The Best Academic Blogs

We're looking for low-volume, high-quality, research-based sites.
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I love Twitter, but it's a fast medium. If you follow a couple thousand people, like I do, there's no easy way to keep an eye on everything that people tweet. The same seems to be true more broadly: I'd reckon that 80 percent of the clicks on a story come in the 20 minutes after it gets tweeted. After that, it's off down the stream somewhere. (People have tried to measure this stuff with some success.)

This is a terrible way to keep track of thinkers who are working at slower time scales. And yet, I think a key value that our technology coverage can provide is connecting the kinds of thinking about technology I see in the academic literature with popular culture. We need a good way to keep track of historians, philosophers, and others who think about science and technology (in the broadest possible sense). And Twitter is not it.

So, I'm trying to reassemble an RSS feed filled with a very specific type of blog. I'm looking for researchers, scholars, and academics who don't post more than once per day. I don't care how specific or niche they are, as long as they're interesting on their own terms. 

Here are my exemplary blogs:

  • Edible Geography: Nicola Twilley's spatial investigations of food.
  • We Make Money Not Art: Regine DeBatty's explorations of aesthetics (and science and technology).
  • Yoni Appelbaum: Brilliant, evocative historical investigations.
  • Mind Hacks: Vaughan Bell on the (mis)understanding of brains and psychology.
  • Wynken De Worde: Sarah Werner on books and early modern culture.
  • Robert Hooke's London: Felicity Henderson's catalog of Hooke's experience of the city.
  • Infranet Lab Blog: Thoughts at the edge of infrastructure by a fascinating research collective.
  • 99 Percent Invisible: Not a blog and not created by an academic, Roman Mars' radio show is nonetheless exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

So, please, feed my Feedly! Put your own blog in the comments, if it fits the criteria and feel. Or send it to me in an email. Or @alexismadrigal.

As always, I'll collate and share what you send in.

P.S. There are all these science blog networks (like a half dozen of them!). Why doesn't a similar thing exist for science and technology studies blogs (or humanities more broadly)?

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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