***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** David Gibson wrote: >Socnetters -- this is a truly outrageous situation. In the very least >beware of Helen Pearson. I agree that the column seems to be misplaced. After reading the piece, though, I couldn't help but think that maybe things aren't as bad as Duncan's email made them sound. Personally, I found the column rather "precious," and not very funny; OTOH, it was also less of a hatchet job than I expected. I can certainly understand why he's annoyed (I would be, too), and I share the sentiment that he and Kossinets have been the victims of a cheap shot. My sense, however, is that the column does more damage to the credibility of the writer than to that of the research. In the long run, perhaps the greatest harm created by these sorts of essays lies in the fact that they undermine legitimate science journalism. Taking two hours of a scientist's (scarce) time to write this sort of obfuscatory nonsense is a good way to discourage that scientist from talking to other journalists in the future. If _Nature_News_ and other, similar outlets would like for their sources to cooperate with them, they would do well to remove writers who behave in this manner. I also agree with David that it does not behoove a serious scientific publication to belittle the enterprise that it serves. The American mainstream media already does that job quite effectively, without assistance from the likes of _Nature_News_. That's my sense, anyway. FWIW. -Carter PS. Per the original email, was anyone else here contacted by Helen Pearson regarding this column? It would be interesting to get their experiences, as well. _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.