Who's Out There?

By The Intersection | July 5, 2010 10:10 pm


Two years ago Ed Yong wanted to find out about who was reading his blog and started a thread to see what kind of information he could gather. Now Ed’s revived the meme and science bloggers all around the interwebs are joining in. We think it’s a great idea, so here’s where you come in…

In the comments below, tell me who you are, what your background is 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?

But really, these questions are a rough guide. I’m working on the basis that what you have to say will be far more interesting than what I think you might say.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Personal
MORE ABOUT: meme, who are you

Comments (27)

  1. CW

    Hey there. Well, I’m in sales & operations for an Audio/Video installation firm in Michigan. Like I said in Ed’s thread, I’ve become an avid enthusiast of science these past several years after discovering youtube videos of science debates, a podcast called Skeptics Guide to the Universe, and Phil Plait. I really enjoy science blogs that can discuss current topics/studies/research for the layman such as myself. I appreciate your steadfast posts on climate change, despite the fact that you get killed everytime. I’ve learned more about understanding climate change from this blog and Skeptical Science blog. And I also find Sheril’s tweets to be a good resource of information as well. Thanks for your dedication on educating those who love the process of science.

  2. Fourth year grad atudent at USC in Developmental Psychology. I do neuroimaging research of reading and dyslexia, in addition to my research in animal cognition/evolution of the mind (which I also blog about: http;//scienceblogs.com/thoughtfulanimal). Been reading the Intersection for 3-4 years now, definitely since your SB days.

  3. Being a relatively new reader I find those statistics to be absolutely fascinating =D

    I’m a 20 year-old university student from Australia doing a dual-degree In Science (Physics/Computer/Math) and Secondary Education. I’m currently a student teacher at a school with a large proportion of ESL students where I teach basic math and reading. I came across one of the Discover blogs a few weeks ago through Google Blog Search and subscribed to all of them with google reader immediately. They are both Interesting and Informative and in my opinion some of the best science blogs on the internet. I also have a blog myself where I talk about all sorts of things but mostly relating to Science, Education and Religion (I’m an Atheist).

  4. Matthew Carroll

    Who I am and what I do are inconsequential. I’ve been reading on and off for a while. I can say this: I like this blog because I try to remain aware and informed of the global challenges we face. The Intersection makes that task a bit easier. No matter how moonless and squally the horizon might seem, I believe that cooperation and innovation can together deliver a better tomorrow. Science is a bridge, a conduit that sanctions the former and remains the only course for the latter. So, that captures my interest. That and books about kissing.

  5. M. Hassan

    I’m Mo! I’m a medical student. Before that I was a pre-law & philosophy student. Before that I was rapping. Before that I was in Pakistan, before coming to USA in 2001, and going back to Pakistan in 2009. Religiously I’m agnostic. Politically, liberal. Ran into this blog from Chris Mooney’s facebook. Not bad.

  6. MAC

    I became interested in science after discovering science fiction when I was in junior high school. I realized that the only way we would ever have the fantastic technology I read about in SF was through scientific breakthroughs, and although I’m still waiting for my hovercraft and jet pack, I think we’re very lucky to be living in a time when many of the things we wished for as kids have actually come to pass.

    On the other hand, the fact that our government seems to have turned its back on space exploration deeply saddens me. I always felt that Apollo and then the Shuttle program would comprise our first tentative steps into space, to be followed by grander things. Now it seems that society has lost its appetite for exploration, and we’ve increasingly turned inward, lost in our iPods and smart phones, disinterested in any higher aspirations.

    The last time our imaginations were ignited by space travel, it was due to a challenge by the Russians and a charismatic president who united us in a common goal. Since then, we’ve lacked passionate leaders who could spark that kind of interest in the unknown and rally the public to support off-world undertakings. We can only hope the pendulum eventually swings back to the adventurous side of its arc and we resume the pursuit of our best destiny in space.

  7. Squeaky Woo Woo

    I studied Environmental Science at uni and graduated a few years ago. Since then I’ve taken an interest in the climate change debate (which I first encountered at uni on my course) and having compared the two views, I have come to the conclusion that there is very solid evidence for AGW and that it is absolutely not the hoax that many politicians, media and blogs make it out to be.

    The first I heard about Chris was when he spoke in Australia a few months ago at a Press Club meeting, which was then broadcasted on the ABC. I agreed with the comments he made about climate change and how it is badly presented in the media. I was surprised to hear him saying what he did, because it was everything I’d been thinking for a long time and that very few were having the guts to stand up and say. I also found myself agreeing with Chris about the damaging effects of the “machine gun approach” of many “new atheists” to discussing religion. So I looked online, bought Chris and Sheril’s book “Unscientific America” and after reading it, I plugged The Intersection into my RSS reader. Been following this blog for a few months now. I probably read about 75% of the posts on here.

    Keep up the good work both of you – my copy of “Unscientific America” is currently being passed around the family and has been greeted with enthusiasm.

  8. I’m no-one special. I admin a board, the Heathen Hub, and I also have my own blog, “Stranger In An Even Stranger Land”. I first became aware of and started following your Intersection blog on reading Unscientific America, which was a very helpful book indeed.

    I find your Intersection blog enormously useful and quite fun; if I had any criticisms, it would be to perhaps suggest you overly concentrate on trying to persuade those who refuse to give your case a fair hearing, and that perhaps you are still in a bit of the insular, oft-closeted mentality of the Science-Blogs crowd; that seems to be changing, as Chris Mooney contacts more in the social sciences, and hopefully there will be much more cross-fertilization with the general public at large.

  9. Janine Lazur

    I added your blog to my Google Reader a few weeks ago. I’m a graphic designer/advertising art director who’s always had an interest in science (biology in particular). Before this blog, my most regular internet contact with science stories came in the form of RadioLab podcasts and odd stories that other blogs like Neatorama, Treehugger or Wired picked up. As an aside: the scientists portraits that go along with articles in Discover = sexy!

  10. So far this experiment is working out extremely well. Thanks to all of you. I might add another question on at this point…most of the people here are not regular commenters on posts. Any particular reason for that? Just busy?

  11. Morgan

    I’m a 20-something female working in Silicon Valley. I’m an engineer and enjoy reading your science blog from time-to-time on Google Reader.

  12. REVEALED REDUX! University professor and cartoonist. Half analytical, half artistic. I live my days with mathematics and my nights with funny drawings. My science interests lean toward the biological (today’s comic is representative) but with ancillary interests in just about anything.

  13. Jon

    I write marketing communications for an alternative energy company. I majored in religion and philosophy as an undergrad at a liberal arts college (I feel like part of what I do in the scienceblogs world is defend my college curriculum from the Pharyngulites…)

    I’d be interested to hear what Nullis in Verba and ThomasL do… Are you guys out there?

  14. Jon

    I should be a little more specific and say I write technical marcom, and I’ve spent most of my career in computer software…

  15. Gaythia

    I am a fairly frequent commenter here, so my thoughts and suggestions regarding this blog are already elsewhere. I have a MS in Analytical Chemistry, and a second undergraduate degree in Geology. I’ve worked in Government and industrial labs in positions ranging from groundwater geochemistry to electron microscopy. I have an interest in politics, which I think ties in with my professional interest in analytical quality assurance. I’ve followed Chris Mooney since he wrote “The Republican War on Science”. I became connected with science blogging through Matt Young of Panda’s Thumb and a local public school instructor global warming controversy. This led to The Intersection as well as the blog of PZ Myers.

    I hope that some of those commenting here for the first time continue to do so!

  16. I’m a graduate student in astrophysics, studying star formation at the University of Chicago.

    I’ve long been interested in science and the public, having done a lot of teaching and public lectures and studied a bit of public policy. I came to this blog because I’d read some of Chris Mooney’s stuff before and the recent WaPo op-ed reminded me to look him up. I’m interested in trying to find a job working on the issues that this blog is about post-Ph.D., and have been gathering information about people and places that do interesting work.

  17. I’m so glad we did this because it’s great to learn more about who’s in our audience! Most people who visit do not comment and I find it especially interesting that so many kids email me, but rarely seem to have a presence in the threads.

    Nice to e-meet so many of you and we’d love to hear from more readers!

  18. William Furr

    I’m a Computer Science graduate student in Boston. I found the Intersection when Carl Zimmer suggested an article of yours on his Discovery blog, the Loom.

    I think culture change is going to be key in building a sustainable society, and the intersection between science, media, and culture is a very powerful nexus with the potential to motivate culture change.

    It’s interesting to see science, which I respect greatly, be attacked by the left and right for various reasons. I also think that science as an American institution has a lot to do to make up for the ills of industrialization and its role in enabling technological change without regard to the consequences to our health, the environment, and our culture.

  19. LBrrr


    I’m a recent grad with a bachelor’s in Biology. I’m trying to get into PA school. I’ve worked as a pharmacy tech since college. Despite all these healthcare interests, I still have a really strong interest in environmental science, entomology, evolution and so on. I also find that this blog is really easy to start a conversation about. When people ask me questions, this is one of the places that I will send them to get started.

    I started reading this blog right after the website switch. So that’s been 2 years? I can’t remember. It started because my boyfriend and I are both science people and I was trying to find new books for us to read and I found “The Republican War on Science.”

    I love this blog for a few reasons.
    1. The links. I feel like I am directed to so many things that I wouldn’t normally seek out.
    2. The comments. I also hate the comments but I feel like sometimes it’s good when the crazies get on here. It’s bad to live only in my liberal, science-buffered bubble.
    3. I want to be Sheril’s bff.

  20. Kiwi

    I’m a 40-something woman, living outside Detroit MI. I own a company that specializes in GPS and Internet Mapping apps, mostly for local government.

    I have always been very interested in all the sciences, especially natural/earth sciences like biology, evolution, meterology, geography, geology, astronomy (and very specifically, now it all works together to create the world we live in now!) Studied meteorology and geography in college.

    I found the Discover Mag blogs via a link to Bad Astronomy from BoingBoing.net and love all the blogs here! Am especially interested in scientific progress and skeptic discussions, and feel like I’ve found a home here!

  21. and feel like I’ve found a home here!

    We’re happy you visit us too!

  22. ThomasL

    I’m a philosophy graduate who, being slightly crazy in his undergrad years, somehow managed to triple his class hour requirements, adding minors in Political Science and Business Administration somewhere in the mix while also gaining management experience running a small local company. After graduating I went to work for a western states’ Superior Court in the Juvenile Probation department and survived five very interesting years. During the last year with the court a friend had started a computer networking support company and constantly pestered me to “stop chasing the heathens around” and “come to work”, as back then there were far fewer of us who knew such things then was needed as the computer revolution took hold in corporate America. So I did, becoming co-owner and leaving the court. During the first year I spent a few months simultaneously working for an internet provider (MindSpring) as a tech, learning the back end of what everyone connects into… I actually had to thank my father for all those hours he made me spend on the main frame when I was a little kid…

    A few years ago I pursued my Masters in education as I had always had a desire to teach. After once more leaving school behind I decided I’d rather stay in the computer world (though I did have a wonderful time student teaching for a semester, the system is really screwed up…). Having moved to another state in the North West during that time I have subsequently started up a new company (mostly just to stay busy). With my wife (an attorney) we own a 4,000 acre farm situated along the Columbia River Gorge where we are also currently in the process of implementing some 35 wind towers in a new wind farm development (driving much of my interest and knowledge of what is going on in alternative energy development).

    I have always been interested in science, and try to remain at least current in a civilian way. I came to the blog a year(ish) ago, and while often disagreeing with some here I also find most to be very interesting to converse with, agreement or not.

    And thankfully the tone is generally civil, a nice change from many I have viewed and occasionally read.

  23. Hi there!
    I graduated with a BA in astrophysics last year, and took a year-long stint teaching English in Seoul. I’d always had a thing for how science impacts culture and vice versa, and had thought about science journalism as a career as an undergrad. After witnessing ClimateGate from abroad, I made up my mind to come back to the States to go into science communication; I’ll be a first-year grad student in astronomy at Boston University in the fall, with intentions of doing a science journalism program in Boston afterwards. I have my own blog, which I use mainly for my photography, but also as an outlet for some science-oriented thoughts.

    I’ve been reading your blog for I guess over a year now, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s been an inspiration. I’m particularly interested in what Chris argues that working scientists can do better to connect with the public, find a lot of agreement with you guys on all sorts of aspects of the state of science in America, and hope to incorporate that into my experience as a grad student. Thanks guys! :)

  24. Janine Lazur

    Chris, re: a few things re: commenting/not commenting
    In general, I’m not a big commenter. Though as I use Facebook more and more, I definitely do enjoy it when people comment on my posts. As a result, I’m coming out of my commenting shell in general and being more generous with doling out the “like”s and comments. I’ve realized it’s a nice nod to the people who made the post — letting them know they reached someone instead of reading their post and silently moving on to something else. And with Facebook, it’s people that I know, so it’s a bit more natural to leave a trace there.
    For blogs like yours, using Google Reader, it’s a few steps less easy to comment and it’s also less natural because I tend to forget there are actual people behind RSS feeds as I scroll through and just pause for what catches my eye . Less easy: the Google Reader interface doesn’t have a comment button, so I have to click through to your blog and then comment. Less natural: under the umbrella of Discover blogs, you seem like a big corporation, so it’s far less personal. And I confess that in Reader, all the Discover blogs blur together (so you weren’t not so much The Intersection in my mind, you were just Discover.)
    But with this post, I didn’t hesitate to comment. Probably because the point was for your readers to reveal themselves. And you structured it in a way that a quick reply was all you wanted. Not much thinking and time required. After the comment where I introduced myself, I also poked around and read the blurbs you and Sheril have on blog about yourself, so you’re no longer part of the big Discover conglomerate in my mind. As a result of all this, chances are that I’ll be more likely to comment/interact in the future. So thanks for a good post and maybe you’ll see me again in the comment section.

  25. I came from Butterflies and Wheels about a year ago and I read sporadically. I’m a doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Waterloo. I’m interested in scientific literacy and its relationship with real science, argumentation, and rhetoric.

    I’ve noticed that the blog is for the most-part run as a one-way medium, i.e., as if it were television. I think the blog could be vastly improved if the approach weren’t insular in that way. While it’s obvious that you want people to feel at home in some sense, I have never felt as though either of you value the spirit of free and vigorous debate. The model of a community here seems to be less sympathetic to the healthy exchange of ideas, and more interested in walking on eggshells and political correctness. It makes me feel intellectually alienated, and accounts for why I don’t return very often.


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