Art, Blogger, Science.

The Journalists & The Politicians

By Frank A Hilario

The medium, not the message: Too much media, too little art, too little science. In the Philippines, science has been given scant attention by journalists, not to mention editorial writers, so while Filipino scientists are into genetic engineering today and programming profiles (and Filipino charismatics are preaching to the world outside the Philippines), science writing is still in its experimental stage. As a freelance writer, and not minding my mixed metaphor, I'm glad to be out of the lab and walking on a road not taken. I write from a different perspective and I take photographs from a different light.

(The image is that of a Bungon, Batac, Ilocos Norte village-scale cane crusher during a demonstration to produce sweeter-than-sweet juice from sweet sorghum, a crop that survives where another doesn't. For more on sweet sorghum, read my 'Grey-to-Green Revolution' in this same site.)

While the rest of us Filipinos are paying too much attention to whistleblower Jun Lozada and fire-and-brimstone Archbishop Oscar Cruz, I have just made a pact with myself. From this day forward, I’m concentrating on the art of blogging for science, for two reasons. One, because as I’ve said before in 2005, blogging is ‘the revenge of the unpublished writer(August 01, You know what I mean. Two, because science is too important a subject to be left to either the journalist or the scientist. To many a journalist, science is as dry as a parched field in the middle of April in Central Luzon, Philippines; to many a scientist, science has meaning only in terms of either academic freedom or intellectual property. They are hard put to empathize with their target people, the inarticulate, not necessarily the illiterate.

Why didn’t I write ‘Art, Blogging, Science’ or ‘Artist, Blogger, Scientist’ to be parallel in construction? Because I wanted to emphasize that in the Internet, what stands between the art of communication and science is the blogger. Between the elected and the opposition stands the journalist.

What kinds of bloggers do we have? What kinds of journalists? Half of the bloggers are journalists who mostly rely on the scientists - and don't bother translating the technical into the popular. Half of the journalists are reporters who mostly rely on themselves, and don't bother to consider points of view other than what they have - not necessarily what they own.

Before today, Monday, April 07, 2008, the date had no significance for me, except that it happens to lie between April 06, my son Edwin Dante’s birthday, and April 08, my daughter Cynthia Mae’s birthday. It acquired new meaning this morning when I decided to dedicate the rest of my life – I’m 67 this year – to the art of blogging science. And so I opened this, my latest blog (which I prefer to call 'blogsite'). I will write new essays, of course; I will also 'import' essays from my old websites so that you and I can easily refer to any of them. These essays and items date back to 2006, 1 or 2 to 2005.

I dedicated my life to the art of writing when I was about 17; the intervening 50 years have been fruitful in terms of growing rich as a writer, if not successful in terms of growing rich as a family man. I have no regrets; I thank the Lord for what I have and what I haven’t.

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