The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Certified Alarmism Free!

Google AdSense ads clipped from my gmail display. Note the last one.

Certified Alarmism Free!
Peer reviewed!
Tell Your Friends!
What, Me Worry?

Should I put a line item in my grant proposals for advertising to the general public?

It appears that the CO2science.org folks have funding to do so.

Two questions:
1) Where is the money coming from for this? (Well, OK, in some sense we know that, but the question is how many readers don't take the time to ask themselves that question.)

2) How is disinterested science supposed to prevail over interest-group science under these circumstances? Seriously, should we have an ad/PR budget? (What passes for "outreach", at least at US institutions, remains pretty much pro forma.)
Also, to ice the cake, the CO2 "science" home page currently concludes as follows:
Tell Your Friends!
When was the last time you referred someone to the Center's website? We challenge you to introduce two new people to CO2 Science each week. More...
Hmmm, science by Ponzi. Great idea. Guerilla marketing, it's called in some circles.

What can we do in response with our new line item? Let's, hmm, offer a chance for a trip to Hawai'i with each download of an actual peer-reviewed paper. Or maybe we can tap into the "free mp3 with a six-pack of Pepsi" thing with "free pdfs"! Come on people, let's be creative here!

2 comments:

Hank Roberts said...

Well, that answers this question:

http://www.apogeehk.com/articles/Is_Google_Advertising_Evil.html

Hank Roberts said...

Hey, is there a search engine that counts up Google's ads, anywhere?

I'd like to know how many they run for the Intelligent Design people, for example.