Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Post

Photo by Damian Gadal
So here's my blog! Finally. Here it is, done, I've taken the first step.

This blog will be generally a science blog, but I can't promise that I won't dive down unrelated rabbit holes that catch my fancy. After all, it's my blog, I can pretty much do what I want with it.

I'm a graduate student studying fish biology at Auburn University. There are many great reasons for graduate students to blog. An article from Scientific American came out in April titled "Why grad students should be required to blog"; the author Maria Konnikova says that blogging gives quick and regular exercises to research a topic, synthesize it, and write it all down, skills which are useful to graduate students who will be doing just that. Shortly after, C. Titus Brown followed up with a post echoing this benefit, as well as how blogging gets himself thinking. A post even came out just today by Scott Wagers in Nature's Soapbox Science on the topic of how science blogging can help you learn.

And of course, blogging rolls into scientific communication, and there are tons of people saying that scientists need to communicate better. There's an ever growing number of scientists that are fighting the good fight: Steven Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, are some particularly notable contemporary scientists who are doing just that. If you think about it, what do these people have in common? They wrote, and not just for other scientists (as we are required to do under the "publish or perish" paradigm). As such, I will write too.

Photo by Tommy Huynh
These benefits and others have been getting me thinking I need to start a blog for quite a while. Of course, as a graduate student I'm fairly busy, but that's not the only thing that was stopping me. When I pursue things I tend to want to do them well. It's a little bit ambition and it's a little bit perfectionism. There is no shortage of good science writing on the internet nowadays. There will be a little more science writing now, and you can be the judge of how good it is.

Every great journey starts with the first step. So whether or not this blog ever becomes great, it won't become anything without a first post. Let's see where it takes me.

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