Thursday, 12 May 2011

Antipodean academic blogging

The Age covers the academic blogging scene in Australia. The Aussies enjoy a rather more vibrant academic blogging community than the Kiwis.

I read Core Economics - the team that blogs there is excellent. But I hadn't realised that Core's Stephen King is Dean of Economics at Monash. Here's King on the merits of Monash over Melbourne. I can't imagine Kiwi PVCs doing this; differences among programmes here seem more seen as a problem to be solved than an opportunity.

Once there's enough bloggers around, universities can start doing this sort of thing:
Most Victorian universities have created blogging sites on their home webpages for their opinionated academics and students. ... RMIT University created a site last month called "blog central" as a space for academics to blog, with 15 categories ranging from arts and community to social science and sustainability. Deakin Speaking is a blog page for that university's academics to publish opinions and comments.
I don't particularly like the format of either; they're dedicated platforms rather than syndicators of independently produced content. But it shows there's a critical mass within Aussie universities that doesn't exist in New Zealand. I don't think that any New Zealand university would have enough bloggers to make a go of it.

According to The Age, "thousands of Australian academics have personal blogs, including at least one vice-chancellor...". I don't believe the number's in the thousands unless you count grad students. But it's got to be more than in New Zealand. Here, we have the folks at SciBlogs and maybe a half dozen independents, of which I can only think of two off the top: Xavier Marquez and Bryce Edwards. I really don't know what accounts for the difference between NZ and Australia. Academics on both sides of the ditch face similar incentive structures. Maybe it's a combination of the more demure Kiwi personality and agglomeration effects.

Here's John Sides in PS on political science blogging.


  1. Andrew Geddis at
    Dean Knight at
    Steven Price at
    Various VUW Law School academics at

    That's just law, but I can't think of anyone from my other disciplines, so you may well be right.

  2. You're entirely right; the lawyers are good.