Could Virginia Heffernan possibly be more wrong?

That would be tough. She’s written a diatribe in the NY Times on the Pepsico debacle, and it isn’t just that she doesn’t like many of the scienceblogs (including yours truly), but that she gets the facts wrong.

This was just bizarre.

I was nonplussed by the high dudgeon of the so-called SciBlings. The bloggers evidently write often enough for ad-free academic journals that they still fume about adjacencies, advertorial and infomercials. Most writers for “legacy” media like newspapers, magazines and TV see brush fires over business-editorial crossings as an occupational hazard. They don’t quit anytime there’s an ad that looks so much like an article it has to be marked “this is an advertisement.”

Errm, many of the early departures in the wake of Pepsico were science journalist/bloggers — and the impression I got was that they were more concerned about the ethics of advertorials than the pure science bloggers. And the problem with the Pepsico blog was that it was an ad that looked much like an article but wasn’t marked “this is an advertisement”.

There is much in her rant that is clearly outrage that some of us (uh, yours truly again) have no sympathy for religious excuses, or indulge in “religion-baiting” as she calls it, but I’ll pass over that — atheist-haters are dime-a-dozen, and it’s not even particularly notable. But this final bit is absurd and discredits her completely: she lists some blogs she favors for her version of ‘science’.

For science that’s accessible but credible, steer clear of polarizing hatefests like atheist or eco-apocalypse blogs. Instead, check out, and Anthony Watts’s blog, Watts Up With That?

The first two are fine, but seriously: the pretentious weatherman who jiggers the evidence and makes up stuff about climate to deny the facts? If only she would have also mentioned a creationist blog or two, it would have made my day.

Skip Heffernan’s ignorant noise. David Dobbs has a more judicious reply.