About a month or two ago I took the SciFund online course. It’s a course designed to teach scientist how to do outreach with a specific focus on doing online outreach. It was fantastic! For me I applied because I figured it would be interesting to learn a bit about that side of science, I already write a couple blogs a month for Speak Up for Blue, an ocean conservation focused blog, and I wanted to learn more about how I could incorporate a blog into my master’s degree program (I start in September with my first trip to the field in July). What I didn’t expect to find was a fantastic community of people interested in doing outreach of all kinds. It was an amazing experience to talk to other scientists working in fields as varied as developing techniques to eliminate methane emissions from natural gas powered cars to researching the use of placebos in medical therapy. Through this course I learned and started to use twitter (@JasonSelwyn) which I’d previously been intimidated by as a strange, bizarre form of communication that I have now learned about how it can be used for effective scientific outreach (there’s even a paper about it!).
At the end of the course we all had to make a commitment of some kind to continuing doing scientific outreach. Here is mine: “My plan is to use twitter to support and grow an audience and either join a group blog or create my own. I also want to participate in #SciStuChat, it sounds really cool what’s going on.”
So there you have it that statement is a plan for the purpose of the blog. I’m going to incorporate blogging as I start my master’s program and field research to blog about A) my research, why it’s important, and why I think it’s cool/exciting and B) my graduate school experience (through being a teaching assistant, to navigating a completely new school, state, and culture in general (I’m going to school in Texas and am from Massachusetts).
So there you have it and welcome to my blog!