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Medicine and Literature

Drooling over Open Lab 2010

openlabalfinalproofcflat-thumb-500x754-60198.jpgI have to confess, I’m a little distracted today by the release of Open Lab 2010. The book is an anthology of some of the best science writing for the Web in 2010 and it’s available for purchase in print and pdf form. It contains some of the biggest names of science blogging and some with which I’m less familiar but excited to get to know.

The project is the 2006 brainchild of well-known science blogger Bora Zivkovic; the 2010 version was edited by Jason Goldman, a graduate student in developmental psychology at the University of Southern California and an editor for researchblogging.org. To make the book, editors have compiled reader suggestions for an annual “best of” list for the past several years; submissions (there were more than 900 of them for 2010) are then judged by a panel of more than 40 reviewers to determine the top 50 essays (along with six poems and one cartoon) to make it into the book.

You can find a list of the successful entries here. I, for one, can’t wait to dive into “Frickin’ Laser Beams: Fact vs. Fiction” from The Martian Chronicles or “But did you correct your results using a dead salmon?” by Iddo Friedberg of Byte Size Biology, to name just a couple. But even though the articles are all, by definition, freely available online, I’m still going to agitate for the office to buy a copy. Such rich reading material is best to have in hand, I think (the better to weasel myself into a future issue – natch!), and those who worked hard to make it happen deserve some compensation for their efforts. Thanks to Jason, Bora and all who contributed.

Cover art by Andrea Kuszewski; used by permission of Jason Goldman.

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