To Keep Moving is To Live

Posted 15 September 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Carol Foil -
Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens)

We’ve all seen the scenario in our high school biology textbooks. A single population of fish shares a large Pond. But then something drastic happens in the landscape. Perhaps a drought occurs, and the large Pond partially dries up to leave two smaller ponds separated from each other by a hill or expanse of higher, dry land. If this separation lasts long enough, combining the fish from pond A and pond B produces an interesting effect – the fish can... Read more

Blogging for a science magazine

Posted 14 September 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau

A Q&A What is it like to blog for a science magazine? Is it different from blogging on your own independent WordPress or BlogSpot platform? What's it like to have a blog editor? Do blogs change as they are moved from independent websites to magazine blog networks? These are some of the questions I've been wondering about as I interview science bloggers for my PhD project (#MySciBlog), because science bloggers fill such a variety of roles for a variety of... Read more

You Could Still Be Waiting

Posted 11 September 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


I owe a lot to this blog. This blog got me into science writing, from the first time I pitched the idea of writing about anything and everything science (but especially about science in popular culture) to Nature Blogs in 2010. Lucky for me, they accepted my pitch (I was at the time a slightly unfulfilled biomedical PhD student at WashU in St. Louis), and I've been blogging ever since. This blog guided me into a graduate degree in journalism. This blog helped... Read more

Science Blogging Something Completely Different

Posted 8 September 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


For many science writers, the science blog post has come to epitomize the Monty Python phrase, "and now for something completely different." And if not something completely different, than at least something different in one way or another from your typical science news story, your typical opinion column or or your typical print feature story, among other science story formats. As you might know if you've been following me on Twitter, I've been conducting interviews with science bloggers as a part... Read more

Why Every Journalism Student Should Blog

Posted 1 September 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


Last week, I took my PhD comprehensive exams. For my particular PhD program in mass communication, comprehensive (or qualifying) examinations take the form of 4-hour long essay tests - five of them, five days in a row. Sounds brutal, right? Apart from being a bit emotionally taxing, however, the exams themselves were not bad at all. But as the week wore on, and I realized that I could consistently write 10-12 page essays within the allotted 4-hour time interval fairly easily,... Read more

Making People Laugh About Science. It’s a Good Thing.

Posted 29 August 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


Why was Schrödinger afraid of his cat? Because it was both dead and alive at the same time!  Alright, so admittedly I’m no quantum theory comedian. But if you brushed up on your science communication strategies recently, attended a talk at a local science museum or read a Brain Flapping post by Dean Burnett at The Guardian, you might have noticed that science comedy is a hot thing. And for good reason. It turns out that using humour and even... Read more

Hollywood Science is Getting Better

Posted 22 August 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


There was a time when scientists in the movies were consistently made into villains, odd-balls or crazy-haired geeks. Think Frankenstein, Back to the Future, or even Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve long been fascinated by science fiction and science in Hollywood. If anyone can remember back far enough, I began this very blog with a pitch to Nature Network (now to cover science in film. One of my first ever blog posts explored genetic sequencing and genetic profiling technologies as... Read more

MacArthur’s Defense of Print and Paywall is a Bad Excuse

Posted 17 August 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


Disclaimer. I am about to review and critique a New York Times profile of Harper’s Magazine publisher John R. MacArthur. I make no claim to being able to adequately do so. But as one of the “youths” “blowing off steam” on my blog (who still calls this a weblog?), I at least have some personal experience in the matter. “‘I’ve got nothing against people getting on their weblogs, on the Internet and blowing off steam,’ he [John R. MacArthur] said.... Read more

Swim Like a Shark

Posted 14 August 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau

Carcharhiniformes Shark Dermal Denticles. By Mary Keim,

As Shark Week sinks its teeth into your TV and social media channels, from megalodon – the 50-foot-long “mega-toothed” shark that while extinct chomps on in our imaginations – to Zombie Sharks, you might not realize that we stand to learn a heck of a lot from sharks. A 6th sense—and a 7th: sharks navigate using electromagnetic fields & pressure changes #SharkWeek — pew environment (@pewenvironment) August 13, 2014 Among the many things we can learn from sharks –... Read more

We don’t talk about this.

Posted 9 August 2014 by Paige Brown Jarreau


Have you ever critiqued or corrected another science writer online, to have them become defensive in response? Has this type of conflict ever lead you to avoid writing about certain topics? According to the theory of motivated reasoning, there are two basic types of reasoning motives: accuracy goals and defensive goals. We often look at motivated reasoning on the part of science communication audiences. But science writers themselves are not immune to motivated reasoning processes. Imagine an individual is going... Read more