31 October 2008

Help save Darwin's mockingbirds

Dear readers and fellow bloggers,

Update: note new link for widgets h/t Richard Carter.

The Floreana mockingbird - the bird that inspired Darwin to doubt the 'stability of species' and therefore set him on the intellectual path towards evolution by natural selection - is under very serious threat of extinction.

This morning on the Today Programme, the Galapagos Conservation Trust launched a fundraising campaign to help save the mocker by studying, selecting and reintroducing birds from the surviving satellite populations back onto the main island of Floreana.

They only need £60,000 (as Andrew Marr, well-known BBC presenter and chairman of the GCT, said, "not everything important costs a lot of money")! Please consider helping by:
  1. making a donation at the GCT website
  2. posting one my homemade widgets (at right and below) on your blog sidebar
Together we can save Darwin's muse in the Galapagos for ourselves and future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Thank you,
Karen

30 October 2008

RRS James Clark Ross crosses the equator

Jeremy and Martine cross the equator on their Atlantic cruise for coccolithophores. Neptune is summoned; hilarity ensues:


Darwin's mockingbirds on the Today Programme tomorrow

Update: Listen again here!

A little mockingbirdie tells me that Randal Keynes and Andrew Marr will be on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme tomorrow morning (the 31st) talking about Darwin, the Galapagos and the conservation effort to save the Floreana mockingbird, which I covered in a previous post, Saving Darwin's Muse.

29 October 2008

The Discovery Institute send big guns to Ireland but only manage to fire blanks (guest post by Dr Bob Bloomfield)

We are pleased and proud to host this incisive guest post by Dr Bob Bloomfield* who defended clear-thinking rationalism at a creationism debate two weeks ago in Dublin. His report mentions the Causeway Creation Committee, whose oxen I've previously gored here and here. -KJ

When the Trinity College Dublin Student Philosophical Society debated the merit of creationism at its weekly debate on Thursday 16th October 2008, there was a remarkably eager response by the Discovery Institute who provided their ‘big-guns’ to this student affair.

Following a formula of debate established over its seasoned years of philosophising, the proceedings began with an essay that I was invited to present. This in essence laid out the case that there was nothing new within the ideas of creationism to contribute to science, but also offered the proposition that evolutionary biology need not lead inexorably to materialism. Instead I argued that within the paradigm of an evolved diversity there was the potential for an ethical framework where, as part of the economy of nature, people might recognise their intimate interaction with the world around them. This way of thinking offers hope to the perils of anthropogenic change and the concerns over, for example, biodiversity loss.

The debate proponents were then invited, in an alternating sequence to respond in support, or in opposition to this proposition.

Three local speakers argued in support of the essay, each taking a different line. The gentlemanly Christopher Stillman, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Trinity, argued the case that science and religion are 'nonoverlapping majisteria' (see Stephen J. Gould), each exploring different needs for human knowledge (as in the reference to Islam, ‘Science teaches how the heavens go, the Quran teaches how to go to heaven’). Trinity’s young Anglican pastor, Darren McCallig, took the view that mainstream Christian theology rejected any notion of a ‘God of the Gaps’ (Intelligent Design), insisting that a Christian understanding of the Almighty was of an all encompassing nature that set in motion the laws of the universe, within which the mechanism of evolution by means of natural selection was completely in accord. Finally, a charmingly irascible Dr David Colquhoun FRS, Professor of Pharmacology from Imperial University College London [who tells me in a follow-up email to this post that he will soon be posting his own take on the debate on his blog Improbable Science -KJ], rose to take an atheistic position that at it simplest asked people to ‘consider a mother gorilla cuddling her offspring to ask whether we are related?’, and which at its most scathing aligned creationism to pink fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Among the student’s contributions one ebullient young woman defended the right to have creationist views while making it clear she didn’t entertain them herself, while a second ‘hack’ of the society rejoined with a blistering response that majored on the pink fairies, Santa Clause and a host of other fantasies that could be equally regarded as ‘legitimate world views’. Among this hilarity a third student stood up to give witness to his personal, recently realised faith, explaining that he now proclaimed it on the streets of Dublin. He burned with passion professing an absolute and fundamental view, explaining how dinosaurs where easily explained as part of the divine creation alongside man, referring to the Congo monster the Mokele-mbembe (right) as his proof (see how this is also taken seriously by oxymoronic creation-science). In his fervour the young man denounced all scientific dating methods as false using the apparent evidence of lava from recent eruptions in New Zealand being dated as several millions of years old as evidence.

Listening to his contribution I could not help reflect on the young man’s fervour. Perhaps the chamber should be grateful that this was the particular position he chose to ‘witness’, in the UK, in the same week the trail was concluding of another young man who had been inducted into a fundamental faith position. He had witnessed his conviction by trying to set off a home-made bomb of caustic-soda, petrol and nails in a family restaurant in the cause of his Jihad – there but the grace of God you might say, and one of the issues of creationism being exported into the European context.

The final student contribution came from a young woman geologist. She first reminded the audience that magma beneath New Zealand, as elsewhere, moves slowly, deep in the earth’s mantle for millions of years and that its K-Ar radioactive signals are locked into mineral xenoliths such as olivine as they differentially crystallise out of the magma - long before they are exuded as volcanic lava. In any event these isotopes are used to measure the ages of igneous rocks over the vast time-period of geological time where this is a minor discrepancy, methods such as radiometric carbon and oxygen-isotope dating are used to measure more recent timescales of a few tens-of thousands or a few millions of years. She poignantly pointed to the knowledge of science that would need to be rejected if extreme creationist perspectives were upheld, not just biological evolution; but geological plate-tectonics; planetary-science; modern medicine and epidemiology were on her list. Her hilarious conclusion was simply that, in any event, if she were wrong the worst that could happen was that she would go to hell – and that would be great because it would be full of geologists!

So amongst this student light-heartedness we can only speculate why The Discovery Institute of America chose to send in a delegation of not one, but two of its big-guns. Could it be that they were taking the opportunity to support the efforts of their colleagues in the Causeway Creation Committee? This little group in Northern Ireland is lobbying to have a ‘creationist explanation’ of the basalt columns, which resulted from an ancient volcanic eruption, included alongside that of more charming story of how the mythical hunter Fionn mac Cumhaill built the causeway to keep his feet dry as he headed for Scotland. Not so amusing when the same group is lobbying to ban the teaching of evolution in the schools of Northern Ireland.

The pro-creationists presented a rather amusing parody of the Great Debate of the British Association in Oxford of 1860. Instead of an imposing Sir Richard Owen in the background, there was instead the diminutive Paul Nelson in the foreground (hiding his Discovery Centre allegiance by presenting himself as representing of the 'Access Research Network'!). His role was to make the case that an ‘intelligent agent’ having a part in science, arguing that this was increasingly apparent as the process of science in answering questions only resulted in more questions emerging that were unanswered! (The Owen analogy is not insignificant, Nelson would look a the tree of life in a similar way to how Owen hypothesised it consisting of groups around archetypes, in which animals were all variations on an Ideal Type – originated by a designer)!

Then in place of Bishop Wilberforce, the Discovery Institute presented its own Soapy Sam. The role of David Berlinski was to throw doubt on all - but insight into nothing. He presented straw-men with a superciliousness which had none of the humor of Samual Wilberforce’s, ‘was your grandfather an ape on your mother’s or your father’s side?’ but was equally deserving of T H Huxley’s famous response that he ‘was not ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor; but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used great intellectual gifts to obscure the truth’. To make up the trio Peter Korevaar of the Studiengemeinschaft Wort und Wissen (Word and Knowledge Study Community) had been flown in from Germany. His bland assertion that while microevolution was demonstrable, macroevolution was not possible was no more convincing than it was memorable.

The proceedings drew towards a conclusion by me being asked to respond to the positions that the debate proponents had offered. I kept this short, first commenting that the actual responses had concentrated on the issues of creationism – which is actually marginal within the discourse in science. I pointed out that prior to coming I had considered carefully whether to attend a debate that offered a platform where the creationist movement could play out their mantra of ‘talk the controversy’. However, there is debate within society which is intergenerational - as young people such as the students in the society draw on their own perspectives and experience, and they deserve to hear both sides of the argument.

I pointed out to the society members that, despite appearances, the creationist camp included two speakers this evening that were directly associated with the Discovery Institute and commended that the audience took time to read for themselves the leaked internal political document that set out the true aims of this organisation. That is, to use the undermining of evolution as the ‘thin end of the wedge’ to topple western science. Their belief being that in doing this they will reverse materialism and replace it with a science consonant with Christian values (see "Wedge strategy"). I demonstrated the point by referring to one resent post on the Access Research Network website under the title of ID and Human Cloning which I had come across whilst researching the speakers:
‘…If however, our lives are the product of intentionality and design, then purpose and meaning as well as right and wrong may not be just arbitrary human constructs. In fact, the reverse might be true. Far from needing us to carve them out, purpose and meaning could form part of the very template from which we ourselves were stamped! With this starting point, cloning looks quite different...’
Turning back to the debate I suggest the Society should consider what were truths and half-truths. Was there a significant debate within mainstream science? Was the creationism position evidence-based or a political device to intercede in science?

I asked about the intentions of attempting to create a distinction between natural agent and intelligent agent, pointing out that the only intelligent agents accessible to being explored being the minds of organisms which are the product of evolution, not apart from it. Was this attempted distinction a subterfuge to avoid the more obvious distinction between natural and supernatural?

I concluded by saying that though I had being given the privilege of the last word in the discussion, it seemed appropriate to give it to my opponent as the focus had been primarily of the case for creations and Paul Nelson of the Discovery Institute, AKA Access Research Network, had made written his own assessment of its status in the creationist Touchstone Magazine …
'Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.' - Paul Nelson 2004
I asked if this, the sum of creationist thinking, along with half-truths and straw men was more reasoned and supported by evidence than the huge advances in evolutionary biology achieved over the 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection?

The Society chairman called for the response of the Society, first for those in support of the essay, and secondly for those rejecting creationism, in both cases the hue of voices and hands were an overwhelming 90+%, a tribute to Trinity’s Students acceptance of reason over ignorance.

*The views expressed in this post are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the positions of any of the organisations with whom the author is affiliated.

23 October 2008

Brigs in Space! Beagle and NASA in transatmospheric link-up.

Well, folks, to say it's been a good week for the Beagle Project would be a bit of an understatement. First we had confirmation that we've been granted charitable status (and are therefore eligible to receive Gift Aid among other things); then we had a brilliant turnout at the House of Lords reception given for us by Lords Hunt and Livsey; but oh, how we've saved the best for last...

The International Space Station as she flies above the ocean this summer.

The HMS Beagle Trust are now the very proud owners of signed NASA Space Act Agreement. Yes, you heard that right: The Beagle Project and NASA are an item. Regular readers will know that we've been dancing blogging around this for some time now, but today it's official!

We're going to be working with NASA on a joint science, education and outreach programme centred on a direct link between the International Space Station and the new Beagle as she retraces the 1831-1836 voyage that carried a certain young naturalist around the world.

You can read all the details in our press release.

To celebrate, we've popped more than a few corks (though sadly none of them have made it into orbit ...yet). We've also given our website a facelift for the great day.

Before we sign off, we want to extend a personal thank-you to NASA astronaut Mike Barratt who initiated contact with us and has put an enormous amount of energy into this on the NASA side. We understand Mike plans to take a small model of the Beagle into space with him in March (hence the title of this post).

~Karen and Peter

Media contact PeterMcGrath 0044 1947 840 222

A bit of backstory:
Houston, we have a partner
Pics in space
Show and tell: the Beagle legacy
A (NASA) picture is worth a thousand words

An hour to go then Beagle Blog readers get the scoop first.

No clue here, come back in an hour.

22 October 2008

A good friend of this Project needs help (update)

Mike of Tangled up in a blue guy is a good 'un and needs us rally round. I'm sure it hurts a person to ask for assistance like this. Go help.

Update: owing to the scientific blogosphere's generosity, Mike has swerved the iceberg.

The most awesome book inscription ever...

I mean if you wanted a Bible inscribing by someone, it'd have to be "Charles Darwin, HMS Beagle" wouldn't it? Go see, it's a lovely story.

The Big Beagle Project news...

will be released on this blog first at midday BST tomorrow (Thursday), then in an email to our network of supporters and to the media. But blog readers get first dibs. It is big, it is exciting, it will lead to some headbangingly great science and the kind of charismatic science communication opportunities we all know the field needs. We've been working for two years to bring this stuff together, and Science Director Karen James deserves special mention here.

In the meantime, there's a rather charming Charles Darwin/HMS Beagle story coming up elsewhere later this evening. Post and link as soon as it's up.

Poseidon! I love this cryptic stuff. Stay tuned.

21 October 2008

Comment policy

OK we have attracted our first comment troll. We are very focussed on one thing here, which is raising funds to build a modernized seagoing version of HMS Beagle on which Charles Darwin sailed. She'll be a seagoing lab, a way of generating eye-popping teaching material for a range of sciences, a celebration of Darwin's life, work and legacy and an icon for science.

So it's fair to say that the directors of the HMS Beagle Trust and the bloggers here are convinced by the merits of evolutionary science and are working to help better explain it to the public around the world and to enrol a new generation of young people in science.

This is not the forum for debating the validity or otherwise of evolutionary theory. If you wish to have that debate, there are places where you can go have that scrap. Go and get flayed at Pharyngula. Leaving anonymous comments quote mining and adding biblical verses adds nothing to the Project or the site so they won't get through moderation in future. We've approved a particularly twerpish example on the previous post. You want to do that stuff, get your own blog.

20 October 2008

Register Thursday soon for the Cambridge Darwin Festival


The Cambridge Darwin 2009 Festival is shaping up to be one of the most exciting events of the Darwin bicentenary year. Speakers include David Attenborough, Matt Ridley, Lord Krebs, Steve Jones, Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett.

Registration opens this Thursday, the 23rd of October sometime in the near future, according to the conference organisers. The organisers don't know how fast it will fill up but I'm guessing fast. So don't miss your chance to register for this once-in-a-lifetime festival of Darwiniana at Darwin's own alma mater.

P.S. We at the Beagle Project heartily approve of the Beagle-centricity of the festival website's rotating header image.

Rolls Royce flying back to the future with propellors...

Propellors are making a comeback in aviation according to this article The Guardian. Conventional jet engines are less economical than turboprops. When oil was cheap that didn't matter. Now it does.

With rising oil costs (I know they've dropped of late, but it won't be for long) and the inevitable need for shipping stuff around, ships are going to have to find ways to reduce fuel consumption. Our contact on the (now sadly defunct) Scholarship reported that it cost too much in fuel to stop the ship at sea - say for a spot of sampling - and get her underway again.

Increasing the hydrodynamic efficiency of hulls will only make limited gains. Shipping less stuff around the world would help, but in the end ships are going to have to help themselves along with...sails using this free thing called the wind. A far-sighted, philanthropic shipbuilding company or shipping magnate might think of a seagoing Beagle as a way of collecting data on how sails can assist in reducing fuel consumption (and therefore pollution; bunker oil is a potent source of pollution), under which conditions and on which routes such a vessel might best work.

That magnate might put a chunk of cash into the build and fund a research programme around the work.

19 October 2008

Big news coming this Thursday!

The Beagle Project has some big news - we're talkin' out of this world news. Peter Mc and I are busily preparing the super-hot blog announcement/media extravaganza for this Thursday. Stay tuned...

17 October 2008

The Beagle Project at the House of Lords

Yesterday Beagle Project patrons Lord Julian Hunt, CB, MA, PhD, FIMA, FRS and Lord Richard Livsey hosted a reception for our newly minted charity The HMS Beagle Trust at the Abbey Garden at the House of Lords, pictured right.

We had an excellent turnout including British sailing hero Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (also a patron of the project), Darwin biographer James Moore, and a nice diversity of distinguished supporters from the political, scientific and maritime communities.

Several potential sponsors/donors were also there, and Richard Livsey ended the event with a rousing call to action. To paraphrase, he said, it's up to "us" (meaning those assembled in the room) to do our utmost to help secure support and funding for the Beagle Project. I was struck by the overwhelming feeling that we had come an awful long way (Peter McGrath longest of all) since the inception of the project which has always been a purely volunteer labour of love to be there at the House of Lords with such an esteemed collection of British supporters.

Thanks to everyone who has supported and championed us so far. Let's hope the best days are yet to come!

14 October 2008

Charlie's playhouse...

of course you have thought 'I wish I could buy my child/niece/nephew/grandson/granddaughter/godson/god-daughter (and any atheist equivalents thereof) a Darwin or evolution related present. Well now you can over at Charlie's Playhouse.

Model Beagle for inspiring maritime bathtime play, please. (Tip of the cork-fringed hat to Dr Grant)

The Beagle Project is now a registered charity!!

Dear friends, this is a big day (in a big week, about which more soon) for the Beagle Project. After a long bureaucratic slog and some niggling about whether we are allowed to use "HMS" in our trust's name (if we aren't, people think were something to do with dogs, see?), we are now officially a registered charity in the UK! W00t!!1!1!! We are:
The HMS Beagle Trust
Registered Charity No. 1126192
The advantages of being a charity, taken from the website of the Charity Commission for England and Wales are:
  • do not normally have to pay income/corporation tax (in the case of some types of income), capital gains tax, or stamp duty, and gifts to charities are free of inheritance tax;
  • pay no more than 20% of normal business rates on the buildings which they use and occupy to further their charitable aims;
  • can get special VAT treatment in some circumstances;
  • are often able to raise funds from the public, grant-making trusts and local government more easily than non-charitable bodies;
  • can formally represent and help to meet the needs of the community;
  • are able to give the public the assurance that they are being monitored and advised by us;
  • can seek advice from us; and
  • can get information from us, for example, our range of free publications.
Other advantages are:
  • the all important Gift aid (an ingenious British invention by which, instead of deducting your charitable giving from your own taxable income as you would in the USA, you automatically give the deduction to the charity instead, on top of your specified donation)
  • eligible to get certain software at dirt cheap prices (which warms the cockles of a blogger's heart, let me tell you)
  • we can start raising money through JustGiving.co.uk instead of PayPal (we'll set that up here and on our impending new website asap)

12 October 2008

"The Voyage of Charles Darwin" now on YouTube

A big, flourishing tip of the hat to Richard Carter FCD for cluing us in that the BBC's 1978 six-part dramatisation The Voyage of Charles Darwin is now up on YouTube.

The poster advertising the series is below. This is a photo I took of my own copy which I bought on e-bay and now hangs above my computer desk at home.


11 October 2008

The Atlantic coccoliths blog

My Natural History Museum colleagues Jeremy Young and Martine Couapel have just embarked on the RRS James Clark Ross (right) for a five-week stint of field work in the Atlantic exploring the distribution of coccolithophores (tiny plant plankton best known for their gorgeous forms as usually captured by scanning electron microscopes, below right).

They're going to be blogging their way from Britain to the Falkland Islands on the Atlantic coccoliths blog, hosted on the Natural History Museum's website. Here's the blurb at the top of the blog:
This blog follows Museum researchers Martine Couapel and Jeremy Young as they collect minute plant plankton, called coccolithophores, in the Atlantic Ocean. They are taking part in the AMT18 (Atlantic Meridional Transect 18) oceanographic research cruise. It will take them from Britain to the Falkland Islands and will last 5 weeks.

The aim of their research is to build a more complete picture of the current distribution of coccolithophores in the Atlantic. Scientists are interested in finding out how coccoliths will be affected by global warming and by increasing levels of acidity in the ocean. Jeremy and Martine's research will provide baseline information about coccolithophores that future studies can be measured against.

(more info about the project here)

The first entry was posted on Monday from the English Channel. I'm hoping to convince Jeremy and/or Martine to share with us their post-cruise blogging wisdom at the Adventure blogging session planned for January's ScienceOnline09 conference in North Carolina.

10 October 2008

The Darwin exhibition (finally) comes to London

These are exciting times at the Natural History Museum (my main gig), what with Darwin's 200th birthday less than four months away and multiple programmes and projects relating to the bicentenary really starting to kick into gear.

One of the most exciting of these is the opening of the exhibition Darwin (of AMNH origin) at the museum in London on 14th November ...just five weeks away now (not that I'm counting, oh no, not me).

The official announcement is up online, and we've been instructed to put the following into our email signatures, which is surely a sign that, at long last, it's really going to happen:

Coming soon...
Darwin. 14 November 2008 - 19 April 2009. Explore Darwin's life and the revolutionary big idea that changed our understanding of the world and our place within it. Tickets on sale now.

Big news is afoot

Watch this space.

7 October 2008

Lord Drayson, have we got an iconic project for you?

On his recent appointment as science minister, Lord Paul Drayson gave an interview to the Guardian that set a few pulses racing. The new minister said that:
the country needed large-scale "iconic" challenges to show young people that science can offer a "wonderful life".
Lord Drayson, how about rebuilding HMS Beagle during 2009, the year of Charles Darwin's bicentenary then sending her round the world crewed by young British scientists and students, celebrating and updating the work of Charles Darwin, father of evolutionary theory and Captain Robert Fitzroy founder of climate science?

Students from GCSE level working alongside PhDs carrying out up to date peer-reviewed science as we sail, streaming film and audio of the voyage to classrooms and labs ashore where people can follow the science and sailing as it happens. Showing the excitement and adventure of science as we make landfall where Darwin walked, researched and was inspired.

Charles Darwin said, "The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career." A rebuilt HMS Beagle sailing the world in the great scientist's wake, acting as an ambassador for science, for Darwin's legacy and involving young scientists in genuine scientific research? It doesn't get more iconic than that.

6 October 2008

We're bound for South Australia!

This sea shanty, sung by a wonderfully harmonious and resonant group of Port Isaac Cornish fishermen, is guaranteed to cheer you up on a Monday (h/t Deep Sea News). Update: Thanks to Howard in comments who dug around and found out these chaps are called The Fishermen's Friends and you can buy their CD Home from the Sea online.

Natural History Museum at Tring: Wallace, Darwin and Evolution

Update: George Beccaloni's more recent post on this exhibition far outshines mine. Go read it. Among other things, George tells us that the display at Tring is not just a repeat of the South Kensington display as I thought, but will be "a greatly expanded version of the London Natural History Museum's small exhibit". Hooray!

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the joint reading of Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin's papers on natural selection to the Linnean Society in London, the Natural History Museum exhibited a small but spine-tinglingly historic display of specimens and original documents relevant to the independent conception of the theory of natural selection by the two men:
"Happy birthday, evolution"
The Darwin-Wallace 150th anniversary display at the Natural History Museum at South Kensington this summer. The case will go on display again from 13th October 2008 - 18th January 2009 at the Natural History Museum at Tring (photo by Alex Gaffikin).


The objects, including one of Wallace's bird of paradise specimens and the skeleton of one of Darwin's domestic pigeons (onto the bones of which he inked his annotations directly) were on display at the museum in South Kensington for just one month this summer.

But never fear, you haven't missed your chance: the exhibition is going on display again from 13 October 2008 - 18 January 2009 at the Natural History Museum at Tring, a lovely, rural satellite campus of the main museum and home of the museum's amazing bird collections and Walter Rothschild's (largely unchanged) Victorian natural history museum.

5 October 2008

The new Beagle will bring attention to ocean decline

The decline in ocean health during the last fifty years is starkly presented in this Shifting Baselines video:



We are determined that the new Beagle be used to shine a light on this important issue, not least by comparing Darwin and Fitzroy's physical and biological observations to those made on the voyage of the new Beagle in 2010-. This seems likely to reveal an even more pronounced change in the ocean environment than that detected in the last fifty years, providing even stronger evidence of humans' dramatic impact on marine ecosystems.

4 October 2008

(Not so) new science blogs on the block

This is a 'Beagle blog backlog' post, begun on the 6th of August, 2008 and finished today.

A big Beagle Project hello to these new(ish) science bloggers on the block (well, new to me anyhooo):

First mention goes out to two of my pals:
  • Mark Siddall, AMNH leech cladist who has recently started BdellaNea (invert fans take note!)
  • Professor Mark Pallen, fellow Darwinist and author of the new blog Rough Guide to Evolution (its namesake will be published on 1st January 2009 ...I wonder if Mark might require some bloggeurs to review preliminary copies, eh?).
Next a selection of new and old lovelies from Rick's seemingly comprehensive list of ocean bloggers (which includes a special up-front mention of our close-knit SciBlogCon ocean posse - w00t!!1!1!):
And last but not least, from T Ryan Gregory's list of new "scientist-bloggers" (because while all scientists who blog are science bloggers not all science bloggers are scientists ... er ... uh ... well, you get my point):

3 October 2008

Silence is golden ...well, we hope so

Apologies, dear readers, for leaving you without a Beagle Project Blog post for a whole week. Normally a lapse like this would have us hanging our heads in shame, but we have a good excuse (over and above the usual good excuse, i.e. the day job).

See, we have been working hard on non-bloggable (as yet) Beagle business and we hope to have some exciting newses to reveal over the next several weeks, not least an announcement regarding the NASA collaboration we've been working to develop and a new Beagle Project website (long awaited and much needed, we know). So hang in there and we'll be back to you shortly with all manner of Beagly goodness.