March 13, 2012, 10:16 am
Photo by Flickr user raider of gin
When you choose a little-studied research topic, you are suddenly regarded as an expert on that topic. I conducted my doctoral dissertation research on a little-known creature in a remote part of the world, encountering many difficulties that quickly made it clear why no one else had done this before. By the time I was done with a year’s worth of fieldwork, another year’s worth of labwork, and compiling every bit of published information that had ever existed on this species, I felt like I had learned very little. From the point of view of the rest of the world, however, I was the leading expert on this animal. Graduate students who were interested in studying the same species, documentary filmmakers who wanted to make a movie about the place, conservation organizations …
January 17, 2012, 4:37 pm
Tomorrow I’m heading to Raleigh, NC for the ScienceOnline conference – or “unconference,” I should say. I’ve never been to anything like this before and I’m not entirely sure what to expect. I also don’t really fit neatly into any of the categories that describe most of the people attending: while I am a research scientist, I am also the PR person for my center. I am not a science blogger per se – this blog here certainly isn’t about science – but I do maintain the center’s blog and solicit and edit science posts for the center’s blog.
I also don’t know very many people who are attending personally. While the explosions of joy over the impending meeting over on Twitter (see #scio12) are cute [e.g. "OMG I'm so excited to see you all again"], it’s actually pretty intimidating. I’m kind of shy,…