Well that was fast. Scienceblogs.com has been taking heat over the last 48 hours, after it quietly launched a blog, Food Frontiers, which was sponsored and written by staffers for PepsiCo.
Now, Seed Magazine and Scienceblogs founder Adam Bly says they have pulled Food Frontiers from the site.
We apologize for what some of you viewed as a violation of your immense trust in ScienceBlogs. Although we (and many of you) believe strongly in the need to engage industry in pursuit of science-driven social change, this was clearly not the right way.
How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? How can a large and diverse online community made up of scientists and the science-minded public help? How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage? We’ll open this challenge up to everyone on SB and beyond in the coming days so that we can all find the right solution.
PZ Myers, the most read science blogger on the Web, let alone Scienceblogs.com, weighed in with his take on Bly’s note:
I agree that scientists in industry must be part of the discussion. However, putting that discussion in the framework of an industry-sponsored infomercial compromises it – there are just too many constraints on what could be said. I also don’t believe that PepsiCo in this case was interested in a genuine dialog – what they wanted was a PR whitewash, and they were willing to pay to get it.