Seth Roberts’s work on self-experimentation is the subject of the Freakonomics column in this Sunday’s New York Times. Regular readers of this blog will recall discussions of Seth’s work here and here. Also a related study here.
The publicizing of Seth’s work also is an interesting example of information transmission. Seth published a paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences—a top journal, but not enough to get the work much publicity. I posted a link to it on our blog (circulation 200/day), it was picked up by Alex at Marginal Revolution (circulation 10,000/day) and from there was noticed by a columnist for the New York Times (circulation ~ 2 million/day). But I think the high quality of Seth’s article in BBS, with all its experimental data and scientific context, was crucial, in convincing the two levels of gatekeeper—Alex and Stephen—that the work could be taken seriously.