The designation came from The Niche, a stem cell blog published by UC Davis researcher Paul Knoepfler, who on Dec. 22 identified the best blogs in the field for 2015. He said,
“The (top) prize goes to CIRM’s The Stem Cellar. While this is a tough choice (see more below on other stem cell blogs), CIRM’s blog has continued from year to year to step up its game. They post very often, sometimes daily. Their posts are composed of compelling content that includes reports on papers and other developments, but also commentary. I really appreciate the latter and that is fairly unique. They have also gone well beyond just focusing on CIRM-related matters to include broader issues for the stem cell field.”
(CIRM is the acronym for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the formal name of the agency.)
“...(F)inishing a close second was Alexey Bersenev’s blog StemCellAssays. It continues to be incredible. Alexey regularly posts on the more technical side of stem cells, regenerative medicine, cellular medicine, and more. StemCellAssays is a much read for those interested in this field from any number of angles."
|Kevin McCormack, WAF photo|
“It was very flattering obviously to learn that Paul had named us as the #1 stem cell blog. We’ve been working hard to make our blog as engaging and thoughtful, and fun, as possible and this was vindication that at least in his eyes we had succeeded.
“Our strategy is really quite simple. We look for what we think are the best, most interesting stories out there, and then write about them. Obviously we like to highlight stories about research we are funding but more often than not we’re just looking for something new, something fresh, something that sheds a new light on research in general or on tackling a particular disease or problem in particular.”
|Todd Dubnicoff, CIRM photo|
|Karen Ring, CIRM photo|
|Don Gibbons, CIRM photo|
As for readership of the blog, it obviously draws attention from scientists and patients. But the audience is small compared to the mammoth numbers chalked up by big name blogs, which count their readership in millions. McCormack said WordPress reported 127,995 page views for 2015 for the agency’s blog. (For more numbers, see here.).
"Certainly, the more scientists who publish blogs and share their findings via social media, the more the public will learn about science from reputable sources. With that in mind, let’s hope that the number of scientists who are active on social media and writing blogs continues to grow!"
Knoepfler, who has received grants from the California stem cell agency, reported that msemporda and Stem Cells Buzz are new to the game. Sphere: Related Content