The Attack of Who are you, what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me?

June 16, 2011

Three years ago Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science asked his readers a simple question:

1) Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed? Let loose with those comments.
2) Tell someone else about this blog and in particular, try and choose someone who’s not a scientist but who you think might be interested in the type of stuff found in this blog. Ever had family members or groups of friends who’ve been giving you strange, pitying looks when you try to wax scientific on them? Send ’em here and let’s see what they say.

I found the comments in response to this fascinating and used the excuse to meme it here. Things kinda took off after that.

My year 2 version of this is here and year 3 is here. Those prior posts have links to other blogs’ versions of this meme.
As a small update for this year, I’m interested in whether you found us, or regularly follow us, through Twitter, Facebook and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms to corral your information stream.
UPDATED: Similar threads from
Ed Yong @ Not Exactly Rocket Science
Odyssey @ Pondering Blather
Gerty-Z @ Balanced Instability
Dr. Becca @ Fumbling Towards Tenure
I make note of these because I enjoy the survey of all who read scientific blogs, not just my own.

22 Responses to “The Attack of Who are you, what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me?”

  1. Joseph Ormond Says:

    I am a 66 year old retired DP manager from Public Social Service Agency in a California County. I have been taking mostly geology courses at local state university for 5 years. I came to Science Blogs Select through the New York Times Science page. I have ended up subscribing to some individually but enjoying reading then all.


  2. I am a 22 year old college graduate who is starting her Master’s in Pharmacology this fall. I just started my own science blog as an exercise in writing and to encourage me to pursue my interests and keep up-to-date with science news, as well as resource for future graduate students and those interested in science.
    I started looking up science blogs on google to see what they do, how they do it, and what I like about each of them. I found this one last week 😛 I subscribe to the Life Sciences and Medicine & Health daily newsletter things. I’ve really enjoyed them so far!


  3. molliebatmit Says:

    I’m a fifth-year PhD student in developmental neurobiology. I don’t really remember how I found the blog — I’ve been an off-and-on reader since about my first year of grad school, and I follow on Twitter.
    The blog was tremendously helpful for me and my collaborator as we wrote an R01 for our lab last year (16th percentile A0, woot), and I very much appreciate the advice on grantsmanship and paper-writing. My PI makes a point of training us as scientists and as grantwriters/paper-writers/presenters (hence two grad students writing an R01), but I feel that I benefit from hearing more than just my PI’s/committee’s point of view.


  4. LG Says:

    I am a third year PhD student. I am 33 years old. True, I immigrated, and my goal is actually a MD/PhD position, but still, I feel am really way behind. Knowing that I am smart and hard working, I figured my slow progress is only due to lack of social skills. Proper scientists are very weird creatures. You can’t just try regular tools with them, such as decent levels of flattering, as they are already full of it. This kind of blogs help me figure where do I need to adjust.


  5. DrugMonkey Says:

    Unfortunately LG if you think I represent the “proper” scientist from whom you can glean useful social skills you are going astray….


  6. Alethea Says:

    I’m a 4th year grad biophysics grad student. I like watching other people argue (hence, the comment sections on your blog are black holes to me). I found your blog when searching for some stuff on issues in animal research about 6 months ago, I stuck around cuz I like your opinions.


  7. beccaf22 Says:

    I am a molecular cell biology post-doc and I found your blog because I got interested in ERV’s blog and just naturally started reading other blogs here at sciblogs (I actually found ERV before Pharyngula or anyone else because her topics are closer to my areas of expertise)


  8. LG Says:

    I did say “this kind of blogs”, because I am following some more. And then I am getting probably more from comments. Oh, there’s also the world outside, but you don’t get them (PIs, students etc) to be as open as they are when they think of themselves as anonymous.


  9. iGrrrl Says:

    I’m a neuroscientist by training, but now teach/consult on grant writing and grants. I found your blog through your comments on writedit’s, and I read yours because you have interesting things to say on a number of topics.


  10. Killinchy Says:

    I’m a 68 year old retired Chem prof who originally trained as a Pharmacist…… back in the days of scruples and grains, pill rolling and suppository making. It’s not surprising a blog called “Drug Monkey” attracted my attention, but I think I found through Scienceblogs which I found through a science blog.


  11. DrugMonkey Says:

    beccaf22, wow, you may possibly be the only person who actually reads both erv and DM.
    iGrrl- ah, yes, I recall first seeing your commentary at writedit’s place. didn’t know you’d become a grant honcho…going well?
    Killinchy- well I do hope you aren’t disappointed with the lack of posts on suppositories. Perhaps I will post on a certain route-of-administration practice of some MDMA users in the future.


  12. H2 Says:

    I’m a molecular biologist working with translational neuroscience in big pharma. Yours is one of a number of science blogs that I read to stay in touch with how people working elsewhere think and behave. Living on the marginally saner side of the Atlantic, I find it educational to see how the science/society interface differs between the US and the EU. I tend to read rather than respond, and I generally admire & appreciate your views.


  13. igrrrl Says:

    Thanks for asking, DM. Yes, it keeps me very busy and is going well. I work for these guys.


  14. CalF Says:

    ABD in paleontology, here (nautiloids and decapods), but long ago bailed from a poor job market and followed the dark side into IT. Don’t follow DrugMonkey as often as others at ScienceBlogs, but stop by from time to time. Mostly I follow what looks interesting from the “last 24hr” button. I’ve always been interested in too many subjects for my own good 😉


  15. mikka Says:

    Late postdoc/starting PI, started following DM and PP because of the entertaining profanity. Now I try to learn as much as I can about the funding procurement side of things, because that’s what my next 5 years/tenure are going to depend on, and what I’m hearing is scaring me shitteless.


  16. dsks Says:

    34 yr old superannuated postdoc recently turned tt faculty. Been tuning in for a long while. I find it useful for keeping tabs on any big events/changes happening in the funding arena. Don’t much go in for RSS feeds and the Twitter and all that, I prefer to just browse on my coffee breaks. FB is still very much a friends and family tool that I haven’t exploited professionally.
    Mostly read this, Isis, Wilkins, and Blue Labcoats.


  17. cookingwithsolvents Says:

    32 year old first year Asst. Prof in a physical science at a small, private research university. Long time reader and mostly lurker these days. I have been working very hard with my graduate students and postdoc on writing and other scientific communication, being a good mentor, and getting my science rolling. This blog has been invaluable over the years as a source of information and inspiration.


  18. adbphd Says:

    38 y/o female junior investigator at a state-run research facility with an Asst. Prof appointment as well. I’ve had zero success with obtaining my first grant (partly because my former post-doc advisor “ate her young”) and will be closing my lab after my Ph.D. student graduates in Sept. I’ve been reading for about 1 year– mostly to validate my feelings of frustration / disgust and for guidance on how to navigate the clusterfuck with grace.


  19. DrugMonkey Says:

    iGrrl- Interesting job, no doubt. I’ve read the handbook, not bad. Have my points of disagreement but as you know I never claim to have a lock on the OneWay to write grants.


  20. Grumble Says:

    I’m in my 5th year as an assistant prof. I come here because:
    1) I sometimes need distractions from my full-time job of writing grants
    2) Occasionally I learn something useful about the grant process
    3) I’m a firme believer that every worde needs an “e” at the ende of it (not just shoppe and grille, but also fucke and definitely asshole) and I like to interact with the like-minded
    4) When the grant scores finally come in, browsing this blog is a slightly more productive form of moping than jumping off a bridge.


  21. igrrrl Says:

    I don’t think there’s One True Way to write every grant, either, but that format has worked for a lot of people if they can put substance behind it. I’ve seen very bad grants written that way, but I’ve also had a lot of success using it. BTW, there’s one handbook from another group for $399, more if you want a paper copy, and their examples of “how to” from funded grants seem to be from 25-page applications. Ouch, and caveat emptor, always.
    That said, it is a fun job, and good for me, since I have the focus of a hyperactive spaniel. I get to think about all kinds of different science on a regular basis. It’s also fascinating to see so many different institutional cultures with respect to research and grants.


  22. John Says:

    I’m 31 years old, I’m a linguist and I take lots of drugs. If you have a sincere interest in recreational drug use, you obviously need to keep current with the latest scientific findings in order to minimise any adverse effects on your health resulting from of a sustained intake of psychoactive drugs. This (along with MAPS, Erowid among others) is a very good place to do that.


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