Who are you, and what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me!?

In the spirit of a little market research… Drugmonkey has a post up to invite his readers to comment on who they are and why the frequent his place of blog…apparently this is going on at a few other blogs as well including Not Exactly Rocket Science by Ed Yong, and Courtnix at A Blog Around The Clock… here are the operative questions which I am lifting directly from Drugmonkey… who lifted directly from Ed…

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.

Oh what the hell, let’s play along shall we? Tell me who you are and why you are here at BLC…


31 thoughts on “Who are you, and what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me!?

  1. I’m in a non-NIH field, but I like reading blogs from people in all sorts of fields, especially those written by women. I like yours for the careerism posts, that you are candid about your grant and paper obstacles, and to hear about your experience as a scientist with kids.

  2. Got hooked on your unsolicited advice posts which are generally much more fleshed out then similar from that lazyass, DM. I consider your writings on the paths of women in science to be part of my ongoing education in how to be a half-way decent mentor to any female trainees that may mistakenly come my way. And of course I’m also in a dual-career+kiddos situation so I enjoy things related to that as well. Keep it up drdrA!

  3. Arlenna- True- and thanks for saying so. I’m not sufficiently anonymous to say absolutely everything candidly however- I try to do what I can.

    ecogeofemme- Glad you stop by! I’m getting back to careerism- but think I burned myself out a little early on with that. I’ll continue to carry this on.

    LOTS of people read about my paper rejection- sometimes I feel like you all are watching a live real-life demonstration of an assistant professor in the making. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk more about this as I continue to gain experience with various journals/editors/co-authors etc. There is definitely a lot of bloggable stuff there.

  4. I enjoy your perspectives about running a lab, career ‘stuff’ as well as more general life stuff. Always well written and well thought out.

  5. (1) Dispenser of excellent career advice
    (2) Evil, evil propagator of memes
    (3) Great writer with good sense of humor
    (4) Fellow woman scientist
    (5) Fellow microbiologist

    What’s not to love?!

  6. Your blog topics are timely, interesting and well-written. You are further along in your career than I am, in a field that I love, so I would be stupid not to pay attention to your advice and ideas. And…I just like your blog.

    Mad Hatter – you crack me up.

  7. oops. I forgot the who am I part.
    I am a senior graduate student in a Microbiology department. I love signal transduction, gene regulation and Gram + bacteria (unless I am trying to break them open :)).
    I am defending my thesis at the end of September and I have a post-doc position that I am dying to start. I hope to be a female science professor one day.

  8. I am a graduate student in computer science. I read your blog because you write about women-in-science issues, and because you generally seem to do so with some humor. I like that.

  9. I read because you are full of excellent advice about being a female scientist with a family and a career spouse, and because I appreciate your willingness to put your speedbumps out there for all of us to learn from. And cuz you are just a heck of a nice person.

  10. Because we’re pretty close in career stage (young female assistant professors), much of what you blog on is what I’m also dealing with. It’s comforting to know others are dealing with the same issues/fears/challenges.

  11. I’m a senior, female postdoc in the biological sciences who is about to start on the tt. Seeing that women such as your good self are facing the same issues and that helps to calm my own frazzled nerves about trying to succeed in the sciencey stuff. Oh … and reading blogs such as yours means that I can look busy in the lab without actually being productive.

  12. drdra,
    I’m a scientist by training, pursuing an ‘alternate (alternative?) career’ as a biotech entrepreneur. I know, I really need to get around to posting about that as I’d promised a couple of months ago.
    I read your blog for various reasons–pretty well covered above by others—good info, good advice, good writing and sense of humor etc. Then there’s the subjective aspect…..I just happen to find the stuff you write to be interesting and sure hope that you continue with the good work.

  13. I’m a tech in MassivePharma, who made the jump over here from an academic lab about four years ago. I’m a through-and-through cell biologist and can’t stand techs who shrug their shoulders & say “I’m just a tech; I can’t possibly understand this whole science thing!”. Bleh. I read your blog because I like your perspective on being a young prof, and also ’cause I just like reading what other people in science think.

  14. Wow- I didn’t expect such a vast response. To all of you who like my writing style- my dad thanks you. He thinks he taught me everything I know about writing.

    Bikemonkey- ‘generally much more fleshed out then similar from that lazyass, DM’. I love that- especially since DrMrA always complains that when I give instructions I never feel I am doing it right unless I provide every little detail I could possibly think of. This apparently works on a blog- doesn’t work so well in a marriage. 🙂

    Pinus, Mad Hatter, MicrobiologistXX, Scout, River Tam and Professor in Training- I am learning from you all as well- and it makes me feel less isolated as a young woman with kids in science (and just junior faculty in general) to know that there are others out there struggling with the same issues. I appreciate all your comments and input.

    And well Bugdoc- What can I say. Thank you. Somehow when things are going perfectly smoothly the right person always seems to come along and buoy me up… Thanks for being there for that- I have a lot to learn from you!

    And for all- DrMrA always says that I laugh at my own jokes (which is true)… but I am glad that I provide others with a laugh once in a while as well. Sometimes the things that happen in this job are truly so bizarre that the only thing you can logically do is laugh at them!

  15. I echo the comments about good writing, good and good, practical advice. You often put into words what others can’t always do effectively.

    I am non-tenure track faculty in the biological-genetics-genomics field. I spend my days at the bench: no teaching: no tenure stress. I mentor undergrads and grad students, do experiments and write grants. I have two kids: 8 and 3 and appreciate the frank discussions about the interface of family and science, particularly the non-whiny tone.

  16. I’m finishing a 3 year postdoc in biosciences, about to head back to my home country and start the push for an independent PI position. I found your blog after reading some of your comments on DrugMonkey. Your posts strike a nice balance between honesty about the difficulties of junior PI-dom without veering into bitterness, and I appreciate the depth to which you describe the various issues you face.

  17. I kinda feel like I’m getting ready to jump into Jetsons superfast future air traffic, on a tiny scooter. That’s kind of a weird metaphor for starting faculty life, but I need more coffee. It’s commiserative to read how other people are thinking themselves through it. 🙂 (whoa, Firefox didn’t underline commiserative in red!)

  18. This is my first time here but I have been meaning to click over for a while after seeing your blog linked on a number of others I read. I’m a non-NIH field grad student who will be graduating and trying to get a postdoc within the next year.

  19. I’m a 5th year graduate student studying innate immunity and malaria. I appreciated several of your comments over on sciblogs, and then found your blog via the DM blogroll.

    I really enjoy your attitude, and the topics you pick are generally very useful.

  20. Oh man, am I going to have to do this on every blog I read?! 😉

    Me: molecular biologist by training, PhD, postdoc, industry, now a grant writer.

    Here for: career advice and general lab life stuff, without the whiny tone that’s turned me away from several similar blogs recently!

  21. We need blogs like yours for the following reasons:

    1) It is a way to give feedback to NIH.

    2) You discuss how gender-based expectations and behavior affect, and do not affect, our careers.

    3) You point me to other interesting web discussions.

    I have also learned loads from FemaleScienceProf, but she is ahead and you are slightly behind me. Both perspectives are invaluable. Keep on bloggin.

  22. Although I’ve left the fold, gone to the dark side, betrayed my roots and whatever other negative phraseology you can think of to describe leaving academia (trust me, I’ve heard several of them even in my short time out of it), I still like reading the blogs of those who are there, especially the blogs of those who aren’t settled in TT full prof positions. It’s an interesting perspective on what’s happening in a world I’m very familiar with but not really a part of anymore.

    Plus I’m in an area of industry that somewhat depends on academia’s fortunes in terms of grant funding and FY cycles, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s going on there. 🙂

  23. Kes-

    I don’t think of industry as the dark side- so please don’t apologize for your choices here, no worries. 🙂

    I like to hear from readers from all walks of science…

  24. Pingback: Who are you? « Twisted One 151’s Weblog

  25. Oh, I know you don’t think of it as the dark side. I just find it funny that people who used to talk to me won’t talk to me now that I’m in industry, so I tend to make jokes about it.

    Maybe they’re worried they’ll get cooties?

  26. Kes-

    Funny. Someone else that I know who works in industry told me this same thing. I think that’s kind of silly…

  27. I’m a fourth year grad student studying biochemistry. I do some microbiology work, though. I read your blog for your unsolicited advice and about your adventures in being a woman, a scientist, a mom, etc.– all at the same time!

  28. I’m Zuska, a hairy-legged feminazi engineer/scientist/ currently not working because of teh migrainez. I like your blog because you are honest and direct and bold and because you offer a perspective on career/family issues that I don’t have personal experience with.

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