National Geographic

Who are you? The 2013 edition

It’s that time of the year again, when I sit back and let you talk about yourselves.

Every year, I ask readers to identify themselves, say something about their background, and tell me a bit about why they were reading this blog. I spend the whole year telling stories so it’s great to hear everyone else’s for a change, especially given the diversity that typically crops up.

What to do: Tell me who you are, your background, and what you do. What’s your interest in science and your involvement with it? How did you come to this blog, how long have you been reading, what do you think about it, and how could it be improved?

Say as little or as much as you like, but do say something, even if you’ve never commented before and even if you commented on the previous ones.

If you’re a first-time commenter, there may be a small delay before your comment is approved. From that point, on, you can comment freely.

And one really important thing: Every year, at least one person says that they have no science background, and they feel intimidated by the folks on the thread who are researchers and professors and what not. Well, dear people, I want to remind you that I started writing because I wanted to be read by you. I still do. Come and have your say.

There are 160 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Eugene Seymour, MD, MPH
    July 29, 2013

    I’m an infectious disease specialist, a clinician and the CEO of a nanobiotech company involved in developing anti-viral drugs. I’m so immersed in what I’m doing that it’s very important to try to keep up with the general world of science, whether it’s physics, chemistry or biology. However, more importantly, I have young grandchildren. I need to continually feed them stories about different areas of science so they too, whether they become scientists or not, experience the same sense of awe and wonder that I have experienced over all these years. I already have one success….my eldest grandson who will graduate from college next year and who plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a molecular geneticist

  2. Anarcissie
    July 29, 2013

    I have no background in science, if you don’t count ‘software engineering’ (computer programming and systems design) which has often been science-like in those phases of the work where one is trying to bring intellectual order out of chaos. I am not intimidated by scientists. I am interested in some of what they do, I appreciate the scientific method, and of course the general project is of great importance for all of us, which means that its philosophical and political aspects are important.

    I prefer not to give a lot of information about my person on the Net; it’s like writing on a wall in a dubious neighborhood.

    I came to this set of blogs because of some photography which National Geographic sent me — art — but poking around, I found the science writing reasonably interesting, vigorous, and critical. It’s an interesting change; the National Geographic of my early medieval youth was far more stodgy and less scientific, although the pictures of the native babes were sometimes exciting, of course.

  3. Claire
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a clinical psychologist in Australia, currently on maternity leave with my twins. Reading this helps me de-baby-fy my brain :)

  4. Adrian D. Thysse
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a bug photographer with a background in horticulture and landscaping. I have been reading your blog for years for your enlightening science stories, particularly those on invertebrates. I always appreciate how you make science understandable and relevant. Thanks Ed!

  5. Patrick Clarkin
    July 29, 2013

    Biological anthropologist, interested in well-written pieces on scientific research. This site definitely fits the bill.

  6. Troy Freund
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a photographer, not a scientist, but like a scientist, I have a pretty determined sense of curiosity. I’ve been following you on Twitter for a few months now and really enjoy the articles/info/links you share!

  7. Johnna Roose
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a plant biochemistry postdoc (and recent science blogger) interested in bridging the communication gap between scientific researchers and the general public.

  8. Nicole
    July 29, 2013

    I’m an undergrad at a small college in Maine studying neuroscience and english. I want to be a science writer some day, so I spend the majority of my free time reading science stories online until my eyes bleed. This is partially because it’ll help me become a better writer (I hope) but mostly because I think science is cool and awesome and I’m the worlds biggest nerd. I love your stuff because it’s fun and whimsical and makes me more excited about cool science-y things than I already am.

  9. Stan Carey
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a freelance writer/editor from Ireland, preoccupied by language. Academic background (and enduring interest) in biology. For several years I’ve read NERS for its consistently fascinating, balanced, and well-written insights into the life forms we share the planet with.

  10. Jim Woodgett
    July 29, 2013

    Am (basic) biomedical researcher in Toronto (ex-Brit) working on diabetes, cancer, degenerative diseases. Read Ed Yong to stay sane and open-minded. It’s too easy in science to focus on describing the particles of sand under your own feet. Since scientists are a tiny minority and the people in power tend either not to understand, or worse, fear science, it’s incredibly important to foster education, communication and appreciation of science. This blog (and Phenomena in general) helps in all the above.

  11. Erin
    July 29, 2013

    I work as a support professional at a national laboratory. No formal background in science, but I’ve always cultivated a fascination with it. In my spare time I tend a words/photography blog about my adventures as an amateur naturalist. I absorb every scientific tidbit I find, especially in the realms of biology, geography, and astronomy.
    I started following you on Twitter last year after seeing a billion RTs of your work, and have been reading your blog ever since. I appreciate the variety and kinds of stories you share here, and I appreciate that you balance the “Wow!” factor of a study with the questions that remain — and that you always point out how that’s the exciting part of science. Many thanks for all the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into the stories here!

  12. Hannah Cheng
    July 29, 2013

    Aspiring science writer, currently a student at MIT’s Sciwri program. You are boss.

  13. HPS_Vanessa
    July 29, 2013

    Historian of Medicine & Life Sciences, currently an academic and Guardian blogger. My undergraduate degree was in Genetics, and although I shifted to History through graduate study, I’ve maintained an interest in (popular, if not always academic or specialist science), partly because it just interests me, and partly because I think one ought to be aware of the contemporary features of one’s historic focus.
    This blog I think I’ve been following through twitter since I joined, so almost exactly three years (or rather, your output generally over three years, whatever blog or hosting site happens to be the main one). I think what got me to read more regularly was Nature Wants to Eat You though :D Louse tongue is a longstanding favourite thing.
    I also read for style rather than content – how are popular science stories shaped, what sort of technical language is used, etc.

  14. Imelda
    July 29, 2013

    I am a Chemical Engineering Phd who now works as a science technician at my children’s secondary school. I complie a Science Information & News (SIN) bulletin for science staff and sixth form students….interestingly my most avid readers are the school caretakers and my thirteen year old!
    Love your blogs and twitter recommendations …. Thanks for all
    The information.

  15. Jean Riescher Westcott
    July 29, 2013

    I’m in book publishing, background in bookselling and an author on consumer and component electronics.

    Curiosity brings me here, about everything.

    I appreciate your blog and your Twitter presence.

  16. Manuel García Ulloa
    July 29, 2013

    Biology undergrad in Guadalajara, Mexico. I found your blog on Twitter (and it´s great!) I want to dedicate my career to research, but also want to write for the general public ’cause science must be understood and appreciated by everyone, not just people with fancy degrees.

  17. AmyKelinda
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a mid-20-something senior content manager for a marketing company, which is just a fancy way of saying that I manage a small team of SEO specialists and work on website-based content projects. I have no science background, aside from the fact that I love reading about it (mainly dinosaurs, marine life, and space).

    I studied to be a journalist, though I find more enjoyment in editing and writing than interviewing because I am hopelessly awkward on the phone. And in person too, now that I think about it… Hmm.

    I found Phenomena after stumbling across Brian Switek’s stuff for the Smithsonian blog and following him over here. To my greatest of joys, I then found your articles (and articles of others as well!), so now I have more people to follow on the Twitters for interesting science reads (whether it’s your own articles or reading recommendations for others).

  18. Carlos Peña
    July 29, 2013

    PhD in animal ecology. I follow your blog to get the “hot topics” of the week and I want to write like you when I grow up.

  19. Keren Carss
    July 29, 2013

    I am a PhD student in human genetics. I like finding genes that cause rare diseases. I am also interested in science writing and publishing. I especially love your ‘missing links’ posts. :-)

  20. Megan Stephan
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a former 20+ year lab rat (PhD micro-, molecular, neuro-biologist) and current science and medical writer (mostly medical writer). I quit the bench so I could spend more time in the general world of science and medicine learning about everything under the sun rather than just my particular field of study. I enjoy the omnivorous quality of your blog, and I also want to thank you for reminding me of my childhood passion for observing and understanding animals at the macro level!

  21. David Larsson
    July 29, 2013

    I am a commercial real estate lawyer in Philly. I come from a long line of folks who never let their schooling interfere with their education; I’m always on the lookout for interesting stuff to read, and you consistently deliver the goods, both here and on Twitter. Besides, without reading your articles about swarm behaviors, how else would I have learned that Mitt Romney was right: corporations ARE people … SWARMS of people.

  22. Physicalist
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a philosophy professor (mostly philosophy of science). Been following your blog(s) for years. Love your writing.

  23. Raul Miller
    July 29, 2013

    I am currently a software developer, and first encountered your work via twitter referrals, a few weeks ago. I find your insights useful when thinking about problems I encounter at work and also in some other contexts. :)

    I’ve a moderate (college) background in some sciences, and at times have read avidly about a variety of subjects.

  24. Pam Dunker
    July 29, 2013

    I’m from the other world if you sort according to C.P. Snow – the humanities. But I have a nearly insatiable curiosity and an enduring deep seated love of the natural world. Knowledge is a form currency that builds wisdom and I choose to spend some of my time buying bits of knowledge from blogs like Rocket Science. It is like dessert, sweet, easily digestible, and leaves me wanting more. I especially like the ‘missing links’ posts for the trails to other wells from which to drink and to plates with delicacies to sample.

  25. Yani
    July 29, 2013

    I am a Bruneian studying in the UK doing a PhD on figurative language development in children and teenagers with autism. I have a brother with autism who is non-verbal and very close to me. My father has set up, from scratch, three schools that cater specifically for individuals with autism (of all ages) and their families in Brunei (here’s the website if you’d like to know more: http://www.smarterbrunei.org). I mention all this because I feel my family forms part of what I think defines me. However, what I feel is at the core of who I am, is my curiosity, and my love for life. I am in constant awe of everything we explore, (re-)discover and (re-)create. Science often reaffirms, or gives me more reason to love life. I read your posts, and similar posts, with the same excitement and suspense as I did when I was about 9 or 10 when I first learnt about blackholes, and mimicry; or when I would happen across a batch of beetle eggs, or see a chrysalis wriggle. Life is awesome, and simple, concise writing helps bring more awesome.

  26. Katie
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a biology undergrad in Portland, Oregon, hoping to pursue a career in research, I’m interested in plants (ferns and moss, swooon!) and genetics and evolution. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but it’s one of a hand full that I follow to stay current, inspired, and be reminded that science does not exist in a bubble.

  27. Adelaide
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a PhD student in Atlanta, GA in physics in a sub-field fairly unrelated to anything biology. The last bio class I had was freshman year of high school, so I’m effectively a lay person when it comes to biology.
    I found this blog back when it was on Discover blogs (because I read Bad Astronomy – not an astronomer either) and have been reading for a few years now.
    This blog is fantastic and I wouldn’t change anything.

  28. Professor Anonymous
    July 29, 2013

    I teach biology at a community college, mostly to people who come in to class with the idea that science is hard and boring. I follow a lot of science blogs for two major reasons: to keep up with new developments and to find interesting topics to help get my students interested and to show them how science relates to THEIR lives.

  29. Rafael
    July 29, 2013

    I am graduated in biomedical research and now I am doing medicine (Brazil). Some of my work is in virology, molecular biology and immunology.

  30. Hanie
    July 29, 2013

    I am a DVM/PhD student interested in animal welfare and I hope to eventually use my training and experience to shape public policy regarding the care and use of animals. I started following your blog about 5 years ago and look forward to sifting through your Missing Links every Sunday morning over a cup of coffee. What you do is so important, you make scientific discovery accessible to everyone. Maybe someday you’ll be writing a piece about the results of one of my research projects and we will get to talk about turning science into action.

  31. Robert Malone
    July 29, 2013

    I am an Underwriter in Professional Liability at an insurance company. I never studied the sciences and only held a vague curiosity that was piqued during an intro to astronomy class my senior year which happened to spurn what is now my addiction. Reading blogs and sites like yours feeds my never ending curiosity and wonder about the world. Each article I read, I think, “um… what?!” I save your “missing links” for Monday and I look forward to it on my walk to work.

  32. Tien Nguyen
    July 29, 2013

    Hi! I am a 5th year organic chemistry graduate student. I started reading your writing a few months ago and have become convinced that I want to become a science writer as well. I love how supportive the SciComm community is of each other and that we’re all working towards a common goal of spreading science and critical thinking. I’ve started a blog at http://www.mustlovescience.com and hope to keep improving my science writing skills. Thanks for making all it seem worth it!

  33. Elizabeth neeld
    July 29, 2013

    I have a PhD in 18th Century English literature. I came late to the reading of science. I think it was an essay that quoted Einstein’s assertion that there was an unexplainable creative leap that occurred in the “scientific process” that sparked my interest in reading science. I now think there is as much mystery and wonder (and ambiguity) in science as in the best poetry, novels, and other forms of literature. I read your Facebook posts consistently and enjoy what you are interested in.

  34. Sara Van Rooy
    July 29, 2013

    My background is in chemistry. I have great respect for all forms of science and journalism. I read things from so many different sources and I love the diversity of topics and opinions that I am exposed to but I am frustrated when I read things that I know are wrong in some way. There are honest errors (and easily corrected) and there is carelessness (the facts weren’t checked) and then there is blatant misinformation with an agenda (propaganda). I am discovering more propaganda out there than ever before and I find myself regularly defending quality science and honest journalism. When I go searching for the facts on more controversial subjects, it is often difficult to identify what is genuine and what is false. I have a strong science background but even for me it can be a lot of work to get to the real evidence. I found your blog via twitter because of connections made through others who value scientific research and journalistic integrity. Thanks for helping me keep up with what’s real and important.

  35. AG
    July 29, 2013

    I am just another geek who loves science and history. Also a medical practitioner and investor.

  36. WA_side
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a co-owner and co-director of a small transport business in Western Australia with my husband, and am a mother of 2. I enjoyed Chemistry at high school, but was silly enough to let my opinion of my other science teachers ruin my appreciation of their fields, and this did effect my short foray into Uni. I’m not sure anymore how I first came across your blog Ed, but I guess I’ve been reading for a couple of years, and it has led me to so many other sources of interesting information that I often have a hard time keeping up with reading them all. Yourself and many of your varied associates help to keep that healthy sense of awe and wonder alive, particularly on the days when running a small business feels unbearably repetitive or onerous. Thank you (all of you).

  37. Martha Carey
    July 29, 2013

    I am a doctoral student in Urban Education (and also a blogger — goo.gl/GjyPD7) and I read Phenomena as a kind of a counterweight to my other reality — the one filled with impoverished students, frayed teachers, underfunded schools, food insecurity, social and interpersonal violence, and policy that is often ethically questionable and not informed by facts. Your site helps to keep me on the beam, and it is much appreciated.

  38. chris y
    July 29, 2013

    I never know if I’m supposed to do this every year, or if once is enough.

    I’m (still) a retired IT business analyst with a Master’s in CS, but no proper science background. I read here because I think it’s important to be well informed about all developments, and if I rely on the MSM for news of developments in the sciences, that’s not going to happen.

  39. Kim
    July 29, 2013

    I have done hair for 30+ years. So my background is in chemistry , psychology , and art . I am a survivor of incest and molestation . The healing requires as much scientific research as it does art and therapy . For me , at least . The science intrigues me . The articles on psych an the biology of mind and body are helping add dimension to my journey . It’s beautiful and interesting . I can point people to resources when I have good info . You qualify as good info. I found you through Twitter . I’m thankful for what you do and facilitate.

  40. Jennifer Garner
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a biochemist who spent nearly 15 years as a stay at home mom and am now teaching microbiology in community college. I came across this blog via twitter grapevine. I’m always looking for ways to connect course content with real life to push my students out of the “do we need to know that for the exam” mentality and get them interested in discovering their own world.

  41. Graham Coop
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a professor in Evolution and Ecology at the University of California Davis. I work on human population genomics; the study of human population history and adaptation using genetic information. I also work on developing methods to understand the genomic signals of adaptation and speciation in a range of other systems.

    I’ve been reading this blog for a number of years, after coming across it thanks to Carl Zimmer. I find the blog a great source of examples to illustrate concepts in my Evolution class.

  42. Barbara
    July 29, 2013

    In second grade I decided that I would become a biologist. My interests at the time were toads, birds, and dinosaurs; now I’m a Ph.D. botanist. Your blog helps me keep in touch with the rest of the biodiversity that fascinates me.

    I’ve been reading your column since it was at Discover. The articles are well written and cover diverse, interesting topics. I’ve also learned a lot of interesting things through your “missing links” entries. Yours is one of the three science blogs I consistently recommend to others.

  43. Thomas Hossie
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a PhD candidate at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. My research is on the ecology and evolution of eyespots in butterfly and moth caterpillars. I sometimes feel that good science reporting is hard to find, so it is always refreshing to read your posts which are perfectly accurate and delivered in such a clear and concise way. I enjoy science writing too, and I often look to your blog as the model for effective delivery. If you’re interested, stop by my blog “Caterpillar Eyespots” to find out more about my research: http://caterpillar-eyespots.blogspot.ca/

  44. Elijah Chandler
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a software tester and process designer for a large retail supply chain network. My job largely consists of User Acceptance Testing for a proprietary inventory software, as well as frequent travel to various locations around the country (US [and Canada sometimes]) to develop solutions.

    My interest in science is largely fueled by my inner geek and massive curiosity. I don’t have a scientific background other than being a life long explorer of subjects that interest me. I’m a firm believer that public elementary schools should focus heavily on training children to utilize critical thinking skills to assess their environments.

    I happened upon this blog because a very, very intelligent and awesome lady I follow on Twitter RTs you with some frequency. If you don’t already, you should definitely be following @PygmyLoris, she represents Scotland very well. I’m a sporadic reader of the blog, but I have always enjoyed the articles I do read. I particularly enjoy when you apply scientific thinking to current topics in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed of.

    Keep up the good work!

  45. Noel Lampazzi
    July 29, 2013

    I am a recent Bucknell University grad (B.S. Environmental Science), and currently researching graduate schools! I hope to find an adviser working in fungal pathology and conservation medicine. I am specifically interested in invasive pathogens (e.g., Chytrid fungus, WNS), the mechanisms by which they impact their hosts, current measures to combat these pathogens, and how to develop additional combative methods.

    I found this blog on Twitter about a month ago. I love reading your Tweets/posts and updates from the scientific community.

  46. James
    July 29, 2013

    I am a postdoc at Princeton, using social insect colonies to understand how patterns emerge in social groups.

  47. Sean McCann
    July 29, 2013

    I am a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby BC. My research has focused on the foraging biology of Ibycter americanus, the Red-throated Caracara. I hope to continue working with this species and its ecological associates in the future, as it is a highly social species with strange feeding behaviour: it feeds on the brood of social wasps.
    I post research and photography updates at http://www.ibycter.com

  48. Daniel Lane
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a grad student at UNC – Chapel Hill studying science journalism. I did my undergrad in chemistry but realized that I was more productive (and happier) wielding pen instead of an NMR. I still love all things science, though so this seemed like the next natural step.
    One of my professors turned me on to this blog about 6 months ago, and I’ve been gleefully devouring it ever since. I love the diversity of topics on this blog and with the “for more about” links at the bottom, NERS is becoming an internet black hole in which I can get stuck for an hour or two. Thanks for all the cool stories!
    Also, the commentary is wonderfully informative. So to everyone who gives newbies like me multiple perspectives into so many different fields, thanks a bunch!

  49. Adrianne
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a second year graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine in a bone genetics lab. I’m getting ready for my qualifier exam so your blog is one of the ways I distract myself (heh heh). Prior to graduate school I taught high school (pre-AP and AP) Biology for four years in public schools and that is how I got interested in blogging. Initially I created a blog which I posted articles (like the ones you write) about various scientific topics loosely related to what we were studying at the time and had my students discuss them via the comments section. It was a huge success and I’ve been hooked ever since! I since then have created a personal blog where I talk about science and whatever else is going on in my life http://www.elementsofsummer.com. Recently I got to attend a NASA social and met your fellow science writer Cristina Russo!

  50. Paul
    July 29, 2013

    I have no science background beyond high school, and (shamefully) no biology after it stopped being mandatory in early high school. I veered off unexpectedly into the arts in university, but I’ve continued reading science writing and philosophy of science over the intervening 15 years. I came to your writing initially off of William Gibson’s twitter feed, then started following you, then reading all of phenomena when I realized Brian Switek was also here. I find your enthusiasm for the material infectious – thanks for all you do!

  51. Alice
    July 29, 2013

    I started following you on Twitter because someone I followed kept RTing you and I thought what you posted was super cool/interesting/funny. No science background, though I’ve always had a passive interest in it. I’m more of a words gal – linguistics major and all that. I love your writing style. It’s very approachable and filled with enthusiasm. :)

  52. D.O.
    July 29, 2013

    Hello! I’m a Ph.D student working in plant polyploid genetics/genomics. I’ve been reading for about six months as part of an effort to re-familiarize myself with popular science writing– I think what I study is fascinating, and I’d like to be better at sharing it. I like that you discuss the writing process frequently here.

    It also makes me happy to keep in touch with other fields. I love my beans a lot, but I also think anything that ever lived is pretty amazing, and this blog helps to remind me of that.

  53. Thorin
    July 29, 2013

    I just finished my M.Sc. in protein biochemistry up in Canada. Now I have the difficult task of trying to break into industry but am missing science already! Your blog is one of my science fixes.

  54. Paul Braterman
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a science writer, former chemistry professor (was at Glasgow U 1965-1988, U North Texas, 1988-2005) and Astrobiology Center associate, now back in Glasgow, heavily involved in promoting and defending science, and in Skeptics’ and Humanists’ activities (several talks to Glasgow and Dundee groups, HSS events at EISF). My own occasional blog http://www.paulbraterman.wordpress.com “Old Earth – Young Earth: Creationism, Evolution, and the Mythical Missing Links.”. Committee member, British Centre for Science Education (BCSE), http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/, [a small group doing much the same work as our friends, NCSE, are doing in the US]

    I came across this blog through FaceBook a few month ago and it is one of several that I follow for up-to-date information about interesting scientific developments. If the story is particularly interesting, I also follow up by reading the original literature.

    And Yong and Zimmer are two writers that I also study in the hope of improving my style.

  55. Anna
    July 29, 2013

    I am a picture framer (what I fell into after stopping at bachelor’s degrees in studio art and art history) but I did take a fair amount of science courses in college and have maintained my interest in science through reading books and blogs like yours. My parents (who make their living through handthrown stoneware pottery but whose interest in science outstrips mine) introduced me to this blog at least 2 websites ago (at least several years). Your ability to keep me engaged on a variety of subjects keeps me coming back, and I appreciate the “missing links” posts and have found many more science writers to follow through them.

  56. Jim
    July 29, 2013

    I’m in Australia and have a background in aircraft repair, but I’m currently managing a local museum. I’ve always had a general interest in science, and I started following your blog around 2007/2008. Can’t remember how I found it, now – might have been from someone else’s blogroll, or just from our friend Mr Google. I love the fact that you communicate on a wide variety of subjects without being condescending or resorting to jargon, and without developing “tunnel vision” on any particular issue. And I love the fact that you write with humour.

  57. Dan Gerhards
    July 29, 2013

    I am an elementary school science teacher, and I have been teaching at science camps in Oregon and California for years. Just last week, I made a major switch to teaching English in Mexico.

    I got to this blog from Bad Astronomy when you and Phil Plait were both with Discover. (I have been reading BA since 1998–long before it was a blog.)

  58. Anna L-S
    July 29, 2013

    I’ve got degrees in psychology (BA) and education (MA) and do educational research in a science museum. So I’m surrounded by science and science communication on a daily basis, but don’t have deep content expertise in most of the science shared here.

  59. Francesca
    July 29, 2013

    I am a Mathematical Physics Grad student at SISSA, Italy.
    I discovered about your blog a month ago, during a seminar about science communication and have been following it since then…
    I love the way you write about science… You make it understandable to everybody….and this is great because a lot of scientist hide under the common misbelief that science is not understandable to the ones who are not scientists themselves. It is so easy to pretend we cannot explain what we do everyday…

  60. Amy
    July 29, 2013

    I recently completed my sophomore year of undergrad studies. I am majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and minoring in Biology. I am currently a summer research intern at a natural history museum working on American deer taxonomy. I plan to pursue a Ph.D. after undergrad and am particularly interested in the relationships between mammal morphology and ecology.

    I’ve been reading your blog for the past 2 years. I like to click on an interesting story, read the actual article first, and use your blog as a way to check my understanding of the article and also to see it from a new perspective.

  61. Tom Ulrich
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a science writer at a hospital in Boston, Mass. A couple of years ago I started seeing your name ’round the twitterverse and started reading your stuff. Now I read your pieces eagerly – ’cause they’re so damned good – and with professional trepidation – ’cause they’re so damned good.

  62. Dale
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a long time reader (since 2008). Retired college professor (ecology, genetics, evolution); computer programmer. I lead natural history walks for laymen in a local area. I admire your ability to clearly explain the significance of current publications for the non-specialist — that’s why I read the blog. You’ve inspired me to try a blog of my own.

  63. Anonymous Reader
    July 29, 2013

    I’ve worked in computer security for the last 13 or 15 years. I found your writings via Discovery magazine a few years ago; perhaps 4 or 5 years ago.

    I was drawn to your writings because they were unique, to me. I liked how detailed they were, and how easily accessible they were to me coming from a non-scientific background. The first article I read, which I cannot remember now, made me feel the way I felt back in biology class when I first had to cut into a frog and identify the various internal organs.

    I don’t follow your twitter feed at all, but I follow your blog pretty religiously. I really don’t know of any suggestions to make it better. I like the way the blog is now.

    I’ve never commented before, and probably won’t again, but, I figured now was a good time to tell you that you’re doing a superb job. Keep writing! I’ve linked multiple articles to my 10 year old son. Just in this family your writing appeals to the young and the old. :)

  64. Philip Moses
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a Canadian from Toronto, currently living in Nantes, France and working in transport. I don’t have any academic background to speak of, largely due to decisions I made in my teens, but my family is relatively science-oriented (or science-orientated for you Ed!). My father is a retired physics teacher with a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Sussex and an MSc from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and the rest of the family tends toward either engineering or languages. Personally my interests are split about evenly between the STEM fields and languages; I’m fluent in four languages and can get by in another two. I consider myself to have a strong layman’s comprehension of the sciences.
    I’ve been reading Ed for a few years; I’m pretty sure that I discovered him through a link from Phil Plait, around the same time as I discovered Razib Khan, who sparked my interest in genetics. Every week I await Missing Links with impatience (along with Physics Week in Review over on Cocktail Party Physics)!
    I’ve travelled extensively, and have lived in 5 different countries.

  65. Thiri
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a Neuroscience graduate student currently residing in Georgia, USA. I read your articles time to time but I read your tweets more religiously (more time efficient way to keep up, if you know the work hours of a grad student). I’ve been following your work about 2-3 years.. for the interesting stuff you write and also because it is interesting to see the works of communicating science to public.

  66. Kaitlin
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a medical illustrator (MA and certified), been reading for 3-4 years and if memory serves found you originally via a link on Tetrapod Zoology.

    I work for a law firm and come here for my dose of natural science (and also to admire your craft!). Cheers.

  67. Autumn
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a computer support specialist with a four year degree in the field. My “fun” classes in college alternated between medieval history and various sciences. I don’t remember how I stumbled across this blog but I’m sure it was a friend linking to a site that referred to one of your articles.

    I never outgrew the “but… why?!?” demand of a three year old and my curiosity grew with age. Your blog is fun to read, a starting point for lunch time information splurges, and keeps me more than one step ahead of my seven year old naturalist.

  68. Mary-Ellen
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a cartographer working for the Canadian federal government. The only post-secondary science training I have is a minor in Physics for my undergrad degree. Besides cartography, I have training in statistics, computer science, and library science. Basically I have a general interest in science (astronomy, nature, environment, math), and like to read topics different from my daily work, to avoid too much specialization and boredom. Such reading also makes me realize how huge the world is, and how interesting. I want to know all the things! I love the Missing Links entries, as they lead me to many interesting places. No idea how I found this blog, I’m assuming as a link on some other blog I read. Followed Ed from his previous blog, to this one at NG.

  69. Aoibheann
    July 29, 2013

    Im a (mature) student who has just completed a zoology undergrad degree. I spent a few years working in advertising but biology was my first love and, once I’d bought my soul back, I went back to college. Next I hope to get funding for a PhD, possibly in palaeontology. Found your blog via Twitter. Love your tweets and this blog to keep up with breaking research.

  70. Kelly Banco
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a pharmacist, scientist, and high school science teacher. My interest in science is vast and all encompasing. Almost everything I do in life I am reminded of how it relates to science and how science can in turn relate to my life. I came across this blog through posts made by Carl Zimmer. I’ve been reading the blog for about a year and I like it just the way it is!

  71. Diveena
    July 29, 2013

    I am a PhD student in genetics. I work on virus discovery and small RNAs in aphids. I have been a fan of your writing for many years now. I read your blog everyday. Keep up the great writing.

  72. Gennadyi Gurman
    July 29, 2013

    I’m an educator in a a botanical garden, I’ve loved reading science since I was a small child but found out that I enjoyed sharing it with others more than doing it.

  73. Dale Yuzuki
    July 29, 2013

    Ex-high school chem / bio teacher, ex-cancer researcher, ex-product manager for a life science vendor, ex-salesperson for a few vendors, now a field marketing person. Found your blog via Twitter, and had a chance to hear you ‘live’ moderating discussions at last week’s NIH Microbiome meeting in Bethesda MD.

    I really enjoy your different perspective (and outspoken opinion where you feel strongly) about so many far-reaching frontiers of science. You’ve opened me up to a number of lines of inquiry I’d normally not be thinking about, and find it very entertaining.

    I do write a next-generation sequencing blog (“The Next Generation Technologist”) on my spare time and struggle at times to keep up the pace of writing. Oh well.

  74. Chris Goforth
    July 29, 2013

    I am an aquatic entomologist who works at a museum in Raleigh NC teaching people how to get involved in science through citizen science. I am also a blogger and photographer and enjoy sharing the things I love and find interesting with the world. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and was thrilled to meet you in person, even if only very briefly, at Scio13. I love your penchant for the bizarre, so I imagine I’ll continue reading your blog as long as it keeps going!

  75. Claudia
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a high school science teacher who browses through all sorts of great science writing to bring relevant, current articles to her students. Your blog has loads of articles that effectively reinforce what students are learning in the classroom, in the lab-activities, in their lives, even… I used your work loads this past year; my kids know you by name now–maybe even on first name basis, I forget. I love your work altogether, but for them I more specifically look for the shortest articles they can quickly read related to what they learned the previous day. They really enjoy your style, so thank you. I wonder if I owe you royalties? Well, I always link directly to you??
    I’m also a former neuroscientist who left the field after growing too attached to her rats and getting quite literally sick of dissecting rat brains… I just like throwing that in there.
    Carry on, good luck, and thanks for the help…

  76. Preeti
    July 29, 2013

    Delurking just for this. I’m a science/wildlife junkie and love the Internet for giving me the opportunity to learn about so much that I wouldn’t have otherwise known or gotten a chance to read about. I don’t do anything related to science for my job, but hope to work in online marketing for a non-profit organization some day. I can’t remember how I discovered your Twitter and blog, but I follow a bunch of people in your online circle, including Carl Zimmer, Bora Zivkovik, Brian Switek, etc. You all keep me up-to-date on a variety of topics and I love reading your responses and discussion about the latest news and various articles. I’ve been following and reading for at least a year or two. No suggestions, just keep it up! I absolutely love your link roundups as well.

  77. Miguel
    July 29, 2013

    I am a telecommunications engineer, so I have a somewhat decent background in maths and science. I enjoy reading about fields that have nothing to do with my daily life; I subscribed to your articles after reading the guide for scientists giving comments to journalists: it was so good, that I often wish that most journalists were like the ones in your guide.

    I live in Spain, where the local press coverage of science and technology is awful, so blogs like yours are a lifeline. Thanks a lot for your work!

  78. HP
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a technical writer in southwestern Ohio, USA. I write end-user documentation and develop instructional materials for specialized engineering software. I grew up reading Rachel Carson, Steven J. Gould, Carl Sagan, etc. I’ve been following your blogs since you first joined Sb.

    The writing I do is often challenging, and its always inspiring to me to see how you tackle some of the challenges posed by your subject matter. I also enjoy your sense of humor.

  79. José Mesquita
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a portuguese chemical engineer. I’ve been working at ceramic industry and lately I’m also teaching professional courses. I don’t know since when I’ve been reading you. A few years for sure. Since I remember me as a person, science is my main interest. Everyday I get delighted with science. You write science in a very understandable and interesting way without loosing accuracy. I like to be amazed and here I can get that. Some of the informations I read in your blog, I use them to create interest in science among my students. Science is wonderful and you’ve been helping me to show that to others. Thank you.

  80. Michael Lombardi
    July 29, 2013

    Hi Ed. We’ve met at SciO and if you know me it’s as AmoebaMike. Stay at home dad, former high school science educator. BS in Biology. I appreciate any writer that can take things that experts understand and disseminate it to the masses. When someone who never liked science in school, because “it was too hard” can understand, you’ve informed them and taught them a little something. Keep up the great work.

  81. Diego
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a PhD student in molecular cell biology and parasitology living in Paris, France. I discovered the “Parasite of the Day” blog which led me to Carl Zimmer’s blog which led me to Not Exactly Rocket Science.
    I had a strange fascination for arthropods for as long as I can remember, and now I developed one for eukaryotic parasites.
    I check and read your blog (and the other blogs at Phenomena) almost everyday to quench my thirst of knowledge.
    I love the way you describe and write about scientific papers that can be sometimes really hard to understand. You’re giving us pre-digested pieces of knowledge that are easily assimilated and that can be spread around friends and relatives.
    Keep up the good work !
    If I ever write a book, I hope I’ll be able to explain difficult concepts as easily as you do.
    Thanks a lot for everything !!

  82. Sherri
    July 29, 2013

    I’m a mom with an undergrad degree in Physics who worked as a software engineer until my daughter came along 18 years ago. Now I’m about to send her off to college to study Chemistry, so I must have done something right in instilling a love of science in her!

  83. Benjamin Tseng
    July 29, 2013

    I work in the corporate world after years of doing molecular biology research. I love science of all types and spent a fair amount of time looking for a blog that covered (a) a diversity of topics in life science but (b) in a way that was literature-driven as opposed to the usual pop-science that you see in the mainstream media.

  84. Richard Dashnau
    July 29, 2013

    I’ve worked >30 yrs as manufacturing expediting technician. My interest in zoology/science goes back to childhood. In 1999 I started my own website. For the last 10 years or so, I’ve volunteered at least once every week at a 5000-acre state park that contains 3 ecosystems–with all of the wildlife living freely within. I have face-to-face contact with hundreds of park visitors every year. After I began working at the park my website began to show much of the wildlife that I encountered living at the park. I also began constructing my own interpretive programs, using my own material and research I can access. I have discovered that much of what people (including me) knew about nature has changed a bit. Although books are available, sometimes the material in them has been rendered obsolete by newer research. It is hard to keep up-to-date with the new material (Especially since I can’t spend all day researching. My “real” job has nothing to do with this and takes most of my time). *Your* column has been a wonderful source for some of this new material. I’ve subscribed for a few months, and have enjoyed your work. I’ve passed many items gleaned from you on to others in our volunteer organization. Besides some of the new information correcting what was known before; these new items are invaluable in awakening audience attention.

  85. Kathy K.
    July 29, 2013

    I started lurking in the Phenomena blogs around the beginning of the year (2013).
    I was familiar with Laelaps from his articles over at Dinosaur Tracking.
    I can’t pick up an old Discover Magazine without reading an article by Carl Zimmer. :) So, I knew his name before I discovered his blog here.
    I first heard mention of you from Brian’s articles in Dinosaur Tracking.
    I started reading your blog and got hooked. Your article back in the end of March:You’ve Seen Fruit Bat Fallatio. Now: Fruit Bat Cunnilingus… sealed the deal. I don’t think I had ever laughed so hard at any science article before that time.

    I graduated from college in the early 80′s (B.A with a double major in the social sciences :go Blue Devils!) I worked for about 8 years then became a stay at home mom for 10 years. I decided to switch into education when I went back to work.
    I’ve always had an interest in science. My dad, brother, and sister all have multiple degrees in engineering. I also have been active in gardening, though this summer I have let things slide.

    I’m old enough to have an opinion about almost everything and naïve enough to share it. :)

  86. rebecca
    July 29, 2013

    Last year, the first time I commented on your “who are you,” I was a grad student in Wisconsin, working on a master’s degree in environmental education. I’m proud to say that I finished that degree and now have a full-time job in my field, yay! So, now who I am is a woman in her mid-twenties who works for a watershed council in rural eastern Oregon, where I split my time between habitat improvement projects with local landowners and educational programs with local schools. I am also a passionate naturalist. I’ve been interested in science pretty much forever, especially ecology/conservation, and I majored in biology as an undergrad – at one point I thought I might go into research as a career.

    Keep up the awesome work, Mr. Yong!

    http://rebeccainthewoods.wordpress.com
    @rdeatsman

  87. B
    July 29, 2013

    I’m an Astronomy prof., with research interests in theoretical astrophysics. You’re one of the finest science writers out there Ed, with a very good eye for what’s cool & a fine writing style- you also clearly understand the process of science in a way that many other writers don’t. I never pass over your missing links-best round up anywhere on t’interwebs.

  88. John Monfries
    July 29, 2013

    I responded a year or two back, and I’m glad to say I still follow your posts regularly. I’m an Australian historian at ANU Canberra, ex-public servant. Keep up the great work – but I have a question – when will we see a book on science by author Ed Yong? You’ve probably written enough already for ten books, but like every insatiable reader of your output, I want more!

  89. Jill
    July 29, 2013

    I just finished my MA in developmental psych, and I did my undergrad in Biology. I read to keep my foot in the biology world and with an eye on (hopefully) teaching next year. I’ve been reading the blog for probably half a year and I’m a huge fan!

  90. Arkasha
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a research assistant in a lab studying about red blood cell disorders, from Indonesia. Last year I’ve finished my undergrad study majoring in Microbiology. I started reading Phenomena at the start of 2013, and I’ve been reading it on the train (mornings & evenings) every day ever since. I love this blog not only because I’ve always been an avid fan of science, but also because it gives me so much topic to talk & discuss with my (mostly also from Biology/Microbiology major) friends. :)

  91. Jędrzej Dudkiewicz
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a programmer, no degree in any field whatsoever. I found your blog three years ago (or so) and I hate “I’ve got your missing links right here” as I’m few months (over a year?) behind.

  92. Daniel S.
    July 30, 2013

    PhD student in marine biology and a macro/micro photographer. I also sometimes try to write about science and photography in my blog when explaining what you can see on my pictures. The broad range of topics that you touch attracted me some time ago and turned me into a regular reader.

    Cheers,
    Daniel
    http://www.microworldsphotography.com
    http://notes-from-dreamworlds.blogspot.com/

  93. Michael Habib
    July 30, 2013

    I am a professor of Anatomy (in the Dept of Cell and Neurobiology) at the University of Southern California. I teach human gross anatomy in the Keck School of Medicine, and I study the biomechanics of pterosaurs, dinosaurs, and other long dead creatures, along with a few living ones.

    I read this blog because it helps me keep appraised of exciting developments in other specialties, and because it is just darn good writing. This blog also provides excellent inspiration for my own science correspondence and outreach.

  94. Brian Slesinsky
    July 30, 2013

    Software engineer at Google. I find that a large percentage of the links I find interesting enough to share from G+ come from here.

  95. Cody
    July 30, 2013

    I’m currently the assistant manager at a Wine Tasting room in Jerome, Arizona. Got into wine through an interest in history, and geology (Wine is geology in a glass. Well, and a bit of microbiology, too…) though I find myself interested in…pretty much everything. Science, history, theology (for a while, i was actually studying to be an Orthodox Priest, but then realized I was way too impatient for it.)

    I read this blog for a few reasons: I like keeping abreast of new scientific developments. And of course, the linkpost.

  96. catherine w
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a high school student (probably the only one here) who is really big science nerd. I don’t have a fancy title like everyone else, but I ‘ll hopefully earn one in college. When school starts, I plan to feature some of your posts in my school’s environmental club, and if everything works out, everyone will be as interested as I am. Your posts remind me of how fascinating science can be and why I love it so much. :)

  97. Shivshankar Umashankar
    July 30, 2013

    I am a fourth year PhD Student working on Biostatistics. I follow this blog and enjoy reading the articles here every week!!! Whenever i feel bored reading journal papers i come here looking to relax and seek inspiration from excellent pieces of science writing. Thank you for the wonderful posts, I find the concept of posting ‘Missing links’ particularly nice as it serves as guide to good/humorous/funny takes on science.

  98. Jennifer
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a librarian, a geek and a pen and paper roleplayer. I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects and so this blog suits me well. Whether it’s having new discoveries explained to me, just being in awe of the universe or coming across strange creatures to use in one of my games.

  99. Cristin
    July 30, 2013

    I not only don’t have a background in science, but, for various (mostly medical) reasons, I don’t even have a college degree. I do data entry. But I love science, and always have. It is near and dear to my heart. I read and watch everything about science that I can, especially physics, astronomy, and biology.

    And in the spare time that I don’t use reading science blogs and watching science-related videos, I write science fiction.

  100. Solitha
    July 30, 2013

    Early 40s, female, some college. 911 dispatcher, currently; looking forward to reaching retirement eligibility and starting a new career – maybe in science.

    I’ve been following you, Chris Mooney, and Phil Plait primarily since I discovered Google Reader and Discover’s blogs. You guys help me make sense of an often baffling world.

  101. Lauren
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a 24yr old Irish phd student, currently studying in Scotland. I can’t actually remember how I stumbled across your blog – just that I liked it so I book marked it and haven’t stopped coming back since. The reason I enjoy this blog (and similarly The Loom) is that it gives me a chance to read outside my field without making me feel like not being an expert in other fields should deter me. This has actually been a big help to my phd – an article I read here by chance ended up leading me to a paper that I wouldn’t have glanced twice at on pubmed that had some really novel and relevant techniques that I’m now trying to use. Cheers for doing such a fantastic job at making science more accessible to people outside specific fields! :)

  102. DianaEdd
    July 30, 2013

    I am a retired MD with a lifelong history of interest in science. Found your writing initially on the Discover website and then followed you to National Geographic. I very much appreciate your insights and information, as well as the comments of your readers.

  103. L
    July 30, 2013

    My college background is in philosophy with a focus on philosophy of science but I am currently a librarian at a health sciences library. I came across this blog from a link on Razib’s GNXP to your Scienceblogs site, so I have been following off and on for years. Given what you seem to enjoy writing about (non-humans), I wouldn’t change a thing. No need to chase another subject that you’re less comfortable with or thrilled to write about.

  104. Aly
    July 30, 2013

    I am a second year Master’s student studying paleoclimate. I’ve wanted to be a paleontologist for as long as I can remember and have always been interested in science (my dad is a high school science teacher). I don’t quite remember how I found your blog (probably when I went on a science following spree on Twitter), but I’ve been reading it regularly for the past few months. I enjoy the variety and I frequently share your stories with friends. Keep up the good work!

  105. Erin
    July 30, 2013

    I’ve been reading your blog off and on for five or six years I think. My husband originally told me about it, he’s a product manager for a very large software company. We’re Canadian, but lived in London for seven years, became citizens and all that, but then moved back to Vancouver, Canada. I’m a freelance writer, originally working in the arts, but since starting a family, have taken advantage of the home-based research and now mostly write about parenting and family activities for several publications here in Canada. And I still write about technology. But no science, really. I don’t particularly feel intimidated by your scientist readers, maybe because I’ve spent most of my working life interviewing people who know more about a subject than I do, whether that’s Stockhausen, internet infrastructure, or child development. I find your weird animal behaviour things hilarious. I mostly keep track of your writing through twitter, where I spend way way too much time. It was fun watching you make your way through Portland, etc. I’m constantly impressed with how much research you do before writing a piece… eek. Oh, and I’ve never commented before.

  106. Colin McCarthy
    July 30, 2013

    I was a curator / collections manager at the Natural History Museum, London for over 40 years and retired a couple of years ago. I specialised in reptiles whilst at work but retirement has afforded me the opportunity and time to broaden my interests. I have found you to be one of the most consistently entertaining and reliable science communicators I have yet encountered. When you write on subjects that I know something about I have always found you accurate and well-balanced – this has given me confidence in your treatment of subjects about which I am almost entirely ignorant. Long may you continue and thank-you so much.

  107. Lucas Myers
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a student studying Geophysical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. I read to stay up to date on the world of science, and typically anything that involves the earth sciences really piques my interest. I love reading comments from professors because it allows me to learn a little more, and give another view on the topic. Not only do I read on my own time, but it helps me get through a day at the office, keep up the good work.

  108. Erin
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a grad student in molecular biology, and I don’t know when I started reading your blog, but it was years ago. I shared your posts with my students when I TAed an evolution class. I also have considered switching to science journalism, and from you I’ve learned so much about journalistic ethics, thinking critically, how freelancing works, and what good writing looks like.

  109. Alysa
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a chemical engineering PhD student too new to have started my thesis work yet, but want to research polymeric biomaterials and/or tissue engineering. I specialized in nanoscience in my BS work and also have a BA in psychology from when I was young and naive.

    My career goals are to be a professor and an advocate for underrepresented students, so I appreciate being up to date with science news, especially if its presented in a format that is easy for a layperson to understand.

  110. August Jenifer
    July 30, 2013

    23 yo girl from Indonesia. I studied genetics & molecular biology for my bachelor and currently working as a research assistant in my university. I basically work on plant-nematode interaction especially in banana, also on the distribution of these parasitic worms in Malaysia (residing in Kuala Lumpur, atm) NGPhenomena fascinates me A LOT. Never a day I spent without reading it. I love that you, Carl Zimmer and others always provide amazing pieces of writings and how I realize that I know so little every time I finish reading them.

    Oh, and I love Missing Links.

  111. Emily H
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a neuroscience PhD student. I use both electrophysiological and behavioral techniques to study hearing, emotions, and social vocalizations.

    I started reading your blog about a year ago, maybe a year and a half. I found it from a link from another blog, though I can’t remember which one. I read your articles for engaging insights into science that I wouldn’t come across otherwise. It helps me keep the wonder of science in sight when I get bogged down in minutia. Also, your Missing Links posts are one of my favorite things on the internet. I get both really excited and really disappointed whenever I see you’ve posted one because I know I’m about to lose the next 2-3 hours to the links. Occasionally, though, not all the links in the list actually work.

  112. Ruth
    July 30, 2013

    Hi Ed! I’m a Vet Tech & photographer. I have always loved science of any kind, esp. physics & astronomy. I found you on twitter & followed you wherever you cared to lead me. I love your writing, your professionalism, your sense of humor, & your attitude. Thanks for all the great learning!

  113. Brock
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a patent agent working in life science type stuff. I have a PhD in chemistry and bachelor in chem and biology. I love reading this blog to learn about the intersection of conservation ecology, genetics, evolution (among other topics). It keeps me in touch with some of the cool stuff happening in the bio world that I’m not exposed to otherwise (and I miss learning about). It’s always some of my favorite reading of the week. Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s great stuff.

  114. John E. Williams
    July 30, 2013

    I am a licensed Arclhitect in the state of Illinois and President of my own firm for 25 years. I hold degrees in Architectural design and an MBA in finance. I studied photography and film in
    undergraduate school with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology. Past hobbies consisted of yacht racing and scuba diving. My interest in science started with listening to Cosmosand reading books by Stephen Hawking, Brian Green and Michio Kaku. Theoretical Astrophysics is a real turn on even though Physics was a tough subje for me in college. Since I,m approaching 67 and my son will be entering college in two years I need to find something to do when I retire. Science and photography sound like a good area.
    Great site!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to write you.

  115. John
    July 30, 2013

    I am a molecular biologist/geneticist developing new single-molecule technologies for DNA and genome analysis. I follow you by Twitter to keep up on general science news and for identifying problems that may benefit from new technological solutions.

  116. Prerana
    July 30, 2013

    Hi Ed! I have been following your blog and your writing at Nature, Wired and other outlets for almost two years, and gained new fascination for the incredible biology beyond my area of research thanks to you. I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, and I study specific neuronal populations in the cerebral cortex in the context of their contribution to mood disorders. Thank you for your brilliant writing as well as for bringing to our attention excellent work of other writers every week/year.

  117. Sarah
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a 3D Animator who makes sequences for TV programs. I don’t have a science background at all, except biology A-level. The rest of my family all have medical/scientific jobs, though, so it’s something I am exposed to regularly, and I enjoy reading your blog and finding out some discoveries they may not have heard about! We’ve also done some medical/inside animals graphics for varying programmes, and it’s good to have a certain amount of biological knowledge at that point.
    I can’t remember how I found your blog, I think I googled “science blog recommendations” and it came up, probably about a year ago. Been enjoying reading it sporadically ever since, I think your writing is highly accessible and very interesting, even for those of us with a non-scientific background. Keep it up! :)

  118. JohnR
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a rapidly degenerating molecular biology bench guy who spent his life training to be a teacher/naturalist and behavioral ecologist. I dabble in this and that, off and on, now and then. My particular interests, such as they are, are spiders and other arthropods, birds, military history, and gaming (both theory and practice). I am attempting to generalize, and know an increasingly small amount about increasingly more stuff; the ultimate goal of knowing nothing about everything is almost in sight. I no longer remember when and why I first came across the site, but I do remember it was at the old place a while ago. I drop in when the urge strikes, because the topics, writing and photography are very cool, and the comments alone are almost always a fizzy lifting drink for the mind.

  119. Susan
    July 30, 2013

    I’m an English professor (composition & rhetoric) who wishes she’d studied more science along the way. I enjoy reading science writers and learning more about how physical and biological systems work. I teach nonfiction and technical writing, and I’m also interested in how science writers translate technical information and expertise for a wider audience.

  120. Kooky
    July 30, 2013

    I wanted to be marine biologist or a naturalist but life didn’t turn out that way!

    I’m not academic nor do I have the impressive credentials of others contributing here, but I do have a love of nature / science / wierd stuff and your articles and links help to tickle that fancy.

    I found you through Twitter a few years back and pop by whenever time constraints allow.

    Thanks for all that you do, many a time you have brightened my day.

  121. GoHoosiers
    July 30, 2013

    This is the fourth of these threads I’ve commented on since I started reading NERS in 2010. I’m a junior investment banker. I’ve read fewer posts lately as the capital markets have recovered and work has picked up. Despite that, I’m glad to know that I can always drop by for succinct, informative stories about the world’s wonders. Thanks for writing.

  122. Crystal
    July 30, 2013

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years. I have no science background – flunked physics for liberal arts majors twice ;) – but I’m a fan of the science in science fiction and I like animals, and that’s why I like your blog. I have a blog too … http://povcrystal.blogspot.com/

  123. Patricia S. Bowne
    July 30, 2013

    I teach pathophysiology to nursing majors, and in my spare time write fantasy novels about the academic life. I’ve been following your various blogs for years, and recommending them to colleagues and students. Keep it up!

  124. Scott Belyea
    July 30, 2013

    Long-time interest in good science writing. Degrees in science & math. Along with Carl Zimmer, Brian Switek, and a few others, you represent a “gold standard” in science writing, and seeing you credited guarantees that I’ll read the article/post/whatever.

    I tend to comment infrequently, and only when I feel I have something worthwhile to contribute … yes, I know – that’s hardly the appropriate “Internet attitude”. :-}

  125. Cmdr. Awesome
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a computer scientist with a strong love of physics and more than a passing interest in biology and genetics. The latter mostly inspired by my older brother’s genetics and biology textbooks when he was doing his Agriculture master’s degree.

    Given the amount that I comment, I should probably change my name to Cmdr. Lurker, but it’s nice to dream.

  126. Nancy
    July 30, 2013

    I am a Nurse Practitioner. My specialty is inpatient internal medicine on an acute inpatient psychiatric unit. My first degree was in biology. My first job out of college was working with marine mammals. I am new to your blog but not to Nat Geo. Science, biology and the fascinating world of the creatures which inhabit the Earth will always be my first true love!

  127. Claudette
    July 30, 2013

    I’m working as a professional Registered Nurse and Clinical Educator for surgical services in a large community hospital with 10 operating rooms. Nursing was my second bachelor’s degree 26 years ago, following hard on the heels of a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. I spend most of my free time scuba diving in Southern California and other cold water areas, and continue to dive into all I can learn immersed in the natural world. I work hard reading the constant avalanche wave of health care literature but my recreational reading is mostly natural history and biological sciences. “Discovering” this blog in early 2012 was like finding a spring-fed waterfall in a dry land, refresing me with splendid writing, humorous connections, inspiring skepticism, and deeply satisfying essays into specialty topics. Thank you, Ed. In between diving and working, I look forward to the deep draughts of inspiring science writing you share with the world.

  128. Sarah K.
    July 30, 2013

    Lurk-alert! Keartes here–I am an undergraduate science writer (marine biology/journalism student) at the University of Oregon,and I suppose am still trekking along the path to nestling into my permanent home somewhere between science and writing.

    Though my education has a marine focus, I am certainly an all-science junkie, and this blog (which I have been reading for a couple of years) consistently provides a much needed fix.

    I read heaps of science news and blogs but one thing that keeps me coming back to yours is your ability to tell a compelling story while writing about extremely technical processes, or explaining scientific papers. Your posts often have me laughing, intrigued, and eager to delve in.

    This is something I admire greatly, and hope to apply to my own writing as I continue to learn and grow. Hold on to that cheekyness, Ed, we love you for it!

  129. Miss Cellania
    July 30, 2013

    I’m a blogger. I’m no scientist, although I have a bachelor’s in psychology, my dad was a geologist, and my oldest child is determined to get a degree in biochemistry. I’ll read Ed wherever he blogs, along with Carl Zimmer and Phil Plait because they make the most obscure science discoveries fascinating and easy to understand.

  130. Melissa Wilson Sayres
    July 31, 2013

    I am a postdoc, aspiring professor, mother, wife, friend, and, when I have time, I write about research in my field (sex chromosomes, evolution, mutations). I read try to keep up on other research, and really love Ed’s explanations.

  131. dubaijazz
    July 31, 2013

    I’m a 34 years old architect and I live in Dubai. I commented here before on every “Who are you” post… Been following you since you were on scienceblogs. :)

  132. Nikos Parisis
    July 31, 2013

    Hi Ed; Hi all
    I am a researcher in molecular biology and cancer, doing my postdoc. I ‘ve been following you since….i can’t remember when exactly but it was during the end of my PhD 3-4 years ago. You were the first to make me think that science writing is actually important to the world (apologizes to the rest of the science writing community, i mean it was Ed who I saw first, not the one who came first!). Then i learned about many other good, science writers. And when science writers do their job well, science and the people can only benefit.

    No hype, honest, trying to explain the techniques sometimes. Some of the reasons I am here. But you have helped me a lot with your advice on science writing.
    I have recently started writing for the general public as well (http://blogs.blouinnews.com/blouinbeatsciencehealth/author/nparisis/). And that’s because of the ‘other’ writers, the ones who don’t follow same rules as you.
    Public deserves to know exactly what research is.
    Thanks Ed

  133. DrSoup
    July 31, 2013

    I have a background in science (toxicology) and work in drug regulation. I’ve been following you around for a couple of years (originally via Its Okay To Be Smart). I follow a number of science, skeptic and general interest blogs, and have two science-oriented kids. Since I work from home, blogs are my “window on the world”.

  134. Emiel
    July 31, 2013

    I’m someone who fell into working as a lawyer despite completing a biology degree because I realised that I love learning about advances in science but not the doing of science.

    Your links round up is one of the highlights of my week.

  135. Stephen Taylor
    July 31, 2013

    Hi Ed!

    Huge fan of NERS, been following since WordPress days.

    I’m a Science teacher in an international school in Japan, after being in Indonesia. I love your writing and Twitter presence, and often link to your posts from my site for IB Biology students: http://i-biology.net.

    Your linklists are my Sunday papers.

    Thanks and keep it up!

    Stephen

  136. Christina F
    July 31, 2013

    I’m senior lecturer in life science in Singapore. Have a PhD in Chemistry and a postdoc in neuropharmacology. I’ve been following your blog for about two years. Solid science and at the same time, an entertaining read. Thank you.

  137. Laurie Mack
    July 31, 2013

    I’m a post-doc scientist researching animal behavior and welfare. I started reading the blog several years back as a grad student. I love pretty much everything about it: the well written explanations, the humor, and the riotous variety. You’ve enriched my life for years. Thanks.

  138. Rob
    July 31, 2013

    I’m a cognitive psychologist with interests in memory and attention, working at a relatively small state university in the US Midwest. I’ve been reading the blog for a few years now. I read it for several reasons: first, I have a general enthusiasm for science, and want to keep up on interesting findings outside my own area, but lack the background (or time) to read primary sources in other areas; I like having a quick take on what’s new and exciting in other fields. Second, the articles posted on the blog are superbly written, with a concern for accuracy and an awareness of limitations that is often missing from media coverage of science. Third, I like seeing the skeptical coverage of work within my own (broad) field of experimental psychology, and the encouragement of those within the field who are working to improve it. Finally, I’ve used the blog for years to stimulate my kids’ interest in science, talking to them regularly about what you’ve written and showing them videos and pictures from the blog. Thanks for doing such a great job.

  139. karen
    July 31, 2013

    Just a disabled ex chef who loves science.I have been reading your work since at least 2009.
    You have a gift for making science accessible and enjoyable to me as well as all the educated folk above me in this list.

  140. Octavio
    July 31, 2013

    I have a Ph. D. in Mathematics, and I work at Universidad de la Cañada. I like your weblog very much, because it features very interesting and not always fashionable research. I also love the “missing links” specials.

  141. Liath MacTire
    July 31, 2013

    I guess I’m a little late coming to the party. I have an MS in scientific and technical writing and editing. I’ve followed Ed’s blog for several years but I’m not certain how many. Currently I freelance editing of science journals from the Oregon Coastal Mountain Range.

  142. Laura
    July 31, 2013

    I’m a nursing student from Australia. I also live with a bunch of scientists. (Live-in nerd fests!)

  143. Erik Svensson
    August 1, 2013

    I am a professor at the Department of Biology in Lund, Sweden. I am an evolutionary biologist who mainly works with insects (dragonflies and damselflies) on various topics such as sexual selection, frequency-dependent selection, colour polymorphisms and thermal niche evolution. I enjoy this blog very much.

  144. Mary-Clare Hallsworth
    August 1, 2013

    I’ve been reading this blog on and off since 2009 – when I was in my second year of uni and trying to decide what I wanted to do with my Neuroscience degree. It was the first time I realised there was such a thing as a “Science Communicator” – it came as a brilliant revelation that there was another career option other than further research or teaching. I love science – all of it, and I hated the idea of being restricted to a single subject or syllabus. I now contribute my own science writing to the web – mostly for MRC’s Biomedical Picture of the Day. My dream is to create science shows, resources and events for science centres and museums – I’m working on it, we’ll see how it goes!

    - Thank you, Ed, for the inspiration.

  145. Diana Barbosa
    August 1, 2013

    I am a fan.
    That being said…
    I am a Portuguese PhD student in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Valencia (Spain). My thesis is mainly about the role of chemical cues in the reproductive isolation between closely related lizard species.
    At the moment, I am also working for the project “Casa das Ciências” (House of Sciences), a webportal that publishes peer-reviewed digital educational resources for science teachers.
    I am also a science blogger/writer and I have co-founded COMCEPT – The Portuguese Skeptics Community (http://comcept.org).
    I used to read your articles (mainly on Nature News, I think), but started following the this blog more closely when I became a follower on Twitter (a few months ago).
    I love the blog and your style of writing.
    I just wish the blog would be more reader-friendly on mobile devices (at least in mine, I have to scroll from left to write to read it).
    Keep up with the great work!

  146. Mar
    August 1, 2013

    Hi! I’m a free lance writer and consultant in Bolivia, I have been reading you for the last four years!

  147. Julie
    August 1, 2013

    I am a PhD student in Molecular Biology in California, with a project that integrates various aspects of microbiology, cell biology and biochemistry. I started reading this blog several years ago (back when it was still at ScienceBlogs!). NERS is always at the top of my list of recommendations to friends who want to read more about science. I have share it with both science-y friends and non-scientist family members with overwhelmingly positive responses from everyone. As I delve further into the PhD I appreciate reading about other science that is unrelated to what I study and I love that you provide coverage of a wide range of scientific topics. It helps remind me that I still appreciate science and nature even as I get bogged down in the BS of daily benchwork. Living in the US, I am becoming increasingly aware of the low level of scientific literacy by both the general population and policymakers, and I am learning to value the importance of good science communication.
    I also enjoy the weekly “Missing Links” and your appreciation of the XKCD comics :)

  148. Brian J Weimer
    August 1, 2013

    I retired from the United States Navy in 2007 as a Gunner from working on Missile Launchers, and Automated Large Caliber Guns so I guess You could consider Me a Rocket Scientist Launcher? I have always Loved National Geographic, and all forms of Science as Fascinatingly complex, and interesting to watch, and study as a Layman so to speak!

  149. Kellie Jaremko
    August 2, 2013

    I’m an MD/PhD student at Jefferson studying neuroscience and psychology, specifically stress/trauma and opioid exposure. Ultimately want to see patients as a pain specialist of anesthesiology and do research too. I’m loving Twitter as my way to stay connected to all of science and the world while before grad/med school can leave you in a bubble of current event ignorance. I have really enjoyed your posts so far :)

  150. Kara Jones
    August 2, 2013

    I am working on my M.S. in conservation science and policy, with a focus on herpetofauna. You are one of the few science writers that I trust to report science accurately and without hysteria or bias. Since you cover such a range of topics, reading this blog has really helped keep me in the loop about what’s going on in biology outside of my own field. You are an excellent communicator. Thanks so much for sharing your talents with the rest of the world! :)

  151. Dave Bennett
    August 3, 2013

    I have a background in conservation and ecology and am currently doing a MRes researching Pyrosomes. I came across either you or Carl on twitter a year or so ago and have been reading since then-its stimulating but easy enough to read that it’s very much a break from the reading I do for ‘work’. That and the topics are quirky. We like quirks.

  152. Kathleen Westervelt
    August 3, 2013

    I am a high school science teacher and I love sending links of your postings to my students. You do a great job of making science accessible and interesting. With textbooks becoming a thing of a past, and the Internet being the primary source of information for the next gen, I point out your blog as a place to start to find timely, quality, readable science research. Also, I appreciate the beautiful images you provide in your posts…they are terrific hooks. Thanks for your hard work. It is clear that you love what you do…which is also a great thing for the students to see!

  153. Versha Prakash
    August 4, 2013

    Im a PhD student at RoyalHolloway and started reading your blog just a little while before deciding that I wanted to be a researcher, so a little over than a year now. Initially I read it just out of fascination for science stories and of course for your style of explaining things so well. Now it’s my go to reference for a bigger picture on an idea or topic of interest. Or the other way round, it invokes my interest in so many things. Thanks for the great work, Ed!

  154. Jose Drost-Lopez
    August 5, 2013

    I’m an undergrad at an Ivy League school, and this blog is one of my guilt-free ways to spend free time. I had a phase of wanting to be a science writer and wanting to be excited about science all the time, but my attitude has become more moderate. Yes, science is cool, but so is film, music, and many other things. It astounds and somewhat worries me that Ed’s high-caliber and high-volume writing is available for free. That doesn’t bode well for other writers, but I’m glad he’s making a living.

  155. Sydney S.
    August 5, 2013

    I’m a high school student in California interested in science and science communication. I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years now and found it through an article you wrote for Muse magazine about the tiny wasps that live on thrips. I really loved the article and went looking for more of your writing. I’ve sent some of your articles to my teachers who in turn shared them with my class. Most of my friends find it a bit strange that I spend free time reading non-fiction, but I really enjoy good science writing.

  156. Rebecca Helm
    August 5, 2013

    I’m a new writer over at deepseanews.com. Found you after a ping, and it was love at first read. In my day job I’m a graduate student studying jellyfish in Casey Dunn’s lab at Brown University.

  157. Callie Leuck
    August 7, 2013

    Hi, Ed. I’m a science writer, sort of? It feels weird to say that to you. In 2012, I completed my MA in science-medical writing with Johns Hopkins (the part-time program, not the full-time program that was sadly disbanded recently). Since then, I’ve gotten a job writing for a Medicare support contract and am tentatively attempting to figure out what to be doing with myself. I sort of obsessively read the amazing writing by science writers like yourself (and many others) in my RSS reader. I rarely comment because there is so much to read and it seems like so much effort to click through and comment, particularly as I rarely have anything to actually add to the conversation. I think I first found your blog via your post on women science writers, and then kept coming back for the link lists, which btw are the best thing.

    I’ve tweeted at or with you before. “With” at least one time for certain. Anyhow, hello :)

  158. Julie
    August 12, 2013

    I’m an Associate Professor of Microbiology in the U.S. and my lab studies viruses. I started reading your blog when you wrote an article on a paper from our lab a couple of years ago. I’m trying to learn more about how to communicate science to students and the public and your blog has been a huge help/inspiration. Thanks Ed!

  159. Hillary
    August 19, 2013

    I don’t have much of a formal background in science, though my parents both majored in geology so I grew up pulling over to look at cool outcrops pretty frequently. I write a (more or less) weekly science column at persephonemagazine.com, and I love reading this site to see what new discoveries have been made. I think I’ve been reading this blog for about two years.

  160. Rhea
    August 23, 2013

    I still read your blog Ed, though not as often as before as you see bynthe date of this post (babies do that to you). Currently I’m a full time mum, going back to my Engineering day job all too soon…

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