Experimental Biology Blogging: Self-promotion and 'self-promotion'

May 09 2012 Published by under Academia, Experimental Biology Blogging 2011

I realize it's been a while since EB 2012 ended and I left the not-so-sunny San Diego (at least, it wasn't sunny at the time). Conferences are always great for the development of ideas. You get new ideas about your research, new directions to go in or troubleshooting things to try.

And at EB this year, I also got some ideas about communicating science. Or at least, I had some ideas thrown at me. They crystallized what I believe to be one of the major issues facing scientists who blog: needless self-promotion.


(Source)

When I "reveal" my blogging to people in science, I'm faced with several reactions. I will list the most common here, starting with the most frequent:

1) You don't...*shudder*...put your own work on the internet!?
2) You do this in your off time? Shouldn't you be writing papers then? I'm concerned about your motivation.
3) You must not be a very good scientist (usually that's on the internet, but once in a while it's said to my face).
...
...
100) That's nice.
...
...
1,001) OMG I READ YOUR BLOG!

While I distilled #1 to one ambiguous sentence, when you continue to converse, the real reason tends to emerge. Other scientists are concerned that I am attracting attention. They relax slightly when I make it clear that I never blog about my own work, but there is still a lot of discomfort. When it comes down to it, many (not all) other scientists DO NOT LIKE that I am making a voice and a "name" for myself on the internet.

Why? That sounds too much like self-promotion.

And as Paug Berg, Nobel Laureate and Professor at Stanford pointed out, self-promotion is antithetical to science.

While I understand this view, I (obviously) think it's a little outdated. It's made me think a lot, however, about the divide between scientists who are active on the internet and those who are not, and how those who are not active perceive scientists blogging, and why they think the way they do.

But first, the session.

There's a great storify of the Session from Angela Hopp. You can read it here, I would embed it, but I warn you it's HUGE. There were a large number of scientists in the room, many of them tweeting, and we all had a lot to say. There's a great summary of the session from Heather Doran here, but an even shorter summation would be this: one scientist, one radio correspondent, one science communicator, and one sciencey social media maven. They all agreed that communicating science to the public was a good thing (I should hope so!), and that scientists who CAN communicate well should be valued. Disagreements began to creep in, however, when it came down to HOW communicating scientists should...communicate.

While Cara Santa Maria and Megan Palmer both encouraged blogging for scientific communication, Paul Berg (who, by the way, has done a heck of a lot recombinant DNA policy, and I by no means wish to diss his contribution. I think he's a brilliant man and I am very pleased that he is so positive toward science communication) was much more ambivalent, saying that in his view it was too close to self-promotion. At first, I had to laugh, because you're not going to tell me that someone got the Nobel Prize with ZERO self-promotion, just toiling away in their garage.

But of course, this is because academics have two different kinds of self-promotion. One is ok, and one is not. One takes place in the ivory tower, and one involves the dreaded public.

Self-promotion and "networking

Academic self-promotion is good. Knowing and meeting the right people, staying in touch and making sure they remember who you are. Academic self-promotion is in fact more than good, it's essential. The sad reality of biomedical science as I know it is that no one will fund your work if they don't have a clue who you are. By "you", I don't mean you personally (though that certainly helps), but who you have trained with, who THAT person trained with, who's in your department, and what you all have done. Grant people like to call this "evidence of past productivity", and "training environment", but what it really means is whether or not you've published, and who do you work with that they've heard of. There's a reason we refer to papers as "Smith et al, 2011", and not by their titles, because by referring to that person we are referring to their body of work, their history, and their expertise.

This means you have to do a lot of self-promotion within academia. We call this "networking", "presenting at conferences", "chatting up the seminar speaker at lunch", and in extreme cases "brown nosing". This is the "good" kind of self-promotion, the kind that we get a lot of lectures about.

Unfortunately, there's also the "bad" self-promotion. This is the kind that we are taught to loathe in academia. The kind that involves seeking out the press, trumping up your findings, and becoming Dr. Oz. We are taught from the beginnings of grad school and even before to mistrust people who do this. If your science is good...well you shouldn't HAVE to say anything. Build it and they will come. If you are trumpeting your science, holding press conferences, giving TED talks, and posing for magazines...scientists get very quick to mistrust your work. This is because behavior like this has a history, and it's not a good one. Too many times, scientists like this have shot to fame in the public eye, and been shot down just as quickly. Self-promotion outside the ivory tower smacks of ego. The ideal scientist is the one that is famous only among other scientists.

But what are we to do? Someone has to communicate to the public. And, as Paul Berg was quick to point out, there are bad journalists out there (though there are also loads of good ones, many of whom I admire) who will misquote you or misunderstand. Dr. Berg's final conclusion appears to be: don't reach out, don't get personal, just smile and be responsive when the journalists come to you.

But that is not not enough.

Think of self-promotion in academia. People don't come to you to collaborate unless they know you exist. You could make the prettiest viral vectors in existence, but if no one knows who you are, no one will use them. Science communication is similar. If journalists or bloggers don't know you exist, it's the rare one that's going to seek you out. And if they can't find you, your voice can't be heard. A lack of voices has plagued the communication of science for far too long.

We need experts willing to speak out. This may mean some people blog (and I encourage more scientists to do so!), but scientists can also use other methods, not all of which are overly time consuming or difficult:

1) Keeping a good, easy to find website that is up to date, easy to navigate, and states your expertise in plain language (plainer than the "lay summary" on your R01, if prospective undergrads can't understand it, it's not plain enough).

2) Being willing to talk to journalists when they contact you, as Dr. Berg recommends, and doing so in a timely manner (less than 24 hours, not the six weeks it takes for you to respond to emails from your grad student).

3) Encouraging trainees who are good at public communication (something which got universal support from the panel), not scolding them for bad priorities and self-promotion, but encouraging the development of responsible communication skills.

4) And it could mean seeking out news outlets when you KNOW they got something wrong, not just linking to it on Facebook with a "dislike!". Seeking them out, contacting them, and letting them know that you are an expert. Become the responsible source yourself, and as Cara Santa Maria emphasized, build relationships with good science correspondants.

None of these are shameless self-promotion. They can all be done responsibly and with care. And someone needs to do them. We have some wonderful science communicators out there, but we've got to give them something more than press releases to work with.

Finally, I'm interested to hear your ideas. What do you think of scientists who blog (though if you're reading this, I'm probably preaching to the choir)? How do you think scientists can help increase communication to the public? And what do you think of self-promotion outside the ivory tower?

39 responses so far

  • ProudDaddy says:

    Since the press is likely to get it wrong, I applaud blogging by scientists.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    You made me realize I am not able to quote a single one of my paper titles from memory...but I know the first author, date and journal for most.

    Interesting.....

  • DrugMonkey says:

    More on point, I do think it a bit of a problem to blog too closely to one's own area. It just seems like an unfair extra attack on the scientific arguments.

    A blogger could easily pursue an agenda that had positive effects on their next grant review by creating a bigger sense of Significance. Could tear down the competition too.

    Fighting for Open Access and against GlamourMagification...ditto. Fighting the good fight on work hours, dual careers, geographical immobility....it gets slippery.

    • scicurious says:

      I think that's a good point, DM, but couldn't the same be said of doing so in the "socially acceptable" forms of self-promotion in academia? Deliberately talking up the people you know will be in your study section? Getting the inside stats from your PO and tweaking your grant? Citing your preferred reviewers in your manuscript, and always picking your 'friends'? Sending your manuscript to a "friend" who's an editor at a particular journal? Many people do these things in academia, and they just call it "how the game is played".

      So I think it's a good point, but I think the same could be said of what we currently do. I don't think there's any way in which people will act purely altruistically, either in ivory tower or outside. And in both cases, its important to hold people accountable. Other scientists on the internet can point out that someone is creating too much Significance or unduly ripping at their competition, and then at least it's in public and has a history, rather than being whispered in the halls.

      • Travis says:

        As always great post, Sci!

        I've always been surprised by the view that blogging about your own work is somehow not Kosher (keeping in mind that I'm a bit biased since this was explicitly one of the reasons why Peter and I began blogging in the first place, and our field of study lends itself to knowledge translation activities). If it's ok to do a plenary session or media interview or editorial/review paper explaining how your work fits into the larger context, I don't see why it's off-side to post similar things on a blog. Trashing another research group at a conference or in a Letter to the Editor would have at least as large an impact on the field as doing so on a blog, no?

        I don't disagree that this can potentially lead to changes in a paper's citation count or its impact on the field, but is that by default a bad thing? Is it better for a good paper to languish uncited because it's in a journal no one reads, or is it better for people to find out about that paper on your blog? If a person were lying about their own research that's one thing, but if I you are telling people accurate information about your own work as well as other work in your field of research, I don't see why this should be a problem. And as Sci points out, if you start playing up your work as something it's not, that is going to bite you in the butt pretty quickly.

        The one qualification that I would add is that if you are writing about your own work, I think it's critical that you let people know it's your own. Trashing your competitors and praising your own work, without letting your readers know about your conflict of interest, would be absolutely inappropriate. But if you are transparent about your position and potential bias, then I think it's a completely legitimate form of scientific communication.

  • Pascale says:

    "Shameless self promotion" is actually a tag I use on WhizBANG.
    If people don't hear about what you do, then they cannot reward you for it. Reward is used here in a broad sense to encompass collaboration, promotion, funding, etc.
    And it's not just accolades from the choir of science; the public funds a good deal of scientific work, and it is important that the public understand what we do. Otherwise they will run around bad-mouthing fruit fly experiments which sound ridiculous, but at the end of the day have revealed more molecular genetics than most people can imagine.

  • Larry Witmer says:

    Great post. As a researcher who has consciously and deliberately established outreach measures, I've given the idea of "self-promotion" a lot of thought. My perspective is kinda the opposite of your Reaction #1: our efforts have been to focus almost exclusively on our own work, providing additional backstory/context, illustrations, animations, behind-the-scenes photos, etc. We like to think it focuses on promoting the work rather than the people, although I'm definitely guilty of highlighting the students and other trainees in the lab. We spend virtually no effort commenting on or reporting the work of others. There’s nothing wrong with that but that’s not what we do. Our research is funded by NSF, which mandates explicit efforts for their funded projects to have “Broader Impacts.” So, it’s required by our funding agency, but, given the challenges to science and evolution in our culture, maybe escaping the ivory tower of academia from time to time is simply the right thing to do. As for true “self-promotion,” I’ve tried to steer away from that because of the perceptions of the scientific community that you mentioned in your post (which can have an unfair backlash against the science itself), but wouldn’t it be a good thing if scientists and other scholars were revered and honored in our society—dare we say even famous—just as athletes and entertainers are?

    I’ve blogged about outreach (or "self promotion") a couple times. Here are the links:
    Part 1: http://bit.ly/wxW2ne
    Part 2: http://bit.ly/kzCSPq

    --Larry Witmer

  • Paul Berg is an amazing scientist. Intellectually, he could kick my butt. However, on this, I think he is wrong.

    Self-promotion is not antithetical to science. There is nothing inherent in doing good research that necessitates one being humble. The ugly truth is that arrogant jerks can be good scientists. I even know some examples personally. I imagine that many of us (myself included) wish this wasn't the case, but so it goes.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that having too much ego is a good thing. Being arrogant is rarely a good idea in any profession, and in science it is particularly dangerous as it can produce additional bias and that *could* lead to poor research principles. So, on the whole, being humble, modest, and reasonable are always the best options. But they are not intrinsic to good scientific methodology, they just help.

    I would argue that as long as you are not actually being arrogant, self-promotion is not only acceptable, it is quite handy. I don't even have a problem with folks blogging on their own work (I do so from time to time, actually, and my blog is specifically focused in one of my research fields). Is it stacking the deck a bit? Sure. It's also stacking the deck every time you promote yourself in a grant proposal, argue a conclusion in a scientific manuscript, present a favored hypothesis in a conference talk, or tell a potential employer how awesome and important your work is in the hallway after a seminar.

    And, quite frankly, in a world where those in other areas of employment fund most of the professional research (i.e. the "general public"), I argue that there is a certain obligation to make sure your work is not only being noticed by other scientists (and no, it won't get noticed just because the work is good - the scientific publishing industry is not set up to work that way at all). The traditional view is indeed that "Self-promotion outside the ivory tower smacks of ego", but how much ego does it take for us to assume that the other 10 or 20 people in our specialty are the only people worth communicating with?

  • kdshives says:

    Thanks for this article, I really needed this right about now.

    I recently started blogging in my field (microbiology) as a way to sharpen my writing skills and learn to communicate to a public audience. I haven't told a single professor and I even fear mentioning the project on campus for a lot of the same reasons you mentioned above.

    My feeling is that outreach is a good thing and so is learning to communicate to a more general audience, but it's hard to know how. I get nervous that my blog will bring in negative comments from my peers when they find out about it. This is really frustrating when I want to speak to my peers and get feedback but I feel like I'll be taken less seriously as a "blogger."

    • scicurious says:

      Welcome to the blogsphere!

      For those who haven't seen it yet, KD Shives new micro-blog is here: http://kdshives.com/

      • kdshives says:

        Thanks!

        This has been a really fun process getting started over the last two months. Graduate school has been REALLY hard for me (I almost submitted you an imposter syndrome article because I had it BAD for a while and am still working through it) but blogging has been a great outlet and helps me keep rough days in the lab and class in perspective.

        I'm really glad to have found this community since other people engaged in scientific outreach are so supportive of younger researchers trying to do the same.

  • Disseminating one's research to a broader audience is surely a good thing. And I think a blog is a good forum to do that. And it seems to smack less of self-promotion than a press release. Press releases also bear the risk that newspaper, television and radio stories will distort the meaning and significance of the research. Blogs also provide a forum for discussion that press releases and media stories do not.

    I think the motivation for the blog is important, but not critical. Blogging for the sake of self-promotion rather than communication more generally will raise some eyebrows among readers. But one can still learn interesting information from blogs where the motivation is clearly self-promotion.

  • Joseph says:

    I'm not a scientist but I've spent some time battling the ivory tower.

    I love that you blog. I love that you blog about science and your passion and information that I would never have the opportunity to touch.

    Marketers will always bend the truth and promotion will always change peoples' view of reality. (Dr Oz will never die)

    The difference is that a blog (along with so many information sources for which technology is the purveyor) is inherently peer reviewed. The truth is far more accessible if it is available--and not locked away within the shining ramparts.

    Also, people in nearly every other industry are spending incalculable amounts of time and resources in their attempts at self-promotion. I work down the block from "the world of self-promotion" and it takes truly valuable content, the ability to write, an understanding of marketing trends, and an number of other skills, to reach the level of fame at which someone can do some harm.

    I don't believe that blogging, responding to reporters, and participating in true outreach to be harmful.

    There are always a margin of people that will take advantage of a blog (or any other tool) to skew the truth or to make themselves appear as something better than they are. Some of them will even be successful and might even do some damage.

    But that happens everywhere.

    I am glad that this margin of people have not placed a barrier between the people in this forum and people like me, who love to read what you write.

    Thanks.

  • Dev says:

    I agree with the goal of promoting science and the work that scientist do, but there's a fine line between propaganda for nothing or something, likewise propaganda for exclusively the self or the common good.

    Because if the whole focus is placed in promoting either end the actual goal is not reached.

    Too many illnesses piling up, too much technology available that end up fighting each other approach and creating rather more work for the users instead of helping, too many ideas that go nowhere into concrete or applicable solutions, and anything else you wish to add to this.

    Meantime money is getting scarcer, devalued, lost, jobs and products and knowledge scattered away or going into opposite direction from the actual people.

  • Michael McBurney says:

    This is a REALLY good piece. You can add +1 to the OMG, I READ YOUR BLOG! I have worked in academics and industry. As a graduate student, post-doc, and Assistant-to-full professor, I believed that the 'heft' of my science would be enough. Then I had to get grants. This required networking and self-promotion.

    We like to deny it as academicians, 'I am only working for the greater good.'

    Chicken feathers! Everyone is interested in building their credibility (brand building). And the 'everyone' includes departments, colleges/faculties, institutions, and peer review journals. So there is no high ground, we all succumb to self-promotion.

    All we can hope for is transparency. I work for a company. They pay my salary. I work for them. I am not trying to get a patent for my work or to commercialize it for my own good. My employer owns all my ideas. My reputation will not bring in bigger grants.

    I blog for my employer (http://TalkingNutrition.dsm.com) and myself (http://MIMcBurney.wordpress.com). I try to keep true to being a scientist and helping make the world better. The first is tweeted via @dsmnutrition. I tweet as @mimcburney.

    These are my personal opinions.

    Michael McBurney, Head of Scientific Affairs, DSM Nutritional Products

  • neuromusic says:

    You nailed here exactly what I was trying to form into words when arguing about this somewhere on the Internet... that "self-promotion" comes in at least two flavors and there is TONS of self promotion that already has the "stamp of approval" by scientists.

    Even making the decision to submit a paper to a high-impact journal, knowing that it will influence future hiring/grant/nobel prospects is being self-promotional.

    p.s. no, sadly its very rarely sunny in San Diego. see "clouds" @ http://weatherspark.com/averages/30993/San-Diego-California-United-States
    this is especially true closer to the coast, which can stay in the marine layer for days

  • Joanna says:

    What do you blog about? Never read it but if it is in language that I can understand and is less sensationaiist than the New Scientist I would certainly have a go. I am all in favour of scientists writing and talking to the general public and letting us know what they are up to and why it matters, maybe more children will go into science as a career if it is promoted in different ways. Anyway, off to read your blog now.

  • Thanks for this post.
    I think there is nothing wrong at all with scientists blogging about their own work and the work of others, and being proactive in working with the media. All I would say is that when we discuss our *own* work, we should be aiming to inform and engage as opposed to announcing our breakthroughs via triumphant fanfares and the rolling of red carpets. Most scientists will form a dim view of another scientist who uses blogging or the media to trumpet their own brilliance, or, for that matter, to advance a pseudoscientific political agenda (e.g. Greenfield)

    That said, pardon me while I choke on the hypocritical, vomit-provoking sanctimony of those seeking to defend the hallowed sanctity of the ivory tower. Science is bursting with egos seeking self-advancement through self-promotion. As you point out, it's just that there is an historically acceptable way of doing it.

    At a recent debate at the Royal Institution we argued that blogging and proactive media work is moving beyond merely being a "good" thing for scientists to do; it is heading toward becoming an obligation: providing a critical middle ground between the enclosed world of science and the public who pay for it.

    More here from me and my colleagues, and journalist Ananyo Bhattacharya, sci writer Ed Yong, and the head of Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox.

    http://richannel.org/alok-jha-science-and-the-media--presentations
    http://richannel.org/alok-jha-science-and-the-media--discussion
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/mar/06/science-journalists-questions-exaggeration
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/mar/07/scientists-help-improve-science-journalism

    Now how's that for self promotion ! ;-)

  • Luise says:

    I think that blogging is a fantastic manner in which to exchange ideas. It may be that many of the naysayers do not understand the medium. I follow a good number of blogs, have recently began to blog http://theresearchturtle.blogspot.com/ and have learned and been exposed to much more that just what I get in my academic life.

    On some level we all just want to contribute in a way that people will remember us. That is human nature.

  • [...] through the media and that it’s inappropriate for a scientist to blog about their research. Scicurious is certain that Berg got his Nobel by toiling away in the lab and doing no self-promotion whatsoever. Others [...]

  • Mr. Gunn says:

    I blogged my research starting in my second year of my dissertation and personally, it really opened up my world to be able to find and get in touch with people like me on a more reasonable timescale than yearly conferences. It made me a better writer and a better scientist, but the more important point is that it allowed me to be a part of a community that I could ask questions of, get advice from, and share stories with my direct colleagues, not just those people I could get access to via my PI.

    I'm just glad someone else's post about EB2012 was almost as late as mine: http://blog.mendeley.com/academic-life/four-perspectives-on-communicating-your-research-and-then-one-more-eb2012/

  • [...] Experimental Biology Blogging: Self-promotion and ‘self-promotion’ by Scicurious: But of course, this is because academics have two different kinds of self-promotion. One is ok, and one is not. One takes place in the ivory tower, and one involves the dreaded public… [...]

  • [...] Experimental Biology Blogging: Self-promotion and ‘self-promotion’ by Scicurious: But of course, this is because academics have two different kinds of self-promotion. One is ok, and one is not. One takes place in the ivory tower, and one involves the dreaded public… [...]

  • I have a very specific question, and this seems as good a place as any to ask it. I just started a neuroscience blog this year, am one-sided anonymous, but my friends, lab, and institute know who I am. Soon I will be looking for post-doc positions. Do you think it would help or hinder my application to mention my blog in my cv? what did you do when you applied for your post-doc position? What will you do when you apply for TT jobs?

  • Emily Coren says:

    Great article! Thanks for bringing some attention to this very important issue. Science communication is crucial to having an educated population capable of making educated decisions. As a science illustrator/writer, what I find is a lack of funding to develop high quality science communication pieces. The American public has so little science education that images are necessary for communicating to people and little to no money is invested in visual science communication. I would like to see more scientists using their requirements for fulfilling their "broader impact statements" to partner with professional science communicators to create media that will draw people into the science and get them excited about it. Lets see this type of outreach being built into the grants from the beginning instead of left to the end as an afterthought.

    I love it when scientists communicate directly with the public, but not all of them have to, labs not directly interested in outreach can partner with science writers and illustrators to help them achieve their outreach goals. This is our profession and we're here to help. :)

    Come find us: gnsi.org, gnsi-ca.org, nasw.org, ncswa.org

  • SusieGeneralPublic says:

    When I fumed that it took seven docs to finally find the one who thought to suggest checking my Vit D which was practically non-existent, even though there has been some great research out there by Dr. Michael F. Holick (Boston) and other researchers for at least 30 years -- yet we in the general public had not heard about it -- my husband, with his 40-year career as Pres/CEO of a major healthcare system in SWUS sadly told me that it takes a minimum of 15 years for new medical information to make it into mainstream medical PRACTICE. Today, we (the public) are fortunate enough to be able to find new information before the docs (golf course?) -- and take it to them (which they hate, too bad). Scicurious solved a problem for me. I'm a volunteer, updating a website, DepressionConnection, and needed info for the Brain Chemistry section. The terrific article, "Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Depression, and Stress" (which I understood even though I'm only a ballet dancer), is one I would like to reference on the website. (Could I? Where do I obtain permission?) Think of the HOPE it will offer to all the folks whose antidepressants don't work. Even a lot of postal carriers and other non-scientists are Mensans but they love to read science. Promote yourselves, please! and Thanks! P.S. Vit D deficiency is called a pandemic by the researchers (Harvard, Boston, UCalifornia etc) at Grassroots Health and they asked Dr. Holick to put his research into a video ("Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases", Holick on YouTube or through UCalDavis video library.) It's easy to understand AND entertaining--get popcorn. I don't consider them self-promoting, I'm grateful! I recently sent a letter to one of my former docs that suggested antidepressants when I was so sick (but not depressed) to ask him him which antidepressant he would suggest to treat my Vitamin D deficiency. He hasn't replied.

  • SusieGeneralPublic says:

    hen I fumed that it took seven docs to finally find the one who thought to suggest checking my Vit D which was practically non-existent, even though there has been some great research out there by Dr. Michael F. Holick (Boston) and other researchers for at least 30 years -- yet we in the general public had not heard about it -- my husband, with his 40-year career as Pres/CEO of a major healthcare system in SWUS sadly told me that it takes a minimum of 15 years for new medical information to make it into mainstream medical PRACTICE. Today, we (the public) are fortunate enough to be able to find new information before the docs (golf course?) -- and take it to them (which they hate, too bad). Scicurious solved a problem for me. I'm a volunteer, updating a website, DepressionConnection, and needed info for the Brain Chemistry section. The terrific article, "Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Depression, and Stress" (which I understood even though I'm only a ballet dancer), is one I would like to reference on the website. (Could I? Where do I obtain permission?) Think of the HOPE it will offer to all the folks whose antidepressants don't work. Even a lot of postal carriers and other non-scientists are Mensans but they love to read science. Promote yourselves, please! and Thanks! P.S. Vit D deficiency is called a pandemic by the researchers (Harvard, Boston, UCalifornia etc) at Grassroots Health and they asked Dr. Holick to put his research into a video ("Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases", Holick on YouTube or through UCalDavis video library.) It's easy to understand AND entertaining--get popcorn. I don't consider them self-promoting, I'm grateful! I recently sent a letter to one of my former docs that suggested antidepressants when I was so sick (but not depressed) to ask him him which antidepressant he would suggest to treat my Vitamin D deficiency. He hasn't replied.

  • Katie Wheat says:

    Thanks! I came across this post at the perfect time. I'm a new post doc, just thinking carefully about networking, making a name for myself, etc. I recently decided to have a go at blogging and I will keep this article in mind when thinking about future blog posts. It hadn't occurred to me that some scientists (future employers) might look at blogging as 'bad' self promotion. Commenting on blogs, tweeting, and otherwise engaging with people about science online perhaps all fall into that 'bad' category, but I can't help feeling that that is an old fashioned view and that times have changed. I think you are right that science needs responsible careful communicators to tell the world what we do and, more importantly, why!

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