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ScienceBlogs.com Deals With Community Backlash Over PepsiCo Column

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the ray-charles-would-be-disappointed dept.

Businesses 299

History's Coming To writes "Several writers for the ScienceBlogs.com collective have publicly resigned from the site, and many more have voiced concerns over parent company Seed's decision to include a paid blog under the nutrition category from PepsiCo. The blog was to be written by PepsiCo food scientists, detailing their work. The UK's Guardian newspaper has picked up on the story, and includes a letter from Seed editor Adam Bly which covers the company's rationale." The ScienceBlogs Team later canceled the PepsiCo blog and apologized, instead leaving their users with a few tough questions: "How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

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Translation (5, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859712)

"How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

Translation: "Damn, how do we get away with this next time? Do you know how much money Pepsi was giving us for selling out your reputations? This 'wall between editorial and advertising' concept is so outmoded and pre-Web 2.0, you know."

Re:Translation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859752)

Indeed. As to the question itself, assuming for a moment we take it at face value: this looks like an opportunity for legitimate use of the oodles of money that mega-corps such as this one pay for PR and marketing. And by legitimate, I mean credible. I mean doing it under your own colours with your own money and building up your own credibility instead of buying someone else's.

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860292)

Stick it to the man bro ! Down with capitalist pig science and invention ! Let the state do it !

Say, who turned out the lights [wikipedia.org] ? Hmmm, the phone's not working [wikipedia.org] ... where's my cell phone ? [wikipedia.org].

Frankly even the more "abstract" science largely 0comes from 1 of 2 sources : "scientists" who were really businessmen first and scientist second (or third, or fourth, in most cases), and the church. Massive government sponsorship for science is mostly less than a century old (and already they have a monopoly).

That's why it'd be a good idea for both private individuals and companies to be involved in science. Of course, you'd have to check something before you start believing it. Somehow we think that no checks are necessare when the state ("university"/"national center for X"/...) comes with science ? That's my second point. Yes individuals lie, and they lie a lot. Companies lie, and they lie a lot. But why does the state get a free pass from everyone here ? Government scientists lie too.

In actuality the best option, imho, would be to continue as science used to work : that everyone believes whatever they like to believe, and no-one gets shielded from the real world. Of course given our "tolerant" attitudes on things ranging from Darwinism to (A)GW, half of slashdot would break out the pitchforks before they let this happen. And of course, getting it spoon-fed from the government (only the "approved" discoveries, of course) is much easier. No-one really needs to know what history tells us about just how many gene lines survive in a natural selection environment, and how many die out (for every species alive today, there's at least a million species that died out, and probably more than that)

Scientists used to worship dissent, even stupid dissent.
Now it just worships government money.

"It's even worse than we thought", "jewish flesh is toxic to look at" [nature.com] (whoops, wrong state sponsoring)

And we can only blame ourselves (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859762)

Well, it is. But well, we all know how well subscription based models tend to work out. And not a lot of people donate to their favorite sites, either. And increasingly large amount of people hate advertisements and use adblock. (You can go on about "Well, that's originally THEIR fault for all the flashy banners and whatnot" but it is irrelevant, really. Even sites with a decent advertisement policies get hurt.) Any ads that can be identified as such can be blocked... So our behaviour is forcing the site owners to either wrap things up or come up with ads that don't look so much like ads. PayPerPost product reviews and the like.

(Yeah, as someone who has worked in internet advertising and currently earns some decent revenue from my sites, I am about as biased as we come. But I personally had the options of either stop delivering content to my readers and find something else to do or start earning by more questionable advertising. I think that really, many of you would have done what I did and could still sleep your nights well.)

What If I never click adverts anyway? (1, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859826)

What if I am NOT influenced by adverts, do not click them and avoid the products mentioned within them?

Surely they lose nothing if I just block silently, it would never have influenced me anyway. How common is paying by impression?

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859884)

What if I am NOT influenced by adverts, do not click them and avoid the products mentioned within them?

You are influenced by adverts whether you know it or not. Now, your conscious influence may be stronger than the unconscious; I am fairly adept at detecting the manipulation attempted by advertisement, and it makes me angry. But that doesn't make you immune to the techniques used. It only means that they must be employed more subtly to work on you.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860030)

Mod parent +1: Refreshing.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860288)

You are influenced by adverts whether you know it or not.

Absolutely right. No amount of blocking, ignoring, fast-forwarding or opting out is going to protect you from the influence of ubiquitous advertising.

One way I demonstrate this whenever someone tells me that they "ignore advertising" and are "not affected by advertising" is by asking them how they came to know the names of the products, or see if they can complete the last few words of a jingle, or simply by asking them which brand name products they own and why they chose those products over their competitors.

A lot of money and research has gone into marketing techniques. There's no question they work, and they work on everyone.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859938)

Surely the fact that you actively avoid the products mentioned within the advertisements means that you are influenced by them?

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860048)

The complete opposite influence they want me to have maybe?

I don't understand your comment.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860148)

The complete opposite influence they want me to have maybe?

I don't understand your comment.


Even if it's the opposite effect of what they would like you to do, it's still an influence. So you saying that you are "not influenced" is 100% wrong. It's just not the type of influence the advertisers would like to have on you. This really isn't that hard to understand.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860242)

Influenced is influenced. Perhaps someday you will avoid a product that could have saved or extended your life because you didn't like the advertisements on a website.

How far do you want to take it?

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860318)

The complete opposite influence they want me to have maybe?

I guarantee that you have not been able to ignore advertising or cause it to have the opposite influence. You're fooling yourself.

What kind of computer do you use? What kind of portable media player? I guarantee that you chose them because of advertising. You know which components to buy when you build a computer because of advertising. You know which cereal to buy because of advertising.

Even if you buy the cheap store-brand of corn flakes, it's because the store-brand is piggy-backing off the effect that Kellogs' advertising had on you or you wouldn't even know to buy corn flakes.

I bet you know the names of Apple's laptop computers. I bet you know the names of the individual programs in Adobe's Creative Suite. I bet you can tell me the names of car models made by the biggest car companies. All because of advertising.

There's a long game in advertising too. Even if you aren't directly influenced to run out and buy a product, you learn the names, you learn the qualities that made one brand better than another. Eventually you will make a decision, and though you think you're making the decision based only upon your own independent thinking, the marketing plays a bigger role than you think.

Re:What If I never click adverts anyway? (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860200)

What if I am NOT influenced by adverts,

Then you should immediately report to the nearest psychology lab and make a living being examined for this highly unusual trait.

Advertisement today contains more science than Spirit and Opportunity. It practically is a science of its own - the science of manipulating masses, often unconsciously, and especially in such a way that they are either unaware of it or in complete denial.

Ockhams Razor says you are not immune, you are in denial.

Reality cracking (4, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860260)

It is definitely a science like you say but it doesn't mean you cannot learn the science yourself. It's called 'reality cracking' and it's absolutely fascinating:

http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/realicra.htm [searchlores.org]

The idea behind reality cracking is that if you can begin to understand how the adverts work, you can become more aware and wise to how supermarkets, adverts abuse and play on you.

If I do not see the adverts, I am more unlikely to buy them. I do not see adverts on TV because I don't watch it, I don't see them online either. I also read to become aware of the tricks. It saves me more time this way.

I don't have an iPhone. I don't have a Mac, I try buy products that advertise less (like unheard of brands). I am a simpleton.

Re:And we can only blame ourselves (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860206)

Hey, if you're cool with your admittedly questionable practices, that's your issue, but don't rationalize it by accusing others that they would have done the same with no qualm.

Re:And we can only blame ourselves (2, Interesting)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860320)

The biggest problem is sites that have articles spread across 15 different pages because 70% of each page is taken up by
1 Site banner
2 Section Banner
3 Ad banner
3 subsection banner
4 social networking/ list every fracking blog block
5 affiliates block
6 random ad blocks
7 multiple intra-site link blocks
8 brainless poll blocks
9 Rich media blocks
10 ect
11 audnauseum

Re:Translation (4, Insightful)

spirality (188417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859788)

Why aren't government scientists treated with as much skepticism as corporate scientists?

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859800)

Because they don't have a long history of being paid to tell us that things like smoking and various chemicals are safe, only to be proved wrong?

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859806)

While governments and their scientists may be financially wasteful at times, at least they aren't driven totally by greed, like corporate scientists are. There is typically at least some small part of that government which is interested in positively helping the citizenry of the nation.

There's little incentive for government scientists studying nutrition, for instance, to come up with findings that indicate that a certain product is "nutritious" when it may not be. However, when you're working as a scientist for a company selling said product, then it clearly becomes beneficial to you to avoid truths that might not lead to increased sales, or it might help encourage you to look at data in a way that doesn't reflect reality. That's why people don't trust corporate scientists.

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859854)

There's little incentive for government scientists studying nutrition, for instance, to come up with findings that indicate that a certain product is "nutritious" when it may not be.

Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates which we know and for centuries have known will cause heart disease and obesity in cases of overconsumption? And why the new revision of it is still overly carb-heavy, though they did reduce the percentage of carb content they recommend for their diet? Is it just simple coincidence that the original food pyramid came out about the same time as the plethora of processed foods hit the shelves? Is it a simple coincidence that Monsanto is one of the biggest government lobbyists, and that the FDA requires any dairy product which states that it does not use rBGH to carry a notice that the FDA has detected no difference between milk from cows with and without rBGH, which is an outright lie?

Re:Translation (3, Informative)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860038)

Your mistake is in assuming that the FDA represents science. That's just silly. It is a political body, ostensibly charged with regulating the food and drug industries so that those products are "safe and effective". Politics, not science, drives the actions of that body. If science, defined as that body of research which is beholden only to the pursuit of knowledge (believe it or not that still exists, largely in academia), were allowed to make the rules that the FDA supposedly enforces, those rules would look very different.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860100)

For centuries? Outright lie?

[citation please]

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860170)

Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates which we know and for centuries have known will cause heart disease and obesity in cases of overconsumption?

Which for centuries were also what built civilizations before our age of abundance. Societies around the globe were built on carbs, whether wheat, or rice, or maize, or sorghum, or potatoes, or cassava, or ensete, or amaranth, or quinoa, or sago, or breadfruit, or plantain, or teff, or millet, or whatever. High carb foods are what sustained humanity throughout most of its existence. This is because we've known for centuries that those foods provide the large amounts of energy that the body needs to keep going, and in the case of the food pyramid, it is assumed that you're using that energy. You can't retcon a conspiracy because lifestyles changed.

that the FDA requires any dairy product which states that it does not use rBGH to carry a notice that the FDA has detected no difference between milk from cows with and without rBGH

There's an xkcd [xkcd.com] for everything.

which is an outright lie?

Got a strong source for that? And no, sites like this [naturalnews.com] are not valid citations.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Parafilmus (107866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860212)

Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates...?

The "Food Pyramid" is not published by the FDA. It's published by the USDA, whose mission is to promote American agriculture. Their pyramid is basically an ad campaign masquerading as a public service.

Re:Translation (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859970)

In theory, the government does not have the same profit motive as big corporations, and therefore should have less incentive to produce specific results. In practice, though, "The business of the United States is business."

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860012)

Why aren't government scientists treated with as much skepticism as corporate scientists?

Man, it must be so nice to live in a world like yours, where the greed and corruption of corporate influence is completely invisible. You know, that world built on the bullshit meme about how "government scientists" have some agenda other than science. You know, all those snooty "intellectual elite" government scientists taking tax-payer money to come up with "theories" that debunk the "scientific" advances produced by hard-working American business scientists.

That said, if the Pepsico "scientists" have anything to add to the exchange of information and ideas at ScienceBlogs, they should be welcome there. But if their aim was to use that platform as another tool to advance their corporate agenda, as was quite clearly the case, then they and the idiots who allowed it deserve all the ridicule and rejection that can be heaped upon them.

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

spirality (188417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860308)

Who said I was not skeptical of the corporate scientists? Clearly they can not be always be trusted.

I was just pointing out how corporate scientists always get a bad rap and how government scientists tend to get a free pass.

But in fact government scientists have an interest in promoting ideas that free up more funds for their research. Also, as government employees/contractors, they have an interest in pleasing the source of their monies.

Basically it comes down to this. When a government scientist reaches conclusions that call for more government you should view such conclusions with some skepticism because of the inherent conflict of interest that exists.

Just like when Phillip Morris's research department says smoking is actually good for you.

Just like when businesses promote legislation that benefits them.

You must always ask "cui bono"?

Re:Translation (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859816)

All this over a blog that never got off the ground? How biased was it going to be? And exactly who is unbiased? Much better to have a knee jerk reaction and quit, then to stay and present an opposing viewpoint, if one is needed.

Re:Translation (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859982)

It never got off the ground because there was a bad reaction to it. It's not that the blog was necessarily going to be biased, it's that there was a very clear conflict of interest going on. It would've been very different had Pepsi not paid for the space and it was clearly disclosed who was writing it. That's how journalists have handled such things in the past, it would still have to be as unbiased as possible, but disclosure goes a long way.

Re:Translation (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859988)

Well, it would help if they didn't miscategorise PepsiCo products by putting them under Nutrition. Candy Engineering would (possibly) have been acceptable.

how to do it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859724)

PepsiCo food scientists are more than welcome to conduct research, and they're more than welcome to detail their findings in papers. However, to be taken seriously, those papers should be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and published via standard procedures. Under no circumstances should they pay blogs to include those postings/papers if they want to be appear impartial.

Re:how to do it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859774)

Maybe the Pepsi scientists wanted to. But they would have had zero choice in the matter. If you tried to explain this peer-review process to an executive, you would be met with disbelief. Money is the solution to everything, after all.

Re:how to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859856)

PepsiCo food scientists are more than welcome to conduct research, and they're more than welcome to detail their findings in papers. However, to be taken seriously, those papers should be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and published via standard procedures. Under no circumstances should they pay blogs to include those postings/papers if they want to be appear impartial.

Who said Pepsi gives a rat's ass about appearing impartial? ScienceBlogs appears to be the one worried about the appearance of impartiality.

Re:how to do it (1, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859874)

I'd say there's nothing wrong with paid-for blog instead of the usual publishing route... because the peer review should still take place.

I can say whatever bo**ocks I want on /. and someone will tell me I'm wrong - fine. I can put up my own blog and say the same bull with comments disabled, that's fine. But I could pay /. to post my comments, and all's good - if people can still say I'm wrong.

(cue the 'wits' replying with the obvious now :)

So the paid-for aspect only becomes a problem if there's some coercion that cntrary arguments are withheld in some way, and I suppose there's always the case that the publication will censor in order to keep the money flowing in, but the peer community will quickly recognise that and will boycott it making the whole point of the initial exercise futile.

Or the pepsico scientists could contribute exactly what they were going to, but without the financial backing of Pepsico. I'm sure Pepsico just wants the advertising and marketing of saying these clever scientists work for them.

Re:how to do it (2, Insightful)

cyp43r (945301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859896)

Equating paying for an entry and being able to comment on it is just not on. A lot of people don't read the comments and the comments are not given nearly the same weight. The Pepsi scientists are given equal weighting with all the other things they're reporting despite clear motivations for fraud.

Re:how to do it (1)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860040)

This is a good point. Although people like Orac (a regular scienceblogger) talk about their research they aren't actively promoting it. Similarly I can be assured that while a sciencebloggers employer either ignores, supports or simply tolerates having someone on their staff blog about science - we can be reasonably assured that they aren't being paid to do so. In both of those cases I can't say I'd have the same level of confidence for Professor Pepsi...or whomever ended up there. Also I can't stand it when people like Adam Bly post what is clearly a thin and minor reason for having a huge company sponsor a blog and avoid the obvious and real reason: Money. Adam - sure perhaps industry is the 'interface to science' for most people (whatever the hell that means) however that's not the reason you are talking to Pepsi, L'Oreal, etc.. instead of the chief scientist of Nobody Inc. it's money and exposure and I wish you had said that up front and clearly laid out the monetary - down to the dollar - benefit you were getting.

what's the problem? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859726)

Everything was fully disclosed and on the up and up. Are Pepsi scientists to be shunned just because they work for Pepsi? What am I missing here?

Re:what's the problem? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859754)

What am I missing here?

It's a blog posting and not a paper in a peer reviewed journal. And considering how the internet works, many folks would pick up on that blog post and cite it as fact.

It would be equivalent to a cigarette company scientist posting things on a blog about the health effects of smoking.

Re:what's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859868)

So why does science blogs even exist then? Shouldn't *all* scientists be barred from posting blogs then? Shouldn't they only publish in peer reviewed journals? Why are you only targeting corporate scientists?

Re:what's the problem? (2, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859886)

What am I missing here?

It's a blog posting and not a paper in a peer reviewed journal. And considering how the internet works, many folks would pick up on that blog post and cite it as fact.

It would be equivalent to a cigarette company scientist posting things on a blog about the health effects of smoking.

So it's like Wikipedia. I don't see the problem. You talk as if you are trying to protect stupid people from themselves. I'd prefer if we let people read all sources, determine the veracity of those sources themselves, and make up their own damn mind about things. You know, freedom of speech, press, religion...

Re:what's the problem? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860110)

I'd prefer if we let people read all sources, determine the veracity of those sources themselves, and make up their own damn mind about things.

If you are not an expert at Everything, you deserve to be cheated, poisoned and defrauded. Am I right?

Re:what's the problem? (0, Flamebait)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859820)

Pepsi scientists? WTF

Re:what's the problem? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859986)

Pepsi scientists? WTF

Sir, I will have you know that I received my Ph.D in Pepsiology(tm) at PepsiCo(tm) University(R). My paper "Why the masses find Pepsi(tm) so Delicious(R)" is considered to be the seminal work on separating suckers from their money.

Re:what's the problem? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859894)

I think the big issue here is that PepsiCo was paying ScienceBlogs to run the column, instead of the editors of ScienceBlogs choosing to run the column on their own on the basis of its scientific merits.

Re:what's the problem? (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860056)

What am I missing here?

The fact that corporate propaganda has no place in a community dedicated to exchange of information and ideas, uncolored by the pursuit of profit?

Re:what's the problem? (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860116)

ScienceBlogs is supposed to be a place for creative, and sometimes controversial, opinions. My favorite ones are Respectful Insolence and Tomorrow's Table, and all the time, you read things there that plenty of people would get all in a huff about. Does anyone think the Pepsi blog would do that? Do you think they would ever once mention the insanity of the anti-vax movement, or the senselessness of the 9/11 truthers, or call alternative medicine purveyors out on their incoherent conspiracies? Think they'd ever mention politics or evolution or anything else that might upset a customer? No, because this blog was not written by an individual, it was by a company, for a company. And besides, plenty of clueless [mercola.com] conspiracy [naturalnews.com] minded [generationrescue.org] nutters [prisonplanet.com] would point to this as the link between a scienceblogger, and therefore believe them to be discredited, since no small amount of people already believe scientists to be in on the Big Pharma/Monsanto/Illuminati/New World Order genocide conspiracy, so this would kinda make ScienceBlogs as a whole look a little less independent and reputable if they're willing to put corporate interests there for money.

Re:what's the problem? (1)

gp305840 (1852944) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860158)

Everything was fully disclosed and on the up and up. Are Pepsi scientists to be shunned just because they work for Pepsi? What am I missing here?

Pepsi wants to buy into the reputation that other scientists have created for scienceblogs.com. Understandably, other bloggers there oppose. None of that opposition is against any Pepsi scientist per se.

Heres an idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859734)

Don't be a whore ?, remember when people put things on the Web out of passion not greed ?

Re:Heres an idea (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859828)

Don't be a whore ?, remember when people put things on the Web out of passion not greed ?

Ahh... The grand old days of geocities! Those were the days... Wait a minute... Most of those pages sucked! Of course most pages today suck! So when were the good days again?

Asinine (4, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859736)

While these are important questions, it should be obvious from their past behavior that PepsiCo as an organization is not interested in any layman's definition of "nutrition."

High fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING, food products that boil down to simple carbs, trans fats and salt, and beverages that are little more than sugar water with some caramel coloring. This is a company designed to maximize profit by exploiting the still-ingrained hunter-gatherer instincts in us all, and what of the externalities associated with a lifestyle of chugging soft drinks and pounding Cheetos and Fritos? Fuck it.

These guys deserve greater scrutiny than the tobacco companies, and to wail about their trials and tribulations attempting to engage a public that is becoming more health conscious after foisting products upon them that encourage obesity, high blood pressure, and compulsive consumption is the highest form of absurdity.

Re:Asinine (5, Insightful)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859848)

I'm very sorry that a can of Pepsi killed your mother and molested your dog, but don't you think that perhaps this much anger directed toward a company that produces junk food is a little unwarranted?

They provide something that people want, then you rage at THEM for that? If no one was buying their product then they wouldn't be in business, so how about directing a little bit of that ranting in the direction of the general public that supports them, because last time I checked no one is marching into people's homes and forcing cola down people's throats.

Foisting it upon them? Please

Re:Asinine (5, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859968)

Ah, you're one of those "free will" types who believes people are rational actors. Quaint.

While each person certainly bears personal responsibility for his actions, psychology hasn't given us the notion of the enabler for kicks. Social responsibility starts at the top.

I also take issue with your claims that people "want" corn so processed it retains zero nutritional value, fats so perverted the body can barely process them, and sugar that is heavily biased towards being stored as fat rather than burned that then creates a depressed insulin response and the near-instant desire for more. Their "food" is the equivalent to crack, heavily engineered to maximize appeal and shelf-life at the expense of its resemblance to genuine nutrition. Nobody benefited from the switch away from sucrose and unprocessed oils except their executives.

Also, while my wording is strong, your speculation on my emotional state says more about yours. What's got you defending the purveyors of food that have had a heavy hand in the worldwide increase in obesity, diabetes, and all sorts of other fun chronic conditions that we all pay for in the end?

I am not angry that they sell what they do. I am irritated that they sell what they do and pretend there's any nutritional value to it, and I am bitterly amused by you folks with no appreciation for the malleability of the average consumer's mind.

Re:Asinine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860028)

You're making lots of claims and not citing anything to back them up. Where's the science, and where's the claims by Pepsico that it contradicts?

Re:Asinine (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860034)

Ah, you're one of those "free will" types who believes people are rational actors. Quaint.

If you're not a rational actor, why should anyone bother reading your argument?

Re:Asinine (4, Interesting)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860072)

They probably shouldn't.

There's increasing evidence that... well, there's just no point to arguing because people's internalized beliefs are fairly static.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/03/confirmation-bias-scientific-evidence [guardian.co.uk]

"The classic paper on the last of those strategies is from Lord, Ross and Lepper in 1979: they took two groups of people, one in favour of the death penalty, the other against it, and then presented each with a piece of scientific evidence that supported their pre-existing view, and a piece that challenged it; murder rates went up or down, for example, after the abolition of capital punishment in a state.

The results were as you might imagine. Each group found extensive methodological holes in the evidence they disagreed with, but ignored the very same holes in the evidence that reinforced their views."

But that doesn't make the arguing less fun!

Re:Asinine (4, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860306)

I used to think that people's point of view was malleable, but the study you linked to convinced me otherwise. I have therefore changed my mind.

Re:Asinine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860314)

I wish i had Mod points as anonymous. you sir, speak for the well being of the free willed types, and yet they will rebuke you at every opportunity.

if the free will people were given a chance, we'd have no social structure at ALL. why do we need governments, or regulations at all ? why dont people co-operate on their own ?

Re:Asinine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860010)

"I'm very sorry that a can of Pepsi killed your mother"

My mother does not have type 2 diabetes, but I know many others with it.

And for some that may suggest diet soda, sorry but that also leads to weight gain and diabetes.

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688 [diabetesjournals.org]
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight [webmd.com]

"last time I checked no one is marching into people's homes and forcing cola down people's throats."

You underestimate the power that marketing has over people.

Tobacco TV advertisement has been banned for some time because of the power of marketing, but currently soda advertisement has little regulation, so they are free to "march into peoples homes [television]".

http://www.alternet.org/story/45498/ [alternet.org]

Re:Asinine (1)

lostros (260405) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860092)

I think you miss the point of his topic though, how is this different than the tobacco industry? I smoke, but follow the primal blueprint for my diet (marksdailyapple is a great resource and friend), and only smoke a few times a week. I would put my health, and my next 30 years of health barring injury/genetic disease against any non smoker you care to name that drinks pepsi and eats mcdonalds over the same time period. Does anyone out there honestly think i'd be a sucker for making that bet?

So tell me again how they should not be treated the same as the tobacco companies.

I might accept a rationale that tobacco companies shouldn't be treated like that either, but don't dare say second hand smoke, when HFCS is so pervasive it's listed in the top three ingrediants of damn near anything you buy, and fastfood/soda is so pervasive that there is heavy social pressure on individuals to imbibe them. Sure you could still hold out and not eat, but you can also step 3 feet farther away. So it's not like it's a major difference maker.

Re:Asinine (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859900)

High fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING, food products that boil down to simple carbs, trans fats and salt, and beverages that are little more than sugar water with some caramel coloring. This is a company designed to maximize profit by exploiting the still-ingrained hunter-gatherer instincts in us all, and what of the externalities associated with a lifestyle of chugging soft drinks and pounding Cheetos and Fritos?

I was taught that there are four major food groups: salt, sugar, fat and starch . . .

If our hunter-gatherer ancestors went out looking for Pepsi . . . I don't think that much of civilization as we know it would be around.

Hmm . . . what a question for them? "Do you want a Mammoth for dinner, or should I just pick up some packs of Cheetos and Fritos?"

Cue to alien archeologists in the future scratching their heads, and saying "This species seemed to die out, because of diabetes and heart disease . . . how the hell did that happen?"

Re:Asinine (4, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859918)

I don't think the HFCS issue you americans suffer from is Pepsi's fault, in other continents they use different sources of sugar, it's just that your government has decided to make corn so cheap that using other sources of sweetness becomes financially unsound, if consumers were actually willing to pay more for non HFCS soft drinks I'm sure you'd see them on the market as the soft drink companies have no inherent interest in serving you bad sugar, they just want to sell soft drinks.

Re:Asinine (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860060)

It's actually the government's fault, Nixon's fault to be precise.

You should watch this presentation [youtube.com] on fructose if you are interested to find out why exactly the fructose is a poison equivalent to ethanol (alcohol) and how it kills you slowly in the same way and causes obesity and other diseases in humans.

What is interesting is how this came about, by the Nixon's government deciding that they want to eliminate food prices as an issue for reelection. Nixon - the same guy responsible for getting away from sound money (gold standard), they same guy setting up minimum wage laws, while opening the job market to China, the same guy who destroyed the working health insurance for people by getting government subsidies into it and causing the insurance prices to skyrocket, this guy is also responsible for the deteriorating health of the humans in this world through consumption of fructose.

By fixing food prices to make them 'stable', he caused the food producers to start searching for new and exciting ways of using the cheapest ingredients available, obviously that would be the most subsidized ingredients - corn, soy, wheat, rice (cotton as well, but that's not food.)

By getting government into health insurance (CHIP), he created a moral hazard for the medical establishment that allowed it to spike the prices up, which happens only when government guarantees to pay, same problem with government loans for higher education - prices shoot up.

By creating minimum wage laws the jobs below the minimum wage disappeared, this increases unemployment and kills entire segments of jobs (does anybody check your oil and tire pressure at a gas station anymore?) Doing this while opening trade with the cheapest provider of labor is asking for destruction of your own production capacity, which is the real reason behind the economy going south.

Nixon was an interesting fella, he allowed the special interests to dominate and to take over.

Re:Asinine (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860146)

It's actually the government's fault, Nixon's fault to be precise.

Corn syrup began replacing cane sugar in World War II - because of wartime rationing and losses of freighters to the U-Boats prowling the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Re:Asinine (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860190)

Well, of-course corn syrup was used before, that is not what the argument is. The argument is that fixing of the food prices lead to the industry searching for the cheapest ingredients to replace normal ingredients in all processed foods, while at the same time getting rid of a very important food element (which you will not find in the government's 'food triangle' structure): Fiber. Fiber lets your body to process the sugars better leading to less harm, but it is difficult to keep on the shelves forever. Try watching the video I pointed to.

Re:Asinine (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860210)

And by the way, there is nothing that is a flamebait in the parent post, it is in fact informative. Check out the link that is found there, the link to a presentation on the dangers of fructose by a scientist studying the effects of it.

I understand that any deviation from the 'norm' here is considered a flamebait, the norm being that government cannot do wrong by setting policies, as long as the policies are about spending. What the people miss about these policies are the reasons to why they are set (political reasons) and the actual consequences of such policies (be it to health of the people or be it the detrimental effects to the economy).

Re:Asinine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859940)

It should be obvious to anyone who finds the concept of a corporation offensive, which you clearly do. For the rest of us, until Pepsi makes positive claims about drinking 10 sodas a day and eating nothing but snacks without exercising, there's nothing inherently unscientific about Pepsico.

You'll notice that there was no similar controversy when Shell started a corporate scienceblog, because climate researchers are actual scientists, not judgmental foodies and sociologists.

Re:Asinine (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860024)

I believe you misunderstand.

My problem is not specifically with the products they sell. My problem is with them presenting the products they sell as nutritious, an intellectually dishonest position at best and outright fraud at worst. Their track record shows a long-term trend of their products becoming significantly less nutritious yet more economical to produce.

Surely as a pathological free-marketeer you agree that a functional free market depends on consumers having access to good information? Perhaps consumers would be willing to pay the extra few cents per bag of delicious corn chips if they knew doing so would go far to prevent further weight gain and chances of having a heart attack in the near-to-midterm. We'll never know.

Re:Asinine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860118)

And yet you still refuse to elucidate exactly what claims Pepsico is actually making. Are their nutrition facts labels wrong? If so, where's your evidence and why isn't this the FDA's problem?

Re: That question at the end (5, Informative)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859748)

"How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

Not by paying Seed/Scienceblogs, that's for sure. How about publishing papers if you have a scientific point to make? Or, if you want to avoid the formality of those, how about a blog at science.pepsi.com? Let the content speak for itself without paying anyone to get a ride on their reputation.

But the real question Seed is faced with is probably "How are we supposed to make money from ScienceBlogs if you won't let us sell out to a company that's probably killing more people than Philip Morris ever did?"

Re: That question at the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859772)

If the payments were fully disclosed, then what's the difference between publishing on scienceblogs and publishing at science.pepsi.com? You make it sound like this is some ridiculous turf war.

Re: That question at the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859934)

Why is it so bad? To me this was not about changing attitude and behaviour towards the negative impact of their current ingredients and their impact, but more so it was an opportunity to extend their science outside their labs, in order to involve and reach out to other scientists to create an extended research initiative.

So when companies reach out to create open research, why is it that they are met with doubt and discontent?
Yes I understand many companies intend to exploit, but it is not always so. How do we encourage those that are willing to improve?

S.O.S.

Re: That question at the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860114)

But the real question Seed is faced with is probably "How are we supposed to make money from ScienceBlogs if you won't let us sell out to a company that's probably killing more people than Philip Morris ever did?"

To which I replied the following. It might be of some interest to more knowledgeable veterans. I'm posting here because it seems they are so desperate about money that they did not publish my comment:

Want to make money off science?

Do it in style.

Make games where players can go to planets with varying gravity,
atmosphere, where space ships choke due to lack of oxygen, where
genetically reprogrammable bacteria / cells are used to make organic
suits for space pioneers.

Spore is the only game that really makes ordinary people *think* about
science, however faulty and limited.

That's where you get the money - make great games that people play
online for a fee.

There are tons of good free open-source game engines, hundreds of
story lines from indie and established science fiction franchises.

Make deals with Lucasfilm, Roland Emmerich, the Stargate franchise,
there are tons more.

Science education will go multimedia / simulation in the next decade,
in the mainstream. Kids and elders can *simulate* things they want and
print out on 3D printers in nearby towns / cities.

That's the future of science.

You guys are idiots to tie up with Pepsi, instead tie up with Lego,
Starwars, Startrek, Stargate, Terminator, Transformers, X-men.

There's great depth, variety and solid longevity in plots concepts and
the sheer scale of visuals and grandeur possible.

With all that science fiction, all the new Mars and Moon projects
around, String theory and cool multiverse stuff going around, you
idiots are tying up with Pepsi, an industrial chemical factory making
unethical junk substances.

How exquisitely unscientific and short-sighted.
Totally unbecoming of a science setup.

You want free advice, free help, free software and links, we are all
right here - you make money, let us write apps (planets, plots,
technology in the game) and make money.

Live and let live.

Don't suck and help suck like Pepsi.

Nobody believed Sergey and Larry's idea for one full year. Then, one
gentleman handed them a bunch of big bucks. And here we are now, at
the start of the semantic web, everyone with a gmail address with 7GB
free space and https for no charge.

He who has the balls, will get the bucks. All it takes is doing.

Why should Pepsi pay them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860284)

Why should not their blog stand on its own and prove its worth the community?

After reading some of the blogs and comments on that site all I can say is, what a big bunch of prima donnas who all got their panties in a wad because they weren't given enough consultation as they believe their due

Current list and other details (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859766)

Carl Zimmer has a more detailed breakdown of what happened with a list of what bloggers are moving- http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2010/07/07/oh-pepsi-what-hath-thou-wrought/ [discovermagazine.com]. Major bloggers leaving include Mark Chu-Carroll of Good Math/Bad Math, and Rebecca Skloot (who may be known to many more for her excellent book on HeLa cells and their namesake than for blogging). This wasn't a single isolated instance that is causing these people to leave, but for many the final straw in what they saw as very problematic and difficult to work with people at Seed Magazine (which runs Scienceblogs). Mike Dunford of The Questionable Authority discusses some of these issues here- http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2010/07/pepsico_scienceblogs_and_the_f.php [scienceblogs.com] (he's uncertain if he is leaving or not and so may be a moderate voice). Meanwhile Abbie Smith of ERV thinks that much of the reaction is hysterics and hypocrisy http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2010/07/sciblogs_caves_to_hysterics.php [scienceblogs.com].

Easy Answer (1, Insightful)

Ralish (775196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859778)

"How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

The answer is:
Said "top scientists working in industry" are welcome to do all of the above, and should be encouraged to do so in fact, but the determining factor of whether their work is published should be one purely of merit; not payment for publicity or any other form of bribe that results in direct gain to the publisher.

Legitimate Blogs? (1)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859822)

It is funny how the article complains on how the PepsiCo blog detracts from "legitimate blogs". So now we are casting blogs as a legitimate source of information? Probably 98% of blogs are personal opinions with no factual, scientific basis.

It would be like holding Wikipedia up as the definitive source of accurate information on everything and ignoring the genuine work of researchers and scientists.

I do not put much credence in anything posted in a blog. Most are merely entertaining, scandalous or based upon urban legends, rumor or innuendo.

Re:Legitimate Blogs? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859912)

It is funny how the article complains on how the PepsiCo blog detracts from "legitimate blogs". So now we are casting blogs as a legitimate source of information? Probably 98% of blogs are personal opinions with no factual, scientific basis.

You're making the logical fallacies of the appeal to authority and the argumentum ad populum. "Official", established news sources are filled with propaganda, while the fact that the majority of blogs are bullshit has no bearing whatsoever on the others. Nice try though.

It would be like holding Wikipedia up as the definitive source of accurate information on everything and ignoring the genuine work of researchers and scientists.

Wikipedia is more accurate than the EB. Holding up the bad Wikipedia articles and claiming that they invalidate Wikipedia is yet another logical fallacy, I believe inductive but I still need to practice identification of fallacies more. However, I can smell one a mile away.

I do not put much credence in anything posted in a blog. Most are merely entertaining, scandalous or based upon urban legends, rumor or innuendo.

I do not put much credence in anything posted in a comment. Most are completely devoid of content, like yours.

Re:Legitimate Blogs? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859924)

Probably 98% of blogs are personal opinions with no factual, scientific basis.

How does that differ even a little bit from what you read in a newspaper or see on TV?

It's always up to the reader to critically analyze what information they receive.

Re:Legitimate Blogs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859978)

legitimate as in someone's genuine opinion, not paid bullshit to create publicity.

Re:Legitimate Blogs? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860174)

Probably 98% of blogs are personal opinions with no factual, scientific basis.

And what makes you think the situation for traditional media sources is any better? Personally, I think blogs do a far better job than traditional media sources in providing high quality, relevant and original content.

they should set up their fscking own blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32859864)

if a company like pepsi doesnt have the resources to set up a goddamn website ... well .... who does .

Re:they should set up their fscking own blog (1)

cyp43r (945301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859908)

They wanted to utilise some of the credibility of having real scientific results besides theirs presented alongside. A Pepsi site would have zero credibility in presenting scientific results.

Re:they should set up their fscking own blog (2, Interesting)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860220)

A Pepsi site would have zero credibility - at first. Science is science, doesn't matter who is doing it or why. Publish your results and let others scrutinize and try to replicate the results. Pepsi could indeed build a positive reputation for research, much in the same way that Bell Labs did so many years ago.

The LeftischScienceBlog (1, Troll)

thethibs (882667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859942)

I'd never heard of this blog until I read about it here. Clearly, the first thing to do was to go see.

Why would a science blog site not have room for PepsiCo scientists? Why would anyone not want the opportunity to review and challenge their work and engage them in intelligent dialogue, as is the norm in real science?

It doesn't take much perusing (look it up) of the ScienceBlog site to understand why. It's hard to miss the theme that selects what gets blogged and what's ignored. Challenge? Dialogue? It is to laugh.

They really should be honest about their mission and name it the LeftScienceBlog.

Re:The LeftischScienceBlog (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32860036)

Then get on there, with some facts and figures, and change it. I am So Very Tired of people claiming science has political leanings. Science isn't left or right, science IS. If you can't prove that they are wrong, or show logical steps that they are missing in their conclusion, then they are right and you are wrong, until you can prove otherwise. It's okay to be wrong sometimes.

Not clear what the problem is (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859964)

I'm not sure what happened here that was so bad. Isn't the whole point of science to judge people on the merits of their work? Why should it matter if they work for PepsiCo or not? Just look at the work and judge it on its own. If it's crap, say it's crap, and why it's crap. Don't just ignore them out-of-hand due to who their employer was. I can't even find the PepsiCo blog to read it to see what was so terrible about it, and everything I read just says "IT WAS FROM AN EVIL CORPORATION" which doesn't say shit about the content or the quality of its science.

If they were killing gypsies, jews, and midgets for their experiments, I might understand the negativity, but they make food products, not all of which are even unhealthy, and none of which are that bad when taken in moderation, like all indulgences.

Re:Not clear what the problem is (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860204)

I can't even find the PepsiCo blog to read it to see what was so terrible about it, and everything I read just says "IT WAS FROM AN EVIL CORPORATION" which doesn't say shit about the content or the quality of its science.

High quality science can come out of corporate labs, but only when it is in the interests of the company. There is little doubt that PepsiCo scientists are well aware of the health effects of their companies products, but there isn't a snowball's chance in a sauna that such information will ever be released on their blog. In the meantime, the carefully controlled flow of information putting the company and its products in a positive light gains credence and respectability by being on a credible site such a Scienceblogs, and all the while every other blog on the site loses credence by having this propaganda held up next to their content.

This has been dubbed corporate propaganda, and it's a succinct and insightful description. The entity known as PepsiCo may have been granted the human freedom of speech to engage in this sort of thing, but that doesn't mean other people have to associate themselves with it.

Re:Not clear what the problem is (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860282)

So what if it's in the interest of PepsiCo? That doesn't exclude it from being in the interests of anyone else. And as long as people made logical, well reasoned rebuttals, and as long as those rebuttals aren't censored, then all we have is an opportunity to gain from their posts, even if the gain is entirely in discrediting them publicly.

Re:Not clear what the problem is (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860232)

The thing is, Pepsi has their own website. They can publish whatever they want there and earn their reputation, the same as everybody else. In this case, they were trying to purchase credibility from a site that had a good reputation.

Re:Not clear what the problem is (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860262)

Then their posts should have stood on their own merit (or lack thereof, whatever the case may be).

Mucha ado... (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#32859974)

If they are open about the source of the material and that it is paid I really don't see anything wrong with it. Readers will be aware that the blog is coming from a specific viewpoint and source; and can decide how much credibility they have and what biases may exist. To me, it's better than the blogger who may have an unrevealed conflict of interest or bias yet presents their viewpoint as factual and unbiased.

The broader issue is, as pointed out, how do you engage with the broader public? Scientific papers are nice but most people never know they exist, let alone read them. An open forum allows a level of interaction and skeptical inquiry that rarely exists today; cutting that off is not very useful. Of course, the cynic in me thinks there are people, on both sides, who don't desire such rational discussion since it may go against long held positions and point out fallacies in those positions. Silencing a messenger is teh easist way to prevent the message from being delivered.

"commercials" (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860304)

The broader issue is, as pointed out, how do you engage with the broader public?

Seriously? Did you seriously ask this? The place where Pepsi would get their message out the easiest and to the most people who count would be through television commercials. Maybe at the end of the commercial tell people to check out the "facts" at pepsi-health.com.

This is straight forward. People know what it is. It also doesn't feel as sneaky as some other methods where they try to pass off the tests as having been done by someone else. I'm sure you remember the commercials talking about eggs having less cholesterol than they had thought? Or the ones talking about some food products being high in fiber or low in fat?

Commercials are the domain for companies to get their message out. This hasn't changed for a long time. Why is everyone so confused about their existence now?

unemployed scientists? (1)

ushere (1015833) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860020)

i presume the only scientists we're expected to tell the truth are either unemployed, or working for the gov / education dept?

as long as ANY relationship is clearly stated i'd be happy for any company scientist to state his claim / belief.

we're NOT as studpid as we're made out to be....

"dialogue" (Ha!) (2, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860090)

" 'How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?' " Companies do not "seek" anything; the people who run them seek something... but it surely isn't dialogue. Any appearance to the contrary is just that, an appearance.

What a deceitful framing of the issue. (2, Insightful)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 3 years ago | (#32860224)

How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?

It's rather simple: open your blog network to scientists who work in industry, which you already do.

It's rather dishonest to claim that the backlash from your sell-out of the site has the effect of preventing industry scientists to engage in "genuine dialogue" with the broad scientific community. If anything prevents this engagement, it's the draconian IP protection rules companies impose to their R&D staff. If a company is genuinely interested in a dialogue and not disguised propaganda, they can simply allow their researchers to have blogs in which they can discuss their work or issues they encounter in their environment.

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