Making Your Science Life Public

I have recently been wondering whether blogging about science is seen as a good or bad thing in grad school (and in the business world). I try to publish articles that I not only wouldn’t mind a potential adviser or boss seeing, but would be proud to show off. I have even thought about including a link to the blog in my curriculum vitae.

However, I am still on the fence about the issue. Currently, I have not even published my name on the blog, although I have shared it with friends, family, and coworkers. I need more information on what the results of going public will be.

I intend to continue publishing news, issues, fun experiments, and some of my daily experiences with science. I don’t intend on ever publishing anything confidential or anything that would cause those I work with to be chagrined. I keep any of my baseless opinions to a minimum.

But I really don’t know what to do.

I would appreciate your advice on this issue! If you are a student blogger, have you talked to any of your professors about blogging or shown them your blog? If you have, do they view it as a good thing because you are involved in spreading science awareness and participating in science (or literature or gaming or history) outreach or a bad thing because you could easily spill beans that ought not to be spilled?

If you are a boss or professor, what do you think? Would you want a student or employee blogging publicly?

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About pickledtoo

I am currently a marine educator on my way to grad school in the next year or so. I want to be an industrial chemist and I want to make things that might make peoples lives better. I love to talk and write and think and dream about science!
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11 Responses to Making Your Science Life Public

  1. Facebook says:

    This post is truly a pleasant one it assists new internet users, who are wishing
    in favor of blogging.

  2. I say go for it! I always imagined how happy I would be if I were at a conference and someone recognized me from my blog.

    • pickledtoo says:

      I like your style!
      No pressure to answer, but have you shared your site with other students in your lab or your professors?

      • I haven’t advertised it specifically because most of the time I don’t talk about research. I’m trying to do it more but it’s been busy as you can imagine.

        I think once I finish setting up the site to have a more research based focus, I will start advertising it around the graduate school.

  3. From a career point of view, I can’t see how your articles can do you any harm. On the other hand, the whole nation is riding an antiscience handcar to Hell. Witness, for example, Bill Nye the science guy being booed in Texas for stating that the moon reflects the sun.
    http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/bill-nye-bood-in-texas-for/
    In a few years you might find yourself a fugitive hiding in dark cellars when the authorities come looking for educated people, especially articulate ones.

    • I could see a boss get pissed off that something that was supposed to be secret was spilled– or that it looks like Mr. Pickledtoo is trying to pass off the work as his own.

    • pickledtoo says:

      Good point dangerousbill! Well as long as I have a connection to the internet in that dark cellar it will be worth it… at least I will be able to blog about all the trouble blogging got me into!

      And to Andrew, confidential research and lab goings-on are issues that I would never disclose. And while I know that my ethics and confidentialy standards are high, I am worried that a portential boss or advisior would view a blogging student as a liability because they would not necessarily trust that I would always be prudent.

      Also, an advantage of losing the anonimity is that you would know that I am a female Pickledtoo!

  4. Andrew Chen says:

    I haven’t ever documented projects that I wasn’t in charge of. But I think your next course of action is simple– talk to your professor.

    • pickledtoo says:

      I can see how discussing my writing could help me avoid problems with current bosses and professors, but what about future supervisors who might see the blog after it has been in motion for some time?

  5. MindMindful says:

    Some thoughts, from a not-boss, not-professor ………..
    1) You could blog anonymously (because I assume that future employers are not going to actually HUNT for you cyber presence). This would mean decommissioning this blog, starting up a different one w/ no personal info available to the public, new email, etc.

    2) You could abandon your concern about what disapproval might happen, & let any such disapproval in prospective employers be a powerful factor in how much you approve of THEM. Thus, setting a new parameter: You’d only accept a position from someone who appreciates your blogging efforts. ((I realize: the economy, student loans, etc …………..))

    3) You could start another blog, w/ anonymity etc, & structure it in the form of lesson plans, or children’s book formats, or ebooks, or a TV screenplay, etc

    I’m just riffing, & don’t mean to undermine your efforts or concerns — I hope you understand:) Just want to start the conversation…………..

  6. staceym says:

    I would like to know the answer to this too! I have heard that having a blog relevant to your career can show employers how passionate you are and how much the subject really interests you. As a student I don’t know how I would feel about possible employers seeing my blog. Would they make judgements on how it was written? I would worry that they wouldn’t think it is scientific enough. All of your posts are very well written and as you said, you would say nothing negative about co-workers/employers so I can’t see in any way them viewing it as a bad thing.

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