30 May 2022

The big two oh blogiversary

Cake with "20" on the front
Happy blogiversary to me!

Twenty (!) years ago, I started blogging for the first time, right here on this blog. I can’t even remember the first title, though it certainly wasn’t NeuroDojo. 

Blogging became a habit. Besides this blog, I still maintain two other blogs that are updated regularly, Marmorkrebs and Better Posters.

And while many once active blogs have slowed down – including my own – I would never consider shutting down all my blogs. It has been far too rewarding. (I mean, I finally got to write a book because of blogging!)

For this blog, NeuroDojo, I have been proud of the times little things broke out of the blog and impacted other arenas. I am pleased that a horrible, sexist paper originally published on paper and retracted finally got a retraction notice slapped on its online version. I’m pleased that a journal worked on guidelines for presenting statistics because of something I wrote. The word “kiloauthors” took on a little life of its own.

And I want to say that for me, blogging still occupies a space that is still unmatched by social media. The longer format helps me clarify my own thinking on things. And once I have a post down, it’s so much easier to go back and find what I have written, when someone revisits a question on social media that I wrote about back in the day.

Thanks to Neil Gaiman for showing me the potential of the blog format.

Thanks to anyone who has stopped by to read anything here.

Photo by Kristine Hoepnner on Flickr.  Used under a Creative Commons license.

23 May 2022

RIP Robin Overstreet

I learned yesterday that Dr. Robin Overstreet died.

Dr. Overstreet played a small but important part in my research. When I realized that things I was seeing in shrimp nerve cords were not staining artifacts but were alive, my colleague Brian Fredensborg contacted Dr. Overstreet. Robin generously keyed them out to the genus at least. Polypocephalus, a larval tapeworm.

I think the three papers I co-authored about that animal would have been much harder to sell to editors, reviewers, and readers, if we’d had to write something like, “Unidentified parasite A.”

I met Overstreet at a American Society for Parasitology meeting in San Antonio in 2017 in front of my poster. I was glad I was able to thank him for helping me, my student, and colleague. We talked a little about potential for more collaboration, but alas, it wasn’t to be.

16 May 2022

New interview on Scholarly Communication podcast

Scholarly Communication podcast logo
I’m fortunate enough to be on the Scholarly Communication podcast with Daniel Shea! (I think it’s episode 91, but they don’t number them by default.)

While the ostensible reason I was on was to talk about the Better Posters book, the conversation ranged widely. Daniel and I talk about narrative, collaboration, and efficiency in the realm of academic communication more generally.

Here are a couple of posts I mention during the interview.

First, this is the post where I talk about my wariness anyone says, “We need to do a better job training Ph.Ds in...”.

Second, this is the post where I talk about how my writing class completely, totally, 💯 rejected the idea that storytelling has any place in science. So storytelling is dead, long live narrative.

You can listen at the New Book Networks website or probably any other place you get your podcasts (like Stitcher).

External links

Scholarly Communication podcast home

Scholarly Communication: Better Posters

13 May 2022

This one is for Doctor Rubidium

This video of American woodcocks cropped up on Twitter, and Raychelle Burks asked for a mash-up with “Drop It Like It’s Hot. ” Who am I to argue?

Update, 15 May 2022: And here’s the second part of the request. Going back to 1969 with The Meters...

03 May 2022

Newest podcast interview

Lecture Breakers logo
I’m on the Lecture Breakers podcast this week!

I saw host Barbi Honeycutt on a YouTube video, and heard about her work with teaching in alternative formats besides lectures. I reached out to see if she was interested in chatting about using posters for teaching without realizing she had already a great blog post on the topic herself.

I had a blast talking with Dr. Honeycutt, and I hope the fun comes through on the show.

In preparing for the interview, I listened to a few episodes of the podcast, and I am now a regular listeners. If you are an educator, do yourself a favour and subscribe to this podcast. The enthusiasm is high, the questions are smart, and the guests are thoughtful educators. It’s a great listen for anyone teaching in higher education.

Related posts

Using poster assignments in courses

External links

Lecture Breakers #121

6 Ways to Use Teaching Posters in Your Course to Increase Student Engagement (2019)