The Periodic Table of Science Blogging

By Phil Plait | March 24, 2010 3:00 pm

This is a clever: the Periodic Table of Science Bloggers!

periodic_bloggersDavid Bradley at Sciencebase took the periodic table of elements and associated each element symbol with a science blog. I’ve read quite a few of them, and they’re pretty good — though I wonder about using Jack of Kent; it’s a great blog (he has been terrific about explaining the Simon Singh libel case), but it’s about legal issues, not science ones! Still, lots of good blogs there.

Of course, being the egomaniacal monster that I am, my first thought was, "Hey, I wonder what he used for barium?", since my encyclopedic knowledge of the elements informs me that barium’s symbol is, haha, Ba. And guess what?

Hey, wait a sec! I got robbed.

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Comments (28)

  1. Mchl

    I guess Bad Astronomer is some kind of isotope of Barmonger Science…

  2. Shameful! Still, it’s kinda cool.

  3. Hey, wait a sec! I got robbed.

    Welcome to my world. Then again, my blog is still just over a year old and still under 2,000 views per average day so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much…

  4. Daniel J. Andrews

    What? No Respectful Insolence? Rf would be the closest element, I think.

  5. Maybe you were left out because you are not science blogger. You are an anti-vax, Doctor Who fanboy, political blog. ūüėČ

  6. John Paradox

    Okay, all you nuclear chemists, it’s time to ‘discover’ another element so Dr. Plait has his own place in the Periodic Table.

    J/P=?

  7. Vernon Balbert

    Hey, just remember what barium is usually used for, at least in medicine. You may have dodged a bullet, if you will.

  8. Ouch, that hurts. And there are far too few “space” elements on that table for my liking. I reckon we could bump one or two… especially those “uncategorized” ones!

  9. Eric TF Bat

    “These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard
    And there may be many others but they haven’t been discovered.”

  10. Jess Tauber

    If you look at the thread Rebuilding the Periodic Table at David’s Sciencebase blog, you’ll find a heated discussion of issues which still bedevil the periodic system- what are the right positions for hydrogen and helium (is it REALLY ‘noble’?), should the alkali metals and alkaline earths be on the right or the left of the figure (on the right the whole thing is much more amenable to mathematical analysis, on the left metallic quality is emphasized), and how should we represent nontraditional elemental kinships (those that don’t fit nicely into neat columns and rows)? Let’s not forget also the myriad different tables, in 2 and 3D, that have been proposed over the last century and a half. Is there one ‘best’ representation?

    In recent years some of us have come up with tetrahedral models utilizing close-packed spheres. It turns out the math behind this applies to a number of Platonic solids, and comes straight out of Pascal’s Triangle. For example, I recently discovered (apparently the first, too…) that every other atomic number for the alkaline earths corresponds to every other tetrahedral diagonal number in the Pascal system. Another chemist has noted potential Fibonacci behavior in the periodic system, and that also can be got at through the Pascal triangle.

    So there’s a lot going on. David has cut off discussion (again…) after more than 500 postings, but interested parties can visit tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/tetrahedronT3 to see a continuation and previous debates on the systems involved.

    Jess Tauber

  11. Well if you hadn’t have been away, scurrying about keeping sekrits of late, you would have had a usual keen eye on the twitter! Bit slow on the trigger sweetpea ;))

    Maybe the next synthesis will be named Badasstronomium, then you could be on both tables!

  12. Gary Ansorge

    I think you should be listed under H and He, since those are the principle elements of stars.

    ,,,also representative of hot,,,gases,,,and there is a lot of that expressed here.

    Not bad, for an initial effort.

    Gary 7

  13. Tortorific

    Is it just me or has he left out all the most popular science blogs, not just BA but pharyngula, science based medicine, respectful insolence, the loom, why evolution is true, Bad Science, neurologica, even Boing Boing might have been worth a mention (I would have liked to see the planetary society get a mention too). That’s not even mentioning the dearth of Maths blogs.

  14. jcm

    It’s elemental.

    I wonder what’s the more common isotope!

  15. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 13. Tortorific Says:

    Is it just me or has he left out all the most popular science blogs, not just BA but pharyngula, science based medicine, respectful insolence, the loom, why evolution is true, Bad Science, neurologica, even Boing Boing might have been worth a mention (I would have liked to see the planetary society get a mention too).

    I agree & can’t believe that either – neither PZ nor the Bad Astronomer made it here whilst I guess I should be grateful Universe Today did. No BAUT forum tho’ & no space.com either although I guess that those ones aren’t exactly blogs.

    No ‘Watts Up With That’ either I notice … what was that post recently about some other list of science blogs? Ah yes, here it is :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/03/12/eureka-i-am-a-hammer/

    for possible comparison.

    Too few astronomy /space sites for my taste. Too many I’ve never heard of as well.

    Clever idea however. :-)

  16. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Yay! I note that the earlier entrance for Uup, “Universe Plasma”, really Plasma Universe which housed Plasma Universe crackpots, have been replaced.

    Bradley takes solicitations, but now he vets the anti-science sites out of there. Good on him; a periodic table ought to be iso-topic.

    [Now I see a non-family blog joke on soliciting girls that go I-so-topic on chemistry issues. Aaargh, the pc blogs are the cruelest at times!]

  17. Moose

    Yeah, if it’s any consolation, a certain rival octopus is conspicuously absent as well.

  18. Ian

    Ah rats – overlooked again. I was hoping The Catholic Laboratory would get ‘Cl’.

    It looks great though.

  19. Thanks for all the attention! As I’ve related elsewhere, the PT4SB was filled on a first come, first served basis. So, it was populated by those science bloggers who follow my blog and twitter feeds and their contacts who heard about it first and put in their request for an element early.

    No one was deliberately excluded, those big name bloggers simply didn’t ask to be on it, or if they did, they were too late to the ball. It’s a tough life, eh? The remedy for next time – subscribe to my newsfeed ūüėČ

    That said, do we really need another list that includes all the usual suspects, where’s the fun in that? You already know about all those sites. Most of those “top” 10 lists aren’t based on any kind of statistical analyses, they’re just lists of the sites everyone already knows. This new collection has brought some attention to a few of the less well-known science bloggers and I think that’s a good thing.

    Thanks again for the mention, much appreciated.

  20. One more point regarding the addition of JackofKent. Yes, it’s a legal blog in essence. But, it is playing such a big role in the discussion and process of scientific debate in England that I acceded to a request to add it.

    Science blogging should not be solely about discussing research papers and discoveries. We cannot tease apart the ethical, moral, economic, and legal aspects of what science does from the activity itself, they’re tightly interwoven despite claims to the contrary.

  21. Chris

    They could have put you under “Plaitinum”

  22. Andy

    I’m calling shenanigans

  23. Don

    Drinking contest between Platt and Christensen at Comic Con to see who gets Barium.

  24. SteveG

    You got robbed.

  25. Robert Leyland

    Also what happened to Pharyngula and Panda’s Thumb?

  26. Flounder

    They left out most of my favorites:
    Badastronium (Ba)
    Pharyngulum (P)
    Pandasthumium (Pt)
    Neurologicium (Ne)
    Respectfulinsolenium (Re)
    Whyevolutionistrum (W)
    Erveon (Er)

  27. Fedaykin

    I think it’s good they left off the most popular ones.

    No offense to this excellent blog, but it’s good to see the lesser knowns get some potential exposure. I know there’s several blogs on that list I’ll check out now that I’ve never heard of.

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