Perhaps the outcry was larger than expected. Popular Science editor-in-chief Jacob Ward doesn’t really offer an explanation.
But with the announcement of a new Popular Science blog network, he throws in a major caveat:
A couple weeks before launching this network, we announced a new no-comments policy on the site. It was the result of a combination of factors: a rising tide of unpleasant comments, a growing body of evidence that those unpleasant comments, left unchecked, can have a disastrous effect on scientific comprehension, and a lack of resources to properly moderate the comments to ensure that the resulting discussion is productive.
Here, we’re giving our bloggers the option of turning comments on for individual posts, and asking them to actively lead the discussion. We hope you’ll take part.
The 13 blogs range from a look at our “robot future” (Zero Moment/Erik Sofge) to the “germs that define us” (Under the Microscope/Jean Tetro). Full list here.
Update (4:20 pm.):
Ward got in touch with FishbowlNY to clarify that today’s announcement is unrelated to the recent decision to institute a no-comments policy elsewhere on the site.
“The blog network has been in development for many months, and the plan was always to give bloggers the option of enabling comments where they believed it would produce constructive conversation,” he writes.
“We hope readers will engage in conversation with them, and will continue to offer us feedback on all of our news stories through Facebook, Twitter, email, and the many other ways they have of commenting on what we produce.”
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Popular Science Ends Comments