them. NO! It was simply that the birds that did have bigger beaks were able to take advantage of harder nuts and they were thus more equipped to survive and pass along the gene for bigger beaks. There is a BIG difference here between the two explanations. And so, why couldn’t you have just said something like “… the truth of the universe is quite independent of what you think is true.”

  75. bluefiregdt

    Re your reply to Jason S’s first post:

    Phil, of course it’s a metaphor – we Know that. And we all know that scientists often use literary devices like them. BUT I have to agree with Jason. By using such metaphors with anthropomorphism and other strictly “inaccurate” devices, scientists set themselves up for misunderstanding by those of the masses that aren’t so scientifically savvy as to put it into proper perspective all the time! And gosh, the scientific community doesn’t need to engender more misunderstanding by the general public. For example, I have often railed at evolutionary explanations for things like some birds evolved bigger, thicker, stronger beaks in order to crack the harder nuts available to them. NO! It was simply that the birds that did have bigger beaks were able to take advantage of harder nuts and they were thus more equipped to survive and pass along the gene for bigger beaks. There is a BIG difference here between the two explanations. And so, why couldn’t you have just said something like “… the truth of the universe is quite independent of what you think is true.”

    But hey, I do Congratulate you! And I continue to be a big fan.

  76. balden

    “a reality-based opinion”

    Oh dear… the ignorance.

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