You already know that the Program for ScienceOnline09 contains several sessions that look, from different angles, at the question of reputation and authority in science, online and offline.
Related to this, as a recent lively discussion on science blogs demonstrated, is the question of the use of language. So, it is quite fitting that we have a session planned just about this topic:
Rhetoric of science: print vs. web:
This session is moderated by Christian Casper and Neil Caudle:
There is no doubt that online communication environment is changing the way we use language. LOL. Scientific papers are an example of some of the most unreadable literature in existence, yet now that it is all online, will this change? Is the public access to papers going to induce scientists to keep lay audience in mind, as well as their scientific peers, when writing their manuscripts? Should readers’ comments and notes on papers be more formal than the comments on blogs? Why?