Today I find myself in the illustrious company of the well-known bloggers over at the Guardian Science Blogs. As Richard Grant and Stephen Curry already spelled out a week ago, we happy band of OT bloggers have a new outpost over at
My own first post today sets the scene of the kind of research I do in biological physics and why I find it exciting. Written for the general public, Jenny chastised me when she read the draft for using over-technical words (in this case the offending word was ‘stoichiometrically’, as well as using the Research Council acronyms without spelling them out), so I’m going to have to try harder to explain what I get up to in appropriate language over there. Just like the rest of my colleagues here, the posts on the Guardian will only be a fraction of my output – but it is a wonderful way to reach a wider audience, and I’d like to thank Jenny, Richard (G) and Stephen for getting us to this point (did anyone mention ‘impact’ recently?). I will not attempt in the future to dissect any comment stream I get, as I did with CIF; I have no excuse of shortage of time to get my nuances as I wish this time around, so if I’m hammered I only have myself to blame.
However, my own first post on OC was, briefly, something very different, indeed something that was written in haste yesterday by me acting in a capacity rather different from my OT/OC self. Responding to a general request from the Guardian to its bloggers for a fast-turnaround piece on A level results, I agreed to do something based on my experiences as the Chair of the Education Committee at the Royal Society. This piece (now located here on the Guardian) uses bits of evidence from various recent Royal Society reports. Consequently, it wasn’t a tough job to produce quickly, since the facts were more or less at my fingertips (and the wonderful team at the Royal Society checked that I hadn’t mixed anything up). The analysis shows that despite the upbeat figures for STEM A levels, there are still underlying concerns. As usual the headline
A level figures for science subjects: could do much better
was not of my making, nor was the image of 3 female students* clutching their results my choice. As I say, briefly that appeared under the Occam’s Corner banner, but swiftly got moved to a more appropriate location on the Guardian website, thereby making room for what was intended to be my debut post.
I’m not a founder member of Occam’s Typewriter, but joined the group after the concept was well advanced, although my first post appeared on the site only a couple of days after OT was launched. Like Stephen, I too owe my ‘membership’ to Jenny, whom I’d been ‘virtually’ introduced to through other media contacts when we were both writing something for The Times science magazine Eureka. When I subsequently approached her for some advice about blogging (being at that point a mere novice blogger of only a few months standing; now I’m just a few days short of my second anniversary), the invitation to join OT was the result. I feel very privileged to be writing here – and now over there on the Guardian too. I hope you’ll continue to keep me company – on both sites.
* Interesting – now changed to 6 lads on the website. Did someone complain?