Friday 6 March 2009

The Open Laboratory 2008

The 2008 anthology of the best 50 science blog-posts from the year, The Open Laboratory 2008, is now available.

It is the 3rd annual anthology of science blogs with this year's considerably better as it includes one by me! This was quite a nice surprise - I heard about Open Labs at the London Science Blogging Conference and quite a few of the bloggers in attendance were hoping to get in, so I'm quite chuffed - thanks!

There were around 830 submissions narrowed down to 50 essays, one poem and one cartoon. If you missed them first time around, you can still buy the 2006 and the 2007 anthologies. Both of those, as well as the new one, are available in paperback or as a PDF download at lulu.

You can buy the book from lulu - no profits come to me, but go to funding the Science Online science blogging conference.

For what it's worth, my post that made it was one I wrote for Plus Magazine called United Kingdom - Nil Points about the maths of the Eurovision Song Contest. Amusingly, as the title is a bit of an in-joke for Eurovision fans, the name of the article was changed to Political Music for the mainly US audience this book will attract!

The article starts:

It is one of my favourite times of year, and I'm not even European.

The Eurovision Song Contest to Australians is a strange mix of bad 80s music, songs about "joy", "love" and "unity", amazingly good-looking hosts, scantily dressed Eastern Europeans and reality TV winners from Western Europe.

But another reason I love it is because it is about politics and maths. For the first time in my life, living in the UK, I get a chance to vote for the winner and watch it live instead of having to ignore radio reports (of course it's all over the news) till the Sydney Sunday evening replay.

I guess this year I'll be avoiding the news all day so as not to ruin the delayed Sydney SBS coverage! Get over to Plus and read the original article, or even better, buy the book as a PDF or paperback from lulu.


  1. The only thing I am unhappy about the Eurovision Song Contest is that the use of English, in the Contest increases year by year.

    As a native English speaker I think this is unfair!

    It's certainly time to break the habit of "language imperialism", in the Eurovision Song Contest, and use a song, sung in Esperanto instead!

    This is a serious suggestion, as you can see from the Esperanto music which is already available at or at

    There's even cheesy Esperanto music available! See

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