What do YOU think is the best of botanical blogging?

Every so often someone will complain that social media in science is a waste of time, and that there’s no scientific benefit to blogging. We disagree. We try to link to botanical blogs we like on this site, but there’s a limitation with that. Linking through Twitter, Facebook and other social media is fine for people who follow social media but what about the people who don’t? How do you get the best examples of botanical blogging in front of people who don’t read blogs? Our answer is to put together a list of the best of botanical blogging to appear in Annals of Botany – even the print version.

What we’re looking for the posts that you think are a great example of blogging. They could be outreach, or they could be a discussion of a scientific paper. Or maybe they talk about the process of doing science, the kinds of things that get discussed but don’t get into peer-reviewed literature. Ideally, we’d have a variety of topics and genres to show there’s no one way to blog about plant science.

You don’t have to have a cat to blog. Photo: Jonas Löwgren / Flickr.

Our aim is to encourage more independent bloggers, by showing there’s not one way to do blogging correctly. We’d like more guest bloggers for AoBBlog too, but in the long term we think a stronger independent blogosphere is better for plant science.

The end product could just be a list of links in an editorial article in Annals of Botany, but as soon as you make a list of posts, sites move or disappear and links break. Our solution is to compile the posts into an ebook formats (PDF/mobi/ePub) to add to the article as supplementary files. If we make the files with a Creative Commons licence then these can be shared anywhere else. It also means the anthology should have a DOI, which you can then connect to your ORCiD profile.

Because we’re redistributing the posts, we’ll need to get permission to do that. We can’t just unilaterally lift other people’s work. So what we’re doing today is opening a call for posts. Do you have a blog post you’d like to nominate? It can be your own or someone else’s. Once we have a list, we’ll be asking an editorial board of bloggers* to pick their favourites and we’ll then contact the selected authors to ask if we can include their posts.

If you want to nominate a post, we have a form to fill out here, or leave a comment below. (Update: deadline has now passed) Self-nomination is encouraged, because it makes us more optimistic that when we ask if we can include the post you’ll say yes. We’re not sure if this is going to be an annual event, so we’ll consider any posts, but we’ll be biased towards posts from 2015 and 2016. We’ll be looking for one post per author, so blogs with guest bloggers might appear more than once.

The deadline for entries is November 30th.

Our board of referees are:

Matt Candeias
Sarah Jose
Daniel Murphy
Sarah Shailes
Ian Street
Mary Williams
…and Anne Osterrieder from AoB Blog.

We’ll be listing nominations below and updating the post from time to time.


Subconsciously Sexist? by CJA Bradshaw
Forest Growth Changes Climate by George Foot
Girls who are boys, a botanical blur by Tim Entwisle
Moss – tiny plants, huge potential by Juliet Coates and Sharon Robinson
Indian Pipe and the Forest Underground by John Palka
Lichen or Moss – that is the hard question… also for science editors by Lena Struwe
Why Plants? Part I – Feynman and Flowers by Steven Burgess
Dangerously in love with plants by Emma Cooper
Five answers to the question ‘why plants’? by Amelia Frizell-Armitage
Extreme survival of seeds on Earth and in space by Anne Visscher
Sustaining life and agriculture in the Peruvian desert by Oliver Whaley

Update 1st November

Flowers in Space by Emma Cooper
Escaping Lethal Yellowing by Luigi Guarino
The Beheaded Botanist by John Boggan
Do you really see plants? by Alice Breda
Plants also have an immune system by Hernán Capador
The deep history of barley breeding by Luigi Guarino
How It Works: Chlorophyll Fluorescence the Basics
What’s in a name? by John Boggan
The World’s Only Parasitic Gymnosperm by Matt Candeias
A greater role for educational animation in extension? by Nick Quist Nathaniels
Back to life – Resurrection plants and the future of food by Alice Breda

Update 29th November

When Plants Attack! (each other) by John Porter
Moss Matriarchy by Matt Candeias
The (Un)natural History of Maize by Sarah Shailes
Grasshoppers-More friend than foe? by Daniel Murphy
Little Lawn of Horrors: mystery plant spooks home owner by John Porter
Poison in the Garden by Sarah Shailes
Reach for the Sun by Ian Street
Saving seed and Plant sex ed by John Porter
Why study plants? by Liz Haswell
Pickin’ up a pawpaw, put it in the garden by John Porter
A Garden Myth Is Born – Plants Don’t Purify Air by Robert Pavlis
Low Maintenance Landscape Design – 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid by Robert Pavlis

Note: We need individual blog posts as nominations. A blog or Facebook page by itself isn’t enough.