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More experts writing science blogs

By Sam Boykin
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Bora Zivkovic, a native of Serbia, settled in Raleigh in 1991. He received a master’s in zoology at N.C. State, and in 2006 started “A Blog Around the Clock” (, which covers science, politics, the biology of sleep and social media. Zivkovic, who now lives in Pittsboro, is also blog editor at Scientific American. Follow him on Twitter @boraz.

Q: When and why did you first start blogging?

I started during the 2003 Democratic primaries on John Edwards’ campaign blog. I was fascinated by the political process, and being from Yugoslavia I provided a different perspective and new angle. I was an outsider looking in. I eventually started three different blogs, which I finally fused into one, A Blog Around the Clock.

It’s a very eclectic blog and difficult to categorize because it covers so much.

Q: What topics are you currently blogging about?

Like every writer, I have changing interests. At first I blogged about politics, and then circadian rhythms and sleep. Sometimes I review scientific literature and research, and the way it’s presented in the media.

These days I write a lot about the changing media environment, journalism, science writing and social media – what I call new media ecosystems.

Q: How has blogging changed the way science is communicated?

It has given a voice to more experts.

They can translate the jargon to normal English language with an accuracy that old-style journalists cannot do without a lot of research and interviews.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to all the new media ecosystems?

It’s a great time for science journalism – but not science journalists, because there are so many of them. There’s a bigger competition for a smaller number of jobs. So doing it professionally is becoming a lot harder.

It’s also harder to be a good generalist. People are looking for a specific expertise.

Generalists are becoming rare because very few people are capable of providing good coverage of a wide range of topics, from astronomy to zoology and everything in between.

It’s a tall order.

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