Cancer Research Carnival #4 and Skeptics’ Circle #75

I’ve been terribly remiss as of late in both promoting and submitting to blog carnivals. However, I wanted to draw your attention to an interesting new carnival and the latest edition of an old stalwart.
The Cancer Research Blog Carnival is hosted this week at written by Ben Ferguson, an MD/PhD student in cancer biology and a capella jazz singer at the University of Chicago. Ben also writes for Medscape’s med student feature, The Differential, and produces the Pritzker Podcasts for prospective students interested in the University of Chicago. In his spare time, he is probably also feeding the world’s poor and helping to negotiate a Middle East peace settlement.
Somewhere in there, Ben also found time to include in the carnival our post on Jonathan Alter’s Newsweek article about Medicare’s misguided reimbursement policy for lymphoma radioimmunotherapy. Thanks, Ben!
Founded by Bayblab, this is a carnival worthy of future growth (and support by cancer research sci/med bloggers like yours truly).

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Med expert blog roundup at Dr. Val

I got sidetracked today with activities in that thing called the meat world. So, I can only refer you to a very nice roundup of expert medical blogging over at RevolutionHealth and Dr Val and The Voice of Reason blog.
Dr Val (Val Jones, M.D.) has been a frequent and thoughtful commenter around these parts and I find her monthly (or so) roundups to be as good as any other medical blog carnival, except that she picks all the entries.
Enjoy….back to writing for me.

Scientiae Carnvial #13 and More On Women in Science from NIH

During the week, I got too tied up to mention that one of our posts on thinking about gender in science and medicine got picked up by Yami McMoots at Green Gabbro for the 13th edition of the Scientiae blog carnival.
Scientiae “is a blog carnival that compiles posts written about the broad topic of “women in STEM,” (STEM=science, technology, engineering and mathematics).” My good friend here at ScienceBlogs, Zuska, encouraged a few of us boys to submit something on the inner dialogue we have about gender in our profession. I continued to be bewildered that women continue to be treated quite poorly in many quarters of academia and my eyes were opened by reading other posts in this issue of Scientiae.
I encourage all readers, men and women, to go over to Yami’s and read this issue.
Speaking of women in science, I received this press release from NIH earlier in the week entitled, “Study Reveals Reasons for Women’s Departure from the Sciences.” From a report published in the Nov 2007 issue of EMBO Reports, the discussion is as follows:

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Thoughts About Gender in Science

The Scientiae blog carnival has been soliciting posts for their November edition on “talking to yourself.” Zuska brought this theme to the attention of some of us guy bloggers and carnival host Yami at Green Gabbro elaborated as follows:

…the past few Scientiae carnivals have been composed entirely of women’s voices. While I think it’s appropriate that women’s voices should dominate the conversation about women’s experiences, the job of thinking about gender in science belongs to everyone! I’d like to invite all you equality-minded men scientists to join the fun this time around – how do you talk to yourself about gender, and about your female colleagues?

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Tar Heel Tavern #87: MSM Addendum

After putting together last evening’s carnival posts, I walked outside this morning to find the Q Opinion section of our local Sunday paper devoted to issues of blogging.
Specifically, writer Eric Ferreri poses the question of whether bloggers should have a code of ethics, just like journalists. Martin Kuhn, a former UNC doctoral fellow in media law, presented his own code of ethics here, with an eye toward concerns that libel suits are a real and growing possibility regarding comments made on blogs and message boards.

“There will be a case where a blogger gets socked with a major judgment and loses his home, and it’s going to be a wakeup call for a lot of people out there,” said Robert Cox, founder of the Media Bloggers Association.
“Bloggers think of themselves as writers, not publishers. Very few bloggers have any concept of the legal risk they’re running with their blogs,” said Cox, who created his association in 2004 after The New York Times tried to shut down his blog because it included a satire of that newspaper’s corrections page.
In working toward his doctorate at UNC, Kuhn realized that, for the most part, ethics codes targeted primarily bloggers who acted journalistically, commenting on world affairs and current events and attempting — to varying degrees — to maintain certain ethical standards.
But Kuhn thinks the blogosphere is broader than that. So he devised an ethics code of his own, a set of general principles he thinks all bloggers should follow. They stress openness and personal responsibility, and Kuhn urges bloggers to be “as transparent as possible” by identifying themselves by name and with as much personal information as they’re comfortable with.

The section also cites heavily a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project aiming to determine why people blog (about 37% blog mainly about life and experiences, 34% consider themselves journalists, 55% blog with a pseudonym, etc.). The code of ethics issue seems to depend on whether a blogger is simply a public diarist or represents themselves as a journalist.
Props to our colleague, Anton Zuiker and his MisterSugar blog, for his article on the front of the Opinion section entitled, “For conversing by blog, follow the golden rule,” also mirrored here. Anton’s medical and personal blogging is always rich with storytelling and this piece does not disappoint, as he draws parallels between the typewritten letters of his grandfathers and his personal ethics and leadership of local blogging efforts like BlogTogether. Good on ya, Anton!
Zuiker provides the most lucid paragraph of the entire discussion on a blogger code of ethics:

But we haven’t agreed on a blogger code of ethics, and we never will. That’s because anyone can be a blogger, and a blogger can be anyone. In America, we don’t require artists or novelists or songwriters or talk show hosts or cell phone conversationalists to swear on a code of ethics for their chosen medium of expression. Don’t think that bloggers will be the first.

Ruby Sinreich, who founded, writes and edits the progressive blog,, wrote, “Adding the personal to a public debate.”
Other local blogs mentioned are:
Tire Shop, by Nancy Baker, an attempt “to get to know other malcontents in my profession (art).”
Raleighing, by Chris Anderson, “a blog about events and changes in Raleigh.”
Raleigh Eco News, by Sue Sturgis, who writes about Raleigh environmental news. As a freelance writer and blogger who is a “real” journalist, Sue has had some excellent coverage of the Apex chemical fire on the blog and in local publications.
Endangered Durham, by Dr Gary Kueber, is a photography-dense public service on the city’s architectural history juxtaposed with current images and discussions of land use. This is a gem of a site I had not known previously, but will be sure to bookmark.
I’ll be sure to keep tabs throughout the week on the open forum discussion run by the News & Observer on whether bloggers should have unlimited free speech or should they abide by some rules.
Many thanks to the N&O for giving so much print to the blogosphere.

Tar Heel Tavern #87

THT.jpgWelcome to this week’s edition of Tar Heel Tavern, a roundup of all that is good about blogging from the state of North Carolina. If I missed your submission or if it’s Sunday morning and you think, “Dang, I forget to submit anything,” just fire me an e-mail and I’ll quickly add your work. So, let’s cut to the chase:
Of all the posts, nothing captured Fall in North Carolina like the beautiful pictures Laura sent in from Moomin Light from her annual two-week trip to the mountains.
Down in the state capital, there’s one more day left: Mr. R reflects at evolving education on this year’s visit to the North Carolina State Fair. I hadn’t known that Mr. R and I shared a Colorado heritage.
Even since before moving to the state, I have always been impressed with the level of literary intellect indigenous to North Carolina. Ogre reminds us at Ogre’s Politics and Views that anyone can be a novelist and encourages us to take part in the National Novel Writing Month. “If you can write blog entries, you can write a novel.”
Of course, our past experiences dramatically affect our enthusiasm for writing. etbnc discusses at Another blue puzzle piece how he has been overcoming his fourth-grade aversion to and civil disobedience against book reports by writing book reviews to round out his frequent book recommendations. Yes, etbnc, we all carry scars from elementary school.
Speaking of writing, Billy the Blogging Poet reminds us that once you have that finished work, there is that small issue of self-promotion. But like Billy, I think that we all gain greater satisfaction from promoting others who we admire: “Promoting other poets is probably the most important thing I’ve ever done.”
One poet always worth promoting is Ron Hudson. Ron posts at 2sides2ron on the double-wide Southern adaptation of the haiku. Maine humor, Southern style.
Bora Zivkovic, the great Coturnix, holds forth at A Blog Around the Clock on his experiences at ConvergeSouth in Greensboro. Now I’m beginning to understand why my Seed ScienceBlogs friend seems to know everyone in the blogosphere.
Speaking of Elizabeth (and John) Edwards, Coturnix also ran into Jude at ConvergeSouth. Jude Nagurney Camwell’s Iddybud Journal is filled with pictures from her recent visit to Charlotte and Concord.
I had a great little hike tonight with PharmPreK’er in a little oasis in the middle of our fair city. I was reminded by the SustainabilitySoutheast post submitted by etbnc that as we have reached a national population of 300 million, we must continue to pay attention to the choices we make today, not just for our own quality of life, but that of our children, grandchildren, and so on.
THT ringleader, Erin Monahan, continues to amaze with the strength and sense of purpose I think few of us would ever be able to pull together after losing children to congenital heart defects. Just as her Alexis and Nova fuel her life, so does their memory continue to touch the lives of others. A lovely surprise at Our Childrens’ Memorial Walkway in Charlotte’s Frazier Park is Erin’s submission from Poetic Acceptance.
Parks and the people who design them and their features have a special place in the lifeblood of our towns and cities. Photographer and videographer, Kenneth Corn, paints us a nice picture with his words at Colonel Corn’s Camera about Tom Risser and the new skatepark in Waxhaw. I agree with the commenters, Colonel: get yourself a skateboard…and a big bottle of Aleve.
Finally, I’ll add my own post from my Friday fun feature, The Friday Fermentable, singing the praises of North Carolina’s craft beer-brewing industry and their unprecedented showing at the nation’s foremost beer competition.
While we have the attention of NC bloggers, I just had two final announcements about events of interest for the upcoming week.
First, Chapel Hill’s independent, non-profit, Cornucopia House Cancer Patient Support Center, will be attempting to break the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Yoga Class next Sunday, October 29, at the RTP Sheraton. This fundraising event will be the kick-off for a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of this great, free public resource for cancer patients and their families.
Second, NC bloggers will be hosting Chris Mooney, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Republican War on Science, as he talks and signs copies of the book at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh on Saturday, 28 Oct, and The Regulator in Durham on Sunday, 29 Oct. Chris will also be giving a lecture in the Medical Ethics and Humanities program at Duke University Medical Center on Monday, 30 Oct. We’re all pretty stoked to show our version of Southern hospitality to one of the nation’s premier science writers. So, drop me a note if you are interested in meeting Chris at any of the impromptu gatherings that might emerge around these events.
One final reminder: next week’s THT will be hosted by Mr. R at evolving education; e-mail your submissions to him by midnight next Saturday. Hosting THT is always a great deal of fun and gets you in touch with your neighbors with whom you might not otherwise cross paths, say, while being a science blogger. So, I encourage anyone to drop a line to Erin and volunteer to host a time or two.

Hosting Tar Heel Tavern

Are you a North Carolina blogger of any sort? Have you ever lived in North Carolina? C’mon, I know many, many science folks who at one time did their training in the Old North State.
Well, after hosting Tar Heel Tavern at my old blog in the Spring, I thought it would be a good idea to help out Erin and Bora and host THT #87 right here in my relatively new digs.
I have no theme – the only requirement is that you write from or about North Carolina. As I said above, expats are welcome (Derek Lowe, I’m talking to you!)
THT is a loosely launched weekend thing, so it would help me if you would get entries in to me by midday Saturday and I’ll do my best to have it up on Sunday morning. Simply e-mail me with “Tar Heel Tavern” in the subject line and all the usual info.

Change of Shift nursing blog carnival: new issue now live!

As PharmMom is a retired nurse and some of my favorite health sciences students have been nurses, it is always my pleasure to promote Kim at Emergiblog. It’s always worth a trip over if for nothing other than her vintage nursing and pharmaceutical advertisements.
The second issue of her newly-established nursing blog carnival, Change of Shift, is now live. Check it out for some fresh bloggy goodness of the nursing profession.
Navelgazing Midwife puts up a nice but somewhat chilling narrative on the continued shortage of labor and delivery services in New Orleans. Thanks for being there.