Monday, July 5, 2010

Blog meme (take 2): Who are you, what are you doing and why do you keep looking at me!!??!

It has basically been a year since this meme went around, including here, and DrugMonkey is reviving it (see additional links at DM). Since I'm traveling and writing a couple of grants in my "spare" time, I thought it might be a good opportunity to post something and get some feedback. In addition, there has been quite a lot of change in the readership since a year ago, so this might be particularly interesting to get a feel for who is here these days. In any case, Ed Yong (Not Exactly Rocket Science) asked the following round about two years ago:

1) Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed? Let loose with those comments.


2) Tell someone else about this blog and in particular, try and choose someone who's not a scientist but who you think might be interested in the type of stuff found in this blog. Ever had family members or groups of friends who've been giving you strange, pitying looks when you try to wax scientific on them? Send 'em here and let's see what they say.


So, who are you (in as general terms as you like) and why are you spending what little time we all have reading this blog? If you generally read but don't comment, what would encourage you to join in the discussion more?

21 comments:

  1. I am a postdoc who started out convinced she wanted the whole tenure thingy. Since day one I went out of my way to associate with and probe assistant professors and tenured faculty. I sought out people like you online in the hope of getting more meaty info than I was getting in the flesh.

    What I discovered was the whole professor thing was not for me after all. My blog documents that journey. I have had a very positive postdoc experience, which means I cannot blame it on that.

    Why do I keep poking? Maybe I am still curious what makes you guys tick. Perhaps I am not entirely sure I have made the right decision. Maybe want perspective on how the postdoc fiasco can be fixed.

    What I enjoy about your blog is that it is like the uncensored version of what I hear offline. I think that is invaluable to wannabe professors. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Hi there. I'm a Canadian PhD student, now in the biomedical field but from an engineering background. I really enjoy your blog - it's one of my favourite within the academic blog-o-sphere - because you strike a nice balance of work life, home life, entertainment, and serious issues.

    I started following academic blogs to get some candid information about the career option. I don't think that TT is the career path that best meets my interests and strengths but I love hearing about the perspective. It gives be some insight into my own PI also.

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  3. I commented on Drug Monkey, but I guess I can here too. I'm a postdoc who wants the whole tenure track thing. I'm reading online to get a broader selection of what other academic/science folks are going through.

    The blogs I'm reading are whatever seems like a good mix of interesting and amusing. I also figured while I'm here I'd blog a bit about the job market and related considerations.

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  4. HI! I'm a brand new TT-asst prof at a BigU. I read this blog in the hopes that I will learn some tricks to help with navigating my new situation. Also, I find it entertaining.

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  5. 'Ello... I think I've commented before.. maybe? I'm going to be a brand-new environmental toxicology/ecology grad student this fall. I read various blogs similar to anonymous' reasons.. plus, I enjoy your humerous posts too!

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  6. Hi! I'm a PhD student [math/computational] - not sure whether I want the whole tenure track life or ...? Is there life outside of academia?

    Anyways, the writing is good, the tone pragmatic, and the perspective especially helpful after encounters with the relatives who tell me I am not sciencey at all. Because health sciences are the only real sciences. And academia is a waste of time. And I am useless at anything non-academic. Hmm...maybe I should just build them an altar. But wait! that would be handy. And I am definitely not handy. So they say...

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  7. What Bashir said, except I'm not a postdoc. :)

    I can't remember how I came across your blog, but I enjoy reading it.

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  8. Oh I'll play! Maybe I'll do this on my blog. Lets see...

    1. Yep, I'm kinda sciency. I'm here because, well, I don't remember how I found you Proflike, but I enjoy your blog. I tend to avoid "meatier academic fare" because that's what I eat at work and I'm full of it. (Full of meatier academic fare and shit)

    2. No. I'd tell someone but then they'd want to know what blogs I read and the inevitable question of whether I have a blog would come up, and then I'd have to lie my ass off.

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  9. I'm a PhD student with a 20-month-old toddler. I started reading academic blogs hoping to figure out how to balance work and parenting, but most of the academic blogs don't really address those questions, even when they are written by parents. In any case, I love science and research but I've realized that a TT position is not for me. My husband, on the other hand, is actively applying for jobs and extremely focused on getting a TT position, so I still read these blogs to get a feel of what we're getting into.

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  10. Tenured (not long ago) prof in STEM. I think I found your blog after you left a comment over at my place, and I have been coming back ever since. I like your writing -- to the point, insightful and funny.

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  11. Female assistant professor at a State U, two kids under 5. Yes, I'm a scientist and I like the science lifestyle stuff here. I like your writing "voice" and your general attitude. I'm not sure who else would like the blog... my friends from grad school? This is like an academic support group for me-- not sure that would appeal to non-academics.

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  12. Just finished my first year on the TT at Prodigal U. I started reading academic blogs when I became dissatisfied at National Lab and thought about a return to academia. I found them enormously useful to prep for interviews, and now I find them comforting (since every department is crazy in its own way).

    I find your writing interesting and amusing, so I stick around.

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  13. I am A PhD student in the social-behavioral-imaging type of science, and I want tenure, and a life as well. So I was looking for blogs from people who made it further in academia than me, preferably HUMAN. I.e.with feelings, emotions, and a family. There are enough examples of people who made it, by being icy, non-human-like half beings. Since I will never be such a person, it is nice that you can make it further than PhD without loosing all human qualities. Plus I like the way you write, the humor and energy. It also helps me not to feel so lost, since all the people around me are never that open in public, in blogs the secret agenda seems less important.

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  14. I'm a neuroscience post-doc, and I dig your style, PLS. The blog is a great combination of really solid, useful information for young scientists and very funny stuff.

    Speaking of, how'd those pleated pants work out for you?

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  15. I'm a microbiology postdoc looking for TT positions, and you were one of the first science-career-type blogs I found when I started blogging. You make me laugh and I usually learn something...quite the combination, even at my age. ;)

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  16. I'm a soon to be theoretical condensed matter PhD student in the UK. I was drawn here because I really like the writing style, the humour and the down-to-Earth insight. I've stayed here because I like the balance of what you blog and find the information about your career in academia and the trials and tribulations both useful and interesting. I read quite a few other academic blogs for similar reasons.

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  17. Dismissed fraudulent ex-scientist, indicted for stealing academic and federal finds to keep me in good hookers and cheap cocaine. I come here because I've secret man-crush on you

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  18. ditto, this is like an academic support group! I'm a postdoc who would like to stay in science, have kids, love my work, don't have a lot of hope about the future of scientfic funding/jobs. I like your attitude, style, humour, great to hear of others overcoming obstacles (or trying to!)

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  19. Overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, extremely intelligent and supremely humble junior faculty on TT. I keep dropping by in the hope of seeing more meat pants.

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  20. I appreciate everyone weighing in. I'm just off a 30 hour travel "day" and have a grant due today, but I'll have time to respond in a bit.

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  21. I am one of the large clan of disgruntledocs, trying to navigate my way through the maze that is academia. I like you because you're one of the few early career prof-bloggers I've come across, and you bring us the good, the bad, the ugly, and the friggin' hilarious.

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