Blogiversary

I started this blog and made my first post on  March 6, 2008 – so today is my 1 year blogiversary (well, er… actually it’s tomorrow morning, but, what the hell, I’m celebrating a little early)!!

Perhaps you are wondering, what with all I have to do already, what possessed me to start this little diversion?  The summer of 2007 I attended a scientific meeting, at the behest of one of my staunchest allies. At this meeting the organizers set-up a session on Women in Science/Careerism type issues that was well attended. I went- of course- and ended up doing quite a lot of talking (something I’m never short on… hence BLOG)… about the job search, two-career academic couple issues and the like. I had recently been through the whole 9 yards myself and the experiences were fresh.

After that session I remember feeling like there was something basic missing in the training of many academic scientists- they just don’t learn and are never taught science ‘careerism’ or how the academic system works. That fall I coached three post-docs that I knew on getting faculty jobs- and all three went out and successfully competed for academic positions (I’m sure they would have done fine w/o my help though). I thought about finding a place to write everything down for my trainees and friends that would ask me for help. I don’t think the way the ‘system’ works needs to be a mystery to anyone who is interested in competing in it successfully.

Second- I didn’t know any academic women scientists who had little kids pre-tenure (actually, that’s a lie, I knew a single one way back in my training). I longed for someone to talk to about this experience- Mom’s and Dad’s alike- about the difficulties of the continuous balancing act- about being able to find reward in both. I thought that maybe if I could share my own experiences I- I would find others in the same tight spot- and we would all feel a little less isolated.

Anyway, these thoughts rolled around in my head for months- but I didn’t really know what or how little ol’ me could contribute something that might help others in similar situations understand the academic system, see the complexity of two career academic family life for what it really is, then make a choice and feel supported if academia was not their answer.  Although I kept a blog about my family for a couple of years prior to this- at that time I was completely unaware that there was a bigger science blogging community. On my family blog I had some references to my academic work life and career- and I noticed that Bora started visiting my blog (which was NOT highly trafficked so it was pretty obvious). I followed the link back to his blog… started reading… and typed the words ‘women in science’  into google… and I saw the LIGHT. Blue Lab Coats was born that very day.

I didn’t know if anyone would read it- and honestly- at the time- I didn’t really care. I had a place to write down everything that I’d been teaching postdoc friends about academia etc, that I could refer people too if they asked me for advice,  and if a few unknown but interested parties stumbled upon it, that was ok by me as well. I can’t remember who found me first, Juniorprof, Comrade Physioprof, Drugmonkey, or Abel Pharmboy– or Bora (of course)- I’d be remiss to name one since I can’t really remember…. I’ve so enjoyed reading their blogs as well as many many others- and all of those listed on my blogroll (which isn’t very up to date- so if you are missing- give me a shout out and I’ll add you!!)… (and Mad Hatter...where are ya??)

I didn’t expect what came next. Who knew that this blog would grow to over 11,000 pageviews per month?  I wasn’t anticipating what a talkative bunch you all are- the awesome discussions we would have, the moral support we would offer each other, the teaching- the occasional virtual yelling. The schooling in creative and incredibly dirty vocabulary that would be offered up by Comrade Physioprof.

I enjoy it all. I always learn from you people- and I hope that this works both ways!

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23 thoughts on “Blogiversary

  1. Yep, your blog is much cooler than mine even though we started at roughly the same time. My blog’s birthday was yesterday.

    Happy blogiversary!

  2. Happy blogiversary!

    I was sure you’d been around before me… so much good content in such a short space of time! Keep up the good work!

  3. Yes, Happy Blogiversary DrDrA!

    I love reading about the reasons people have for starting a blog. Everyone has a different reason, but everyone wants a way to contribute to science and have their voice heard beyond the confines of their lab, it’s great.

  4. Happy blogiversary! And I definitely echo your sentiments on blogs providing help with “careerism”. Despite having had my own personal blog for several years, I didn’t discover the scientific blogosphere until I had already signed the contract for my faculty gig … if I knew then what I knew now, I would have done things very, very differently and a whole lot smarter. Since that time though, the help and advice I’ve gotten from established PI bloggers – including your good self and the others you named – has been so instrumental in my current and future plans that I don’t know what I would have done without it/them.

  5. Happy Blogiversary! Your blog is absolutely one of my favorites and I’ve learned lots from your experience.

    BTW, I’m back after a much-longer-than-intended absence and I hope to be posting and reading regularly again soon. Thanks for the link!

  6. Happy Anniversary! Indeed, your blog has become an essential part of my reading, and I’ve passed it on to many colleagues. Thanks for your efforts in putting it up and maintaining it – a real service to all of us.

  7. Happy blogiversary! And thank you so much for your blog, I use it as you describe how it is supposed to be. I learned a great deal about how Academia works, how to apply for positions and so on. And (that is a secret, mind!) I got already some invitations for post-doc positions! Hurray. Part of that is due to what I learned in this community. Thank you.

  8. Wow, that’s a lot of comments- where to start-

    Odyssey, Cath, JC, Mad Hatter,PiT, Eugenie, Dr A, Dr J, C PP, and FIA, Amanda (I hope I didn’t forget anybody)- Thanks for reading and more importantly for commenting. That’s the part that makes the blog different from me just standing up at the podium givin’ a speech- I much prefer the conversation.

    Molly, and Dr. No- Welcome- and thanks for your wishes. I hope that this will be just be your first of many comments here! Thanks for reading and joining in!

  9. Happy B-day! And as a postdoc anticipating and dealing with any number of problems related to two-career households, kids before tenure, and finding a way through the mess of daily science– THANK YOU.

  10. Congratulations on a great year – I love, love, love Blue Lab Coats and really enjoy your take on the challenges of the academic couple, parenting, being a woman in science and medicine, and all the tasty little morsels you serve up regularly. I don’t comment or link as much as I should, but I do read – and enjoy your efforts, I do!

    For the record, I think that Bora also found me and that I believe I piled on after the JP/DM/PP boyz steered me toward you.

    Your message, experiences, and sharing the joys and pains of this business are an inspiration to us all. I’m honored to consider you a friend and colleague.

    Happy anniversary!

  11. yay, happy 1 year.

    I credit you and your blog with providing a much needed resource during my successful job search over the past year! huzzah!

  12. Happy Blogiverasary! I love being able to read about everything you go through, from your fears about parenting to the stresses of research. Its so great to see/read successful women and to find out they are also human. thanks for being such an awesome role model.

  13. Happy 1 year! It’s funny how so many of us start out with just wanting a venue to write the things down that we think might have helped us and then all of a sudden so much more comes pouring out once you get going. Looking forward to the next year!

  14. Has it only been one year? But you’ve put up so many fantastic and meaty career posts!! Thanks for all the great reading, the informative conversations and here’s to another year of the same.

  15. Abel- I’m humbled. So- much so as to be speechless. And it’s difficult to make me speechless. Thank you for your kind words- I’m delighted to have you as a friend and colleague as well!!

    Pinus, Anonymoustache, Scientistmother, Bugdoc, and Prof-like Substance- I’m happy I could be of help. I want people, esp. trainees, to how this scientific career/family/two academic career thing really works. Hopefully I show you the joy as much as the occasional suffering.

    Bikemonkey- That’s high praise indeed. I’m still sharpening my blog skills- and you are an excellent example!!

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