As I noted the other day, the magazine The Scientist came out with an online article featuring some top science bloggers plugging their favorite life science blogs. As some has noted (Bora has the big list), however, no women life science bloggers were asked to contribute, and even though mention was made of some great blogs written by women, none were asked to contribute commendations for the main piece. Regardless of why women were overlooked, bloggers should not collectively shrug and move on, especially given the number of great science writers online who are female. Regarding this topic, my friend Julia asks whether part of the problem is 1) Anonymity, and/or 2) women who are scientists but do not write about science (the article was about life science blogs rather than all science blogs or academic blogs or all blogs in a general sense). Despite the narrower life science scope there are still plenty of great writers, male and female, and it would be hoped that a group asked to give recommendations would have reflected the actual diversity of life-science oriented bloggers.
In any event, I don’t want this post to be as much about the controversy surrounding The Scientist article as much as a look at some of my favorite female science bloggers. In fact, some of these bloggers have become some of my best friends on the internet and have been especially helpful in keeping me abreast of interesting stories and allowing me to share ideas with them, and while I am not as close with others on my short list I still admire their work.
~The Ethical Palaeontologist, a blog so fine that it makes me want to stop spelling the word “paleontology” and start spelling it “palaeontology.” My own spelling dilemmas aside, Julia runs a wonderful blog full of insight and humor (plus cool critters every Thursday), and her help has been invaluable in my own studies. A good friend and a great blogger, you’re really missing out if you’re not reading Julia’s work.
~The RedMolly Picayune-Democrat, a wonderful blog written by my friend Molly, full of witty passages, homeschooling discussions, and tales of (shared) frustration in trying to write a book, among other things (there’s nothing like a good 80’s off every now and then…). I had the luck of becoming acquainted with Molly this past spring when she had asked a question about cheetahs on behalf of her son, and she’s been sending me tidbits of natural history news gleaned from hither and yon (as well as awesome software, thanks again Molly!) ever since. No matter what you’re interested in, Molly’s blog always provides a pleasant read, and I can’t stress my endorsement of her work enough.
~Pondering Pikaia, an absolutely terrific science blog run by a fellow undergraduate student, Anne Marie. I have been floored by the excellent writing and good research exhibited on her blog ever since its inception this past May(!), and she definitely gives other science bloggers a run for their money. Indeed, Anne Marie is living proof that undergraduates can be great science writers too, and it will be a pleasure to be on a panel with her at the upcoming Science Blogging Conference (are you signed up yet?).
~Retrospectacle is an impressive neuroscience-oriented blog run by Shelly Batts, who I’ll also be joining for the panel on student blogging in January. Making it all the way to ScienceBlogs is impressive in and of itself, but the superb writing up on display continues to push the high-quality envelope.
~Living the Scientific Life, written by GrrlScientist, is another blog that’s part of the esteemed ScienceBlogs community, and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful pictures posted daily, excellent writing on mental health issues, and plenty of posts that are just plain fun to read round out a blog that always has something surprising when I enter the URL in my destination bar.
Bug Girl’s Blog, written by the Bug Girl (of course), covers a whole world of organisms with which I am only barely acquainted. From fireflies to spiders that work together to build massive webs, if you like inverts and aren’t reading her blog you’re really missing out. She’s also perhaps one of the foremost authorities (if not the foremost authority) in the blogosphere on DDT and I am ever-impressed with her knowledge of all things entomological. If that wasn’t enough, she’s had plenty of kind words for me and my own writing, giving me a bit of a boost during a rough start to this semester, proving that blogging is as much about community as it is about what shows up when you hit the “publish” button.
And last but not least…
~The Anterior Commissure, written by Kate, is definitely a science blog that the Rutgers community can be proud of. Kate’s recent post on a Reuter’s article about Viagra is enough in and of itself to make the blog worthy of special note (scarcely have I seen science summed up so well and with so much wit to make me literally LOL), but the whole thing is a trove of excellent writing. It might be overdoing things a bit, plugging the blog twice in one day, but it is only fair to give credit where it is due.
So that’s my short list; it’s not meant to be exhaustive, but merely to represent the work of just a few of the women out there generating some excellent writing (be it about science or not).
Update: I can’t believe that I forgot the ever-wonderful Fish Feet by Sarda. She took a little time off (hence my mental slip), but is now back in full swing and will soon be hosting The Boneyard (get those posts in!). She always has something new and interesting to say, written in a way that shows she has really thought about the subject rather than just repeating what’s already been done. Make sure you give her blog a look!