I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but it always seemed like there was too much activation energy involved. I guess that makes Jonathan Eisen my catalyst. I’ve seen what has taken place on Tree of Life (and even participated) as well as a variety of other terrific sites and have gained many insights (list of microbiology related blogs here). Communication with other researchers and the general public is increasingly taking place through social media, and I've been very happy with the types of interactions I've had on twitter. I hope this blog will be useful and fun for some people other than myself, but we’ll see. In the very least it provides a forum to crystalize thoughts so that, even if no one else sees this, I can look back and know where my brain was at.
What’s the content going to be? My research is focused on microbial evolution and my lab at the University of Arizona started a year and a half ago. Given that, I’m probably going to use this blog to give some insight into what life in the lab is like while fully acknowledging that there are a variety of other blogs out there with the very same intent. I love research and I love the thrill of figuring out new things, and will try to relate my research experiences (good and bad). I’m also a fan of arguing during journal clubs. While I was part of very lively journal clubs in grad school, my experiences since have left me wanting a bit. My hope is that I can use this as a forum start some good conversations about microbiology and evolution. Lastly, I really love a good history of science story and blogs provide a unique forum to tell such tales. In the very least I’m going to write about how some of my own papers happened, trials tribulations and all. Hopefully I can inspire some others to contribute as well. Look at this as an experiment, maybe it will work and maybe it wont, but I hope to learn something in the process.