For the last 2.5 years, I have enjoyed a cosy symbiosis with Discover, providing bloggy sustenance in exchange for shelter, like many a gut bacterium. But in a week’s time, this happy relationship will come to an end.
Next week – most likely on Tuesday 18th December, but to be confirmed – Not Exactly Rocket Science will be moving to National Geographic, as part of a small and brand-new collective of science blogs called Phenomena.
Phenomena will include three of the most accomplished science writers working today: Carl Zimmer (The Loom), Brian Switek (Laelaps), and Virginia Hughes (starting a brand new blog, Only Human). I love these people and their work, and seeing this group come together behind the scenes has been like watching Nick Fury recruit the Avengers.
That’s just one of the reasons I’m excited about the move. National Geographic feels like a really good fit for this blog. They cover similar topics, and they have a wide reach, a strong international reputation, and a reputation for solid journalism. I’ve had many chats with Jamie Shreeve and others over there about their plans for the collective, and our values and ideas are very convergent.
From your perspective, not much will change. I will keep the same commitment to fun, engaging stories, and good, rigorous journalism. National Geographic will not exercise any editorial control over what I write about. And finally—and I’m sure many of you will be pleased about this—the blog will go back a wider design, and free commenting without any registration (although, as before, first-time commenters will join a moderation queue).
For the record, this move has been in the making for a couple of months, and isn’t a reaction to Discover’s redesign. Discover have been tremendously good to me during my tenure here, and it’s been a joy to blog alongside Phil, Sean, Carl, Razib, Sheril, Chris, Nikki, Val, and others. I’m very grateful to all of them, and to our former web overlord Amos Zeeberg, for their support.
I hope that those of you who have been with me right from the start, and those who’ve started reading this blog since my time at Discover, will follow me onward and upward to the Land of Yellow Rectangles. I’ll update you with the new URL and RSS feed for Not Exactly Rocket Science v4.0 next week.
In the meantime, everyone sing it with me: Der-der-der-DER-DER, der-der-der-DER-de-DER-de-de-DER BOOM BOOM.