Report

PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Ponder the Meaning of (Artificial) Life

  • May 27, 2010

Bloggers often seem more interested in scientific discoveries than the traditional press. And last week, one such scientific achievement led the online conversation despite receiving very little coverage in the mainstream media.

For the week of May 17-21, fully 20% of the news links on blogs were about the American scientists who developed the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The nuanced discussion of so-called "artificial life" centered on three major themes: the importance and potential of the breakthrough; whether the act of creating synthetic cells is ethical; and the significance of the achievement in our understanding of God and religion.

Read the full report, Bloggers Ponder the Meaning of (Artificial) Life, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.