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Facebook for scientists?

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 23 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:401
  1. Deborah Cohen, features editor, BMJ
  1. dcohen{at}

    “So come on, people, pimp my coat! I'm tired of putting on the same old stained, shapeless one every morning,” writes cell biologist Jenny Rohn in her call out to potential collaborators on Nature Network.

    Rohn, a cell biologist at University College London and editor of the online cult science magazine, met former scientist Wynn Abbott, director of the science art agency SciCult, through Nature Network, a free online networking site for scientists. They started chatting at a Nature Network drinking session and realised that they were both deeply perplexed that the basic design of the white coat has remained unchanged for more than a century. They turned to Nature Network users to look for ideas.

    Such collaboration is just one example of the potential networking benefits that the internet offers to scientists. While the Facebook website may already have the monopoly on social networking internationally, the Nature Publishing Group has been quick to capitalise on the professional networking capacity of the internet by launching Nature Network.

    Although there are other professional networking sites, Nature Network aims to give “scientists a persistent …

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