I've been looking at my past posts, and discovered that there are 218 posts mentioning Rhosyfelin between 2011 and now. That's a lot of posts -- and, thanks to my faithful community of readers and contributors, a lot of open and friendly discussion, with a vast range of topics relating to this site, put under the microscope. You can do the search for yourselves, and check out what we have discussed........
It's interesting to explore which posts have been most popular, in terms of page views and comments. One of the most popular was the recent post about BigFoot! That says something in itself about the state of science in the world........
The Rhosyfelin Fracture Pattern has 511 page views;
The Incorrigible Quarry Hunters turn up at Carn Goedog has 596 views;
Big meltwater conduits beneath an ice stream has over 3,000 page views;
The Carn Meini "Bluestone Quarry" -- Oh no it isn't! Oh yes it is! has 811 views;
The Stonehenge rock types -- time for an update? has 749 views;
The Rhyolitic "debitage" around Stonehenge has 1242 views;
Bronze Age use of mauls and hammerstones has 1163 views;
Stonehenge -- a breeding ground for pseudoarchaeology? has 1264 views;
All in all, there are 711,000 page views on the blog, from all over the world. It's obvious that most of the views are from people interested in Stonehenge, but I suspect that there are a lot of views from geologists and geomorphologists as well, since my illustrations come up quite prominently when people search on Google for images. I presume that Google researchers are often directed to the site -- although I am totally mystified about how tags and keywords work. Sometimes I get messages from experts who say I should take "search engine optimisation" (SEO) more seriously, and that I should earn some dosh through allowing adverts on the site. "No thank you" to both of those......
What I have tried to do on the blog is encourage "folk science" which invites an open exchange of information and an open testing of hypotheses, involving both specialists and those who just want to learn.
Now that commercial interests have become important, another factor comes in to play. Research teams don't publicise their results too far ahead, even in their own peer groups, since they want to get things as right as possible before publishing and have a maximum impact. But there is always SOME discussion with peers, for example through conference presentations or poster displays of key results. So there are checks and balances, with the most radical ideas questioned and tested before they are submitted in the context of papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals. But "commercial confidentiality" trumps all of that, and I have seen the insidious and dangerous effects of it in other fields. Secrecy clauses come into play, and in medical science (for example) pharmaceutical commercial sponsors or biotech corporations reserve the right to vet research, insist on it being rewritten in a form which they approve of, or even veto publication altogether if the results are "inconvenient." Very sinister indeed. This is not the way science should be conducted, and I feel very strongly about it.