In a post this morning, the “ScienceBlogs Overlords” say they didn’t do a good job communicating “what these sponsored blogs are for, give a proper explanation of what our relationship to Food Frontiers was going to be, or even properly explain what Food Frontiers is.”
They have added language that makes clear that what appears on the Food Frontier blog is written by PepsiCo’s scientists and that posts will include the scientists’ affiliation and conflicts of interest.
Sharon Astyk is taking a hiatus from the site “Until Science Blogs decides whether it wants to be a platform for science writers or a platform for corporations to buy credibility.”
Journalist and author David Dobbs is “dismayed” by the decision and has written a more lengthy post about the problems. He likens it to having Pfizer run continuing medical education and is moving his blog to Neuron Culture, and considering other venues.
A blogger and scientist who goes by GrrlScientist writes a strong post about credibility and the damage a PepsiCo-written blog will do to everyone associated with ScienceBlogs.
Science writer Brian Switek, who says he is “dumbfounded” over the move, points out that “A newspaper or magazine would not allow PepsiCo to write articles about global health or nutrition.” His blog also will be on hiatus. Update: Switek has decided to quit blogging at ScienceBlogs. He says he will keep blogging elsewhere.