66 Science Blogs : The Largest Online Science Blogging Community : Seed Media Group : plus Larry Lessig and UGC and J.K. Rowling and Originalism

Updated November 12, 2007

Science Blogs is the largest online blogging community dedicated to science. It was created as an experiment in science communication by the Seed Media Group, an emerging science media and communications company, who write:

We have selected our 60+ bloggers based on their originality, insight, talent, and dedication and how we think they would contribute to the discussion at ScienceBlogs. Our role, as we see it, is to create and continue to improve this forum for discussion, and to ensure that the rich dialogue that takes place at ScienceBlogs resonates outside the blogosphere.

One blog – The Scientifc Indian – even links to a simply fantastic Larry Lessig video presentation on user-generated content (UGC)… a confluence of science and law. Even if you read no further, make sure you see that video in entirety to fully understand modern “digital culture” and the major issues facing intellectual property law today.

See also particularly the Evolution Blog about evolution and creation, and examine particularly What the Dumbledore Flap Teaches Us About the Constitution citing to Harry Potter and the Framer’s Intent, a scathing demolition by Michael C. Dorf – via J.K. Rowling and fictional intent – of Constitutional originalism. Dorf writes:

Speaking at Carnegie Hall last week, J.K. Rowling, author of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series, revealed that Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is gay. Rowling explained that she was prompted to out the fictional Dumbledore when she noticed a reference to a female romantic interest of his in a draft of the screenplay for the planned sixth Potter film.

If the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince makes Dumbledore’s sexual orientation explicit, then that will settle the matter, at least so far as the fictional cinematic version of Dumbledore is concerned. But given that the Potter books, now complete, make no mention of Dumbledore’s sexuality, Rowling would not appear to have any authority to declare the print version of Dumbledore gay, straight or bi. Her views on such matters are naturally of interest to fans of her books, but the work must stand on its own.

These principles may seem obvious enough when considering the relation of a fiction writer’s intentions to her text, but they are highly contentious when it comes to legal documents. In the balance of this column, I will explain why James Madison is no more of an authority on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, than J.K. Rowling is on Dumbledore’s sexual orientation.

Read the rest here.

Below is the list of the current 66 Science Blogs together with our comments – or not – about them, and/or including a link to a sample posting we have selected.