How far we have come in communicating and discussing science
When I started graduate school (a little over a decade ago):
- Online literature searching was just becoming common
- You had to mail your manuscripts to the journals in triplicate
- Responses to published articles (when they happened) took a year or more. Mostly people just talked about problems they saw (or thought they saw) with people in neighboring offices.
- A paper is published
- Within hours a member of our group posts it to the “Papers of the week” page on our wiki 
- A few hours later another member of our group posts a comment saying “Hey, there’s something about this that doesn’t make sense to me” and then a day later posts again to say that they are pretty convinced that something doesn’t add up 
- A few days/weeks  later I’m traveling and on the train ride from the airport to my hotel I take out my phone, open up twitter, and see a tweet, that is pointing to a blog post, that purports to show proof that the paper is wrong
Now, I still haven’t read the paper, and so I have no idea who’s right or what’s wrong . And of course this sort of thing has been discussed extensively in relationship to #arseniclife. But there was something about the fact that it was happening in ecology, in an area of research that I was professionally interested in, that really brought home to me how far we’ve come in last decade .
 I think – “I really should read that”
 I put it on my To Do list to read the paper once I get back from an upcoming trip and, since I’m apparently already out of touch at the tender age of 34, think – “If there’s really something there we’ll have to think about righting a response” (It never occurs to me to do anything other than write up something formal and send it to the journal)
 Who can keep track really
 Which is why I haven’t actually linked any of this to the paper/posts/tweets in question. This post is really about the process, not the science.
 And then just to drive the point fully home, after I dropped off my stuff I picked up my phone, hit the Nearby button on Yelp, found great Chinese food a quarter of a mile away, had the GPS walk me there, came back, enjoyed a video call with my daughter, and then fired up WordPress to post about my day. Before bed I’m going to go for a quick trip in my flying car.