La meme chose

Following Martin Fenner’s lead , and telling you a little more about this blog, this is my martinmeme.
1. What is your blog about?
Usually it is about things that I encounter in the course of my work as a Librarian. Or to put it another way, it contains impertinent reflections about science, scientists and their behaviours as they relate to knowledge, information or libraries. Sometimes it is about libraries or librarianship issues with just a tenuous science connection, sometimes I dare to delve into the world of data, sometimes I cross over into the world of PEST (Public Engagement in Science & Technology). I may also sortie into the wider world of science policy, but only if I can see a clear run ahead of me and a safe escape route. I hope to include one or two historical reflections, but they have not surfaced yet.
2. What will you never write about?
I will not write about things I have learnt in confidence. I will not write about things that I really don’t understand, though I will sometimes write about things that I understand only a little. I will not eschew a personal slant but I don’t intend Frank Norman to be the blog’s main topic.
3. Have you ever considered leaving science?
I have never joined, in the strict sense. I consider myself to be around science rather than in science. I see Martin Fenner has clarified this question, explaining that he defines science in the broader sense, so perhaps I am in science after all and so the answer is “yes”.
4. What would you do instead?
I have been tempted sometimes to do my own thing and set up as an independent information consultant, but never made the move.
5. What do you think will science blogging be like in 5 years?
It will either be very similar to how it is now, or completely different. I think that services like Natureblogs may change how (and how many) people use science blogs, but it’s too early to judge yet. I suspect that the power of blog platforms (can I call them publishers?) will grow, as bloggers see benefits in being part of a particular blog empire. If the number of science bloggers grows say by 100-fold or 1000-fold then the science blogosphere will be a very different place.
6. What is the most extraordinary thing that happened to you because of blogging?
Still waiting.
7. Did you write a blog post or comment you later regretted?
No. I am very cautious by nature. I start many more comments than I finally post.
8. When did you first learn about science blogging?
I think 2006 was when I first really looked into it. We started a Library blog about that time.
9. What do your colleagues at work say about your blogging?
Nothing as yet.
10a.: How the heck do you have time to blog and do research at the same time?
Time is a problem. I’ve not yet got into a regular sustainable pattern of blogging. It is usually a weekend or evening activity.
10b. Extra credit: are you able to write an entry to your blog that takes the form of a poem about your research?
Chasing butterflies is easier than
Grasping the truth of information use.
A bigger net and faster feet
Will not catch a scientist’s fleeting thought.
To know my job I have to know your mind
But you never have time to tell me.

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we move further from print to electronic resources to open research, and become more embedded in research workflows.
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9 Responses to La meme chose

  1. Stephen Curry says:

    Cleverest punning title in this series Norman!
    And a poignant poem…

  2. Maxine Clarke says:

    Yes indeed, you have a budding alternative career ahead of you as a subeditor, Frank, if you ever tire of librarianship.

  3. Maxine Clarke says:

    And a poet, I should have added.

  4. Frank Norman says:

    Thank you! I’ve been taking lessons from Kelvin McKenzie 😉 (in headlines, not poetry).

  5. Henry Gee says:

    independent information consultant
    1. What’s one of these?
    2. Should I let my daughter marry one?

  6. Frank Norman says:

    Henry –
    1. What’s one of these? (independent information consultant)
    They are often called information brokers too but I prefer the C-word. Wikipedia defines one as “a person or business that researches information for clients”.
    2. Should I let my daughter marry one?
    I’d advise her to wait a few years.

  7. Henry Gee says:

    I’d advise her to wait a few years.
    I’d prefer to get my retaliation in first.

  8. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Like your poem. Do you have any more?

  9. Frank Norman says:

    Thanks Lee! I wasn’t too sure about doing a poem, but something moved me (I think it was the French red wine). I do have others but nothing suitable for this arena.

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