This is a guest post by Pascal Lapointe who is a science journalist and editor of Agence Science-Presse, in Montréal (Québec). He published a few books on journalism and medias and is blogging about Médias et science —en français, of course!
Are you reading some blogueurs de science? Well, if you are a science blogger from USA, UK or Australia, don’t be ashamed if you don’t. Sometimes, les Québécois and les Français themselves are forgetting there are dynamic science blogging communities on their own planets!
Part of the problem is that English-speaking bloggers are too prolific! Since all French-speaking scientists do read English (at least, the Internet generation), why bother to make the effort to write a blog in French, when so many colleagues have already published on our favorite subject?
But the result of that silence is that cultural diversity is taking a slap (also see: Science Blogging Beyond The Constraints Of Different Languages by Khalil A. Cassimally).
When Agence Science-Presse, in Montreal —where I am the editor— launched, in 2005, Science! on blogue —the first science blog network in French— even ScienceBlogs.com did not exist yet! It’s funny to think how far away we were then: we had the difficult task to recruit ourselves the first bloggers... and to explain to some of them what a blog was!
France followed with Café des sciences in 2006, which account now for some 40 hosted or aggregated bloggers: scientists, writers and illustrators. Add to that some smaller networks in Quebec city, Grenoble and elsewhere, including the trilingual Hypotheses; some independent bloggers; and some science journalists associated with “old” media, and you have a community bigger than its members realize themselves.
And here we are, ready for a new step: a version of Open Laboratory, but in French! Science-Presse and the Quebec book editor MultiMondes are coming along to publish, in April 2013, an anthology of the best posts published on French-speaking science blogs in 2012 —in Quebec, France and elsewhere.
The simple fact that this book can exist testify about the distance travelled since 2005. But there is something more important, that maybe those who were there when Open Laboratory was published for the first time, will remember: a book is one of the best ways to build a bridge towards those who still think that blogging is some sort of “low writing”, éphémère, a kind of me, myself and I, with little substance.
And a book is also a way to build a bridge between bloggers scattered, geographically and professionally.
Why Agence Science-Presse? Maybe because we were lucky enough to know an open-minded book editor —which happens to be one of the few book editors specialized in popular scientific work. But also because Agence Science-Presse is a very small media, not-for-profit. And, let’s admit it, small media outlets have traditionally been the ones able to turn around on a quarter. Having, for the most of the time, only two full-time employees, sometimes three, is really not much... but it is an advantage on organizations who can only count on volunteers, an advantage we’ve learned to appreciate.
Do you know some French-speaking science bloggers? Have you published a few posts in French in 2012? You have until November 15th to send us one or two of them. Details here.
Here are a few examples of science bloggers in French
Ariel Fenster, Les manchettes scientifiques
Dominique Leglu, Sciences pour vous et moi
Denis Delbecq, Effets de terre
Enro, scientifique et citoyen
Envi2bio, Médiation en environnement
Paul Boisvert, Nutrition et activité physique
Pierre Barthélémy, Passeur de sciences
Sylvestre Huet, Sciences2
Tom Roud, Matières vivantes
Valérie Borde, Le blogue