Monday, January 4, 2010
Some who initially scoffed at the idea now concede that blogging can play a role in scholarly discourse. Here's Joe Hodnicki's excellent summary of the evolving debate:
Way, way back in 2006, I attended the "Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship" conference at Harvard Law School. Law profs had discovered blogging beyond the instant pundit genre but there were still plenty of raised eyebrows in the legal academy. I, for one, knew some tenure-track law profs who wanted to blog for our Law Professor Blogs Network but were worried about doing so until they had tenure.
The big issue at the conference was, is blogging a scholarly (read respectable) activity that contributes something intellectually beneficial to legal discourse? OSU law prof Douglas Berman weighed in saying blogging certainly could make scholarly contributions. His conference paper, Scholarship in Action: The Power, Possibilities, and Pitfalls for Law Professor Blogs, is still the best analysis in my opinion and his long-running Sentencing Law & Policy is an excellent example of a blog doing so. At the time Orin Kerr and many others were skeptical. See Kerr's conference paper, Blogs and the Legal Academy. But recently he changed his mind: "I now think my old self was wrong. Or at least a bit off. I now think blogging actually does provide an effective way to present new scholarly ideas in many cases." Kerr explains why in his Rethinking Blogging-as-Scholarship post on The Volokh Conspiracy.
I am the scholarship dude.