Category Archives: blogging

Personality, politics, profile

Photo: Not doing science (© Jamie Heard)

Warning: navel gazing (again).

How much is science something apart, and how much is it connected to politics and human personality?  This question has been in the air a lot lately, for example in discussion around the US (and global) Marches for Science.  My point today isn’t to recapitulate those discussions.  They resonated with me, though, because of my evolving thinking about my presence online.

When I first took up social media, I was determined that I would keep my Twitter and blog profile purely professional.  I would tweet and blog only about science, and put personality, politics, and pretty much everything else aside.  I was even a little derisive about this, making fun of people who live-tweet their breakfasts.  But I think this was wrong, and I’ve started to loosen up a little. Continue reading

Where do I find the time to blog?

Photo: Ladybird clock, by Kristie Heard (photo S. Heard)

 Warning: navel-gazing.

 I get asked quite often, “Where on earth do you find the time to blog?”  It’s a good question, actually; one I often asked myself in the early days of Scientist Sees Squirrel, and one to which I’ve become tempted to change my answer.

There’s no doubt that blogging takes time.  I write about 7 posts a month, each taking anywhere from half an hour to a few hours.  Occasionally, I get sucked down a rabbithole* and take even longer on one.  That’s time I could be spending on research, or with my family, or cooking, or curling, or perhaps even reviewing your manuscript.  How can I justify this? Continue reading

On being nerdsniped by Dynamic Ecology

Photos: Artificial moths from @mothgenerator; thanks to Katie Rose Pipkin for permission to reproduce them here.

Warning: 100% silly.

So, a couple of weeks ago, Jeremy Fox over at Dynamic Ecology nerdsniped me with this link to the Moth Generator twitter account.

If you haven’t seen it, Moth Generator is a clever bot that constructs fictional moths by (somehow) recombining a library of graphic generation rules. For an entomologist and a nerd, like me, this is completely fascinating.  If you’re either or both, I recommend that you check it out. Continue reading

Squirrels, serendipity, and the reach of a blog

Photo: Whitehead’s pygmy squirrel (Exilisciurus whiteheadi), © Chi’en C. Lee via www.chienclee.com, used by permission.

Inspired by similar exercises from Small Pond Science and The Lab and Field, I present a few more weird and wonderful search terms by which Scientist Sees Squirrel has been found.  These are all real, I swear – and they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

But while the searches are amusing, at the end I do want to draw a couple of serious conclusions – feel free to scroll right down there if you’re not in the mood for frivolity.

Search terms in bold italic:

 

squirrel simulations Continue reading

Is this blog a “science blog”? If not, what is it?

Warning: mostly navel-gazing, albeit with some thoughts about SciComm and the openness of science.

I didn’t know much about the blogosphere before Scientist Sees Squirrel was born. Turns out maybe I still don’t, since I’m asking the rather obvious question in the title of this post.

So is Scientist Sees Squirrel a “science blog”?  Well, it’s about science (inasmuch as it’s about anything), so in that sense, surely the answer should be “yes”.  But I’ve just read Science Blogging: The Essential Guide, and according to that book, the answer is pretty clearly “no”.  This surprised me a little, but it also crystallized something I’d been wondering rather vaguely about anyway: what is, and what should be, my audience here? Continue reading

Four famous introverts

Blogging as an introvert

Photo: Four introverts in far more public eye than I’ll ever be.  Clockwise from top left: Marlon Brando, photo Carl Van Vechten, public domain; Lady Gaga, photo Gabrisagacre14 via wikimedia.org, CC BY-SA 4.0;  Jimi Hendrix, photo A. Vente via Beeld en Geluidwiki, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL; Greta Garbo, photo MGM (work for hire), public domain.

Warning: navel-gazing.

I told the story, a while back, of how I survive conferences, given that I’m an introvert and don’t particularly like putting myself out there.  Quite a few people told me they were surprised to learn I consider myself introverted.  In part, this reflects decades of practice at pretending otherwise, at least when professionally and socially necessary.  But it occurs to me that there’s another reason people might be surprised: I blog (obviously), and that means every week, I put myself out there by posting an opinion for all to read.  Why, one might quite reasonably ask, would an introvert do that? Continue reading

Student blogging on insect conservation: a success story

Image: Skillet Clubtail dragonfly, by David Marvin (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This year in my 3rd-year Entomology course, we introduced a new student assignment: to write a blog post about an insect of conservation concern in Canada. (I say “we”, because most of the credit goes to my TA and PhD student Chandra Moffat. I’ll link to some of the resulting posts below; but first, a few thoughts. Continue reading