Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to raise the profile of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It seems like a fitting day to launch a new science blog, founded by a woman who is interested in expanding the number/diversity of scientists and science role models.
That woman is me, by the way. I’m going to be writing here under the pseudonym Dr. Brainiac, which is what one of my friends started calling me recently when I was answering some of her questions about science. I’ve got a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology. Right now, I am a postdoctoral researcher in computational genomics. (That means I’m not a professor, but I’m also no longer a student. I think it’s like being a journeyman in medieval Europe.)
I have three reasons for wanting to write this blog. (1) I love science. I want to add to the chorus of voices that say “I love science!” (2) I love to teach, especially if I can answer other people’s questions or be a good teacher for someone who didn’t have the right teacher. The world wide web is great for that! (3) Right now, at least in the United States, the people who write about science sometimes make mistakes or say things that are confusing, and I want to help people to understand what scientists are doing.
I want this to be a place where anyone who wants to talk about science can do that, in plain language. I am not the kind of person who says that there are no stupid questions, but I want to be clear: anytime my students or friends or family have asked me a question they thought was stupid, it was actually very smart! So I hope this becomes a safe place to talk about science, and to ask and answer questions honestly. (Note: yes, this means I will moderate discussions.)
Today I am posting a discussion of an article I saw awhile ago, about some organisms that I think are pretty nifty. My plan is to publish on Tuesday every week, and more often if I have time! You will notice that I am also creating a glossary – a place where you can read more about important terms or ideas in my words.
Welcome, and happy learning!