The Return of Who are you, what are you doing and why do you keep looking at me!!??!

Jul 07 2009 Published by under Blogging, Science Communication

About a year ago Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science asked his readers a simple question:

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.

I found the comments in response to this fascinating and used the excuse to meme it here. Things kinda took off after that.
Well, fresh off his big win, Ed has relaunched the meme:

Identify yourself in the comments. Even if you've never commented before, speak up. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? Are you interesting lay-person, practicing scientist, journalist, sentient virus, or something else? Are you a close friend, colleague, acquaintance or stranger?
Enlighten me.

As the man says, enlighten me :-).
(and if you have a science-y or academic-y blog, consider yourself tagged!)
UPDATE: Similar threads from Comrade PhysioProf, Isis the Scientist, Janet the (ok, ok,....but it should be her name) Stemwedel, the Blogfather, Scicurious, Prof-like Substance, ScientistMother, Ambivalent Academic, Zuska, ...
Oh, and for you new readers, I might as well dust off this old poll...

I suspect that DrugMonkey and PhysioProf are actually:(answers)

49 responses so far

  • Eugenie says:

    I believe I've commented before...but here I am! I'm going into my senior year of undergrad (biology major, math minor for those curious). I'm embarking on my grad school search and I've been reading this blog as well as others to get a better idea of the world I'd like to be a part of (SCIENCE!!!1!!1!!!!111!!!). Oh, and I keep a blog too.

  • patrick says:

    Patrick, 29
    Live in westminster Co
    work as a business analyst.
    I don't have a background in science, but I have a college degree in math.
    I'm very interested in science and what is true generally. Most of my free time reading is spent reading sciencey blogs, science books, etc.

  • Eric Lund says:

    Mid-career physicist, living in New Hampshire.
    Not sure if I have commented on your blog before, as I don't have a medical background; I mostly hang out in the physics and astronomy blogs. But once in a while something will catch my eye, and I click over and read.

  • Holy shit - it's been a year since you did this last time?!? Dude, I'm getting old.
    Ok. I'm a tech in MassivePharma, & have been a tech of one sort of another for nearly a decade. I really, truly love figuring out biological questions, and I come here to feel like I'm still connected to academic science. You can read more of me at DamnGoodTechnician.

  • JP says:

    I'm a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, but I spend almost all my blog-reading time on bio/med/pharm blogs. Sometimes I think I picked the wrong field, but then I realize that all my lab problems are easy compared to dealing with living things.

  • RobyneBR says:

    I don't think I've posted on this blog before. I began college in the sciences, but for reasons I'd rather not analyze too closely, left and settled for a 'softer' degree. I'm still a diehard skeptic, rationalist, mathematics wannabe and science groupie. I read this blog, and other SciBlogs, because I feel an affinity with the audience, I usually learn something, and I continue to exercise my mind in ways I don't get from routine work interactions.

  • LostMarbles says:

    I'm about to go into my final year of undergrad at the University of Toronto studying neuroscience. Like Eugenie, I'm starting the whole "search for a grad school" thing and I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into. Although, mostly, I come back because I'm easily amused by PhysioProf's creative use of naughty words.

  • Jeffrey says:

    I'm an undergraduate at Willamette University with three semesters left (I suppose that makes me a junior, but my school calls me a senior) with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and rhetoric. I'm planning on grad school, and I'm a general science geek. I don't think I've commented here, but I read regularly, along with ~5 other ScienceBlogs.

  • leigh says:

    currently, i am a phd candidate in a field quite closely related to some of the topical content of this blog. but ask me again in a few weeks and i just might have a different answer for you.
    i'm reading right now because i'm quite tired of all the reading about the same topic and re-writing sections of my own work.

  • JD says:

    22, bioengineering PhD student in Boston. Research revolves around various types of human pluripotent stem cells. Don't have much time to read blogs, so yours is one of a few science blogs I keep up with - mostly for the discussion the posts generate. Have found that this and similar blogs give me a tiny window into the lives of the scary-ass PIs that run my world.

  • Devin says:

    20, bioengineering PhD student at caltech.
    I don't read many blogs, but I find your posts to be interesting.

  • mezzobuff says:

    I am a professional, classical musician and skeptic. I enjoy a number of blogs here on Sb and lurk daily as a way to get a bit of the science education I didn't have in school.

  • Richard Eis says:

    Programmer, non-religious, interested layman from England.
    The blogs are a great way to get science news in the way I want it. Fresh, debatable and accurate.

  • Patience says:

    24, aspie, sceptic, with a Master's level background in international politics/relations. I came to the SciBlog borg via Orac, originally, as I'm very into autism (an ironic special interest for the currently-being-diagnosed-with-Asperger's girl) and quack medicine/vaccine refusal, both of which are major topics for him.
    The Brain and Behaviour and Medicine channels remind me why I'm going back to school to finish my premeds and do med school. I love SciBlogs, and have enjoyed the posts I've read here. I browse the front page and my preferred channels for anything interesting most nights at work.

  • expat postdoc says:

    did phd in states ... currently a postdoc in the EU ... soon to be group leader in a different country. i like the NIH related stuff (keeps me updated) and general science reading.
    some of the stuff is quite useful, some of the stuff is general ranting (albeit less than MsPhD's blog which seems like a complete train wreck).
    i read because it's a good mix.

  • First year science prof at a state university, bumbling my way through figuring this job out. I come by here to read about what's going on in other fields and to procrastinate. This is a good idea DM, I may try this at my place.

  • pinus says:

    Another new science professor. I come for the lively discussions, interesting career and grantsmanship advice.

  • Hola! Postdoc in a biomedical engineering-related field. My favorite posts are on career mentoring and NIH advice. I credit your blog with helping me look way smarter than I am when discussing general science topics with my non-blog-reading colleagues.

  • MadScientist says:

    One poor starving scientist trying to get money to build new toys. I just look around because I'm bored despite trying to work 2 jobs so I can feed the dog.

  • Ria says:

    I'm a young, non-tenured faculty member at a MRU. My work is primarily in quantitative genetics and genomics in various model organisms. My background is rather eclectic, including electrophysiology, molecular genetics, population genetics and evolutionary biology. I follow this blog for the career development advice. Although topics on professional ethics always catch my eye.

  • I am a foreigner in this land with background in physical chemistry/chemical physics. I come here to educate myself about NIH and general academic culture in USA and also enjoy useful career related discussion in this blog.

  • David says:

    medical director for a small pharma company. very small. my work involves developing neuro & psych drugs, phase I-III trials (I keep hoping to get to phase III). I like your point of view on a many of the issues you cover.

  • Anon says:

    28, newly minted Asst Prof in Engineering (non-biomedical, but thinking of heading in that direction). I read this blog and many others to learn more about this journey I'm embarking on. I like the career-related posts (and am taking note of your tips re: NIH grants), but have been especially interested in various blog discussions on the intersection of life and family with The Job. Also, as a minority female engineer, I can feel quite isolated in my real world community; the blog community helps me maintain my sanity.

  • Emily says:

    Damn, no one else listed 'high-school drop out'. Oh well.
    Lay person, learning hobbyist & general ne'er do-well. I read quite a few of the sciblogs, mostly bio themed & am fascinated by the culture of science.

  • another young prof says:

    Yet another tenure-track prof at a major research university who reads you for the NIH insights and grants advice.
    I also enjoy the general discussion.

  • Patchi says:

    Scientist, wife, mother. Came across your blog one of these days and kept on reading...

  • A says:

    27, postdoc in physics / applied maths.
    I like the careers advice, discussion and the science 😉

  • Julia says:

    59 year old (female) artist, seeker, mother, mediator, amateur anthropologist, iconoclast, Jill-of-All-Trades. Stumbled across your post on MDMA and kept reading... not sure how often I'll be back but will bookmark you. There's so much out there! Thanks for the work you do and the forum you have created. Unusually well-reasoned and open-minded.

  • J says:

    Undergrad (rising junior) majoring in biology. I like seeing different perspectives on careers in science.

  • becca says:

    I am...
    A) Arch-Nemesis of CPP!
    B) The Brave Little Tailor
    C) A grad student by day, punk rockstar of stage 'n screen by night
    D) The Lizard Queen
    I come for...
    A) "I credit your blog with helping me look way smarter than I am" +1, for me when it comes to NIH whackaloonery and grantsmanship.
    B) Interesting science
    C) Opportunities for snarkery Vigorous and spirited discussions.

  • Nat says:

    Just another crusty old postdoc (neuroscientist/electrophysiologist), coming around for the good insight into the practice of science as it's currently played.
    Plus just generally enjoying the wackaloons who hang around here.
    @Ria, that grouping of expertise sounds totally awesome.

  • cicely says:

    I'm cicely (in my secret identity), I'm working my way through my blog list, and I keep looking at you because you post interesting stuff, which provides me distraction from my job.

  • Lurker says:

    Lurker, read your blog from time to time regarding pharmacology in general (loved the previous MDMA post); undergrad in the life sciences; likes neuroscience and psychiatric research (treatments and pharmacology in particular).

  • antistokes says:

    27, female, just got a phd in chem and am starting a postdoc. Since the USA economy went down the tubes just as i was graduating, i am now in Germany.
    research interests: novel diagnostics using vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR and Raman) to discriminate between all sorts of cancers (ranging from brain tissues, on-line, during the surgery; to tumor stem cell lines and thin frozen sections).
    so i basically talk to the neurosurgeons in bio, the statisticians in math, and the lab techs in worship-the-ground-they-walk-on (hell if i'm growing up my own cancer cell lines), and try to make sure everyone understands each other without going nutters myself. Have recently discovered Sbs as basically the best procrastination tool ever.

  • joselynn says:

    25 years old, technician at a small biotech company, gearing up to apply to PhD programs in microbiology. Reading this and other science blogs has helped give me some things to chew on with regard to where I'm going/choosing a mentor and whatnot.

  • I'm Isis. I come around here because I totally *heart* you boys.
    Can't that just be enough?

  • Rev.Enki says:

    Grad student in Toxicology whose previous advisor (genetic tox/cancer biology working with human cell cultures) split after his second year. Is damned near starting over under a new advisor whose work is mostly PK and metabolism work in fish, particularly PBPK models, chambered fish, perfused liver work, etc.

  • Yet Another New PI says:

    Just started as an assistant professor at a major public research university. Like others in my shoes noted above, the "between the lines" NIH grantsmanship advice that shows up here keeps me coming back.

  • I'm PhD student, a mom to a crazy monkey that is plotting world domination with Little Isis, I have an MSc and enjoy reading about what it will take to succeed in science. I've worked in some old school science labs, where being a woman and a minority were considered to be negative attributes, so its great to participate in blog that is working to get rid of those attitudes.

  • BKprof says:

    I'm a tenured associate professor at a highly ranked medical school in a large public university. I'm also of the female persuasion. I don't blog or even read very many blogs of others (I can find enough other ways to fritter away my time), but I really enjoy the general discussion at this site.

  • Amanda says:

    I'm a 5th year phd student in biochemistry. I started reading because of a link in someone else's blog and just kept on reading. I have to second the I credit your blog with helping me look way smarter than I am sentiment. Not many students in my program know much about the NIH or grants or (even) career information. Plus, hey, procrastination.

  • Bria says:

    I'm an evolutionary anthropologist and am planning to defend my dissertation in September. I study contemporary human courtship from an evolutionary perspective, incorporating anthropology, psychology, biology, and economics; I also get pretty excited about parasite-mediated sexual selection and reproductive ecology. We haven't met and I don't have a public, science-oriented blog, but that's subject to change.

  • 32, cancer research grant wrangler in Canada, here mostly for the insight into the NIH and other US funding bodies, since I occasionally help my PIs to apply to them and many of the information is transferable to the Canadian system.

  • molliebatmit says:

    I'm a rising fourth-year neuroscience PhD student at a fancy medical school. I read for the NIH funding information and science politics.
    I just applied for an NRSA (10th percentile, woo!) and I'm currently helping write my lab's R01, and I feel like the grantsmanship information has really helped me write better proposals.

  • monika says:

    Hi. I am a 3rd yr postdoc. working on epigenetics. I like to read all sorts of things all over internet. your blog is both educative and entertaining at the same time, which is what keeps bringing me back to it.
    this blog is a great break from the usual mundane stuff- esp at times when i have soo much work that i cant figure out where to start! :p

  • Chris says:

    34, staff scientist (physicist) in a federal lab. Found this blog a few months ago and was mesmerized that other scientists actually have the time to blog. Also reading this blog reaffirms my choice to not go into academia after my postdoc.

  • tideliar says:

    I'm male, Brit expat in the US. An ex-neuro postdoc, who gave up on seeking a faculty position when it became apparent my career wasn't going where I wanted/tried to force it go. Now work in Academic Administration...forging my own way and figuring it out as I go along. Part of that is also working with our postdoc office (and grad students when they let me near them) on preparing for alternative careers... you can't start early enough! I blog in "real life" on Nature Network too, but I like to pretend this alter ego is anonymous (it's not!).
    Can't remember how I found you, but I enjoy the NIH commentary, and your jaundiced eye for science culture. Although some of the crazy motherfuckers in the comment threads mean I don't follow the discussions too long. I deal with enough whack jobs everyday without worrying about threadzombies in 2L too...

  • Zuska says:

    Zuska here. First met you crazy boys as commenters over at my blog. I was sure that Physioprof was an angry female radical militant feminist scientist. Got all that right except the female, and maybe the angry - though he certainly knows his way around biting commentary, he may be the most mellow righteously angry person I've ever met. It is good to see an example of how one can focus and use righteous anger without it eating you alive.
    I started reading Drugmonkey's blog at the old site after he began commenting on my blog. It seems odd to me now but in the beginning I was just not exactly sure how to interpret some of DM's comments...reading his blog helped give me a bigger context which was great.
    It is a delight and honor to blog at the same place with these two dudes who both are models of the way mentoring/sharing information with the next wave of young scientists ought to be. The work they do to demystify how to be successful in science ought to earn them some sort of award from some fancy organization. On top of which, they are staunch advocates for equitable and just educational/workplace environments. I love you dudes!

  • Sojournposse says:

    You make me laugh. I keep coming to your blog. My postgrad project (anthropology) is I'm on your blog at the mo because I'm having motivational crisis coding the new cms for this project. Can't face another line of PHP.

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