The oldest science blog of all?

By Razib Khan | August 24, 2010 3:16 am

800px-Bristlecone_CAI began blogging in April 2002 (I once had a graduate student approach me and tell me that she was a big fan of my blog back in high school!). Derek Lowe is the only science blogger I can think of off the top of my head who was around before I was, is still around, and has been around continuously across all those years. The mildly unbalanced Dave Appell left the scene to clear his head for a few years. In those early days a term like ‘science blogger’ would have seemed kind of quaint and strange, but I do recall being approached by others to rebut the naive Creationism of some parts of the blogosphere. It was early days, and the big division was between the older cohort of techbloggers who had emerged organically before 9/11, and the political blogosphere which rapidly crystallized in the months after that event.

But in any case, Chad Orzel’s asking straight up, who’s the oldest science blogger? My money is on Derek, but I’m no Bora Zivkovic, so I could be wrong.

Image Credit: Wikimedia

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  • http://lablemming.blogspot.com/ Lab Lemming

    Green Gabbro is old- 2001 or so, but I don’t know how much science she wrote up back then. It was, however, still hilarious.

  • Martin

    Modern “blogging” is descended from various kinds of regular (and manual) updating of HTML in the 90s. There may not be a clear point when “web logging” began.

    The first time I came across a real-time conversation on the Internet was in about 1996, when two people were using an auto-refreshing guestbook to write messages to each other and hold a conversation (it was refreshing about every 15 sec, so the convo was more or less real time). This preceded instant messaging proper by about 3 years, but can we call it instant messaging? Functionally it comes close.

    How often did people have to manually update their web pages in the 90s in order for it to be classified as “web logging”, whether they called it that or not?

  • John Emerson

    Cosma Shalizi’s Three Toed Sloth looks older than anyone’s, but it began in Jan 2003 and wasn’t really a science blog in the beginning.

  • http://scientopia.org/blogs/christinaslisrant/ Christina Pikas

    @Martin – yeah but you could “talk” across a unix network for years before that (It wasn’t new when I did it in 1991) – I would say that’s closer to IM than guestbook entries.

    It’s probably impossible to set a first date – Winer’s blog is typically cited (thought that was 1996), but who knows.

  • http://juniorprof.wordpress.com juniorprof

    I think it was Derek. His was the first blog I knew about at all, found it back when I was a wee PhD student in pharmacology.

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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