What’s more exciting than writing up 200 pages of results from over 50 interviews and over 600 survey responses from science bloggers about their practices? Following up with some of those bloggers to see what their READERS think! Based on my dissertation last year on the practices and routines of science bloggers, I’m starting another project as a postdoctoral researcher at LSU to survey science blog readers. We know relatively little, at least from a rigorous research perspective, about who... Read more
ABOUT Paige Brown Jarreau
I am a Bio/Nanotechnology scientist turned journalist, with an M.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering. Science is my interest, but writing is my passion. I translate science into story, and my dream is to inspire a love for science in every reader. I am also a new PhD student at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, focusing in science communications and policy. I currently conduct research on the communication of science—specifically climate science—to various publics, and I write about all things science on a daily basis. Please feel free to ask me questions anytime, and follow me on Twitter @FromTheLabBench.
I’m always ready for a challenge, and I live to be inspired by science.
Paige Brown Jarreau: All Posts
Today, I sat in an all-day orientation program for new faculty at my university. I kept waiting for campus administrators to mention social media or other university-supported avenues for us to communicate our research more broadly than traditional academic mediums. But that discussion never came. I thought the orientation was a missed opportunity to talk to us about how important it is for academic scientists to communicate their science broadly. "So you would tell me I should be blogging, right?"... Read more
Underrepresentation of women in STEM fields can make these women feel like “tokens.” For example, women receive as few as 19% of undergraduate physics degrees in the United States, according to the science and engineering indicators2012 report by the National Science Board. This isolating status may “trigger worry or concern about fulfilling gender stereotypes,” write Jessi Smith and colleagues in a recent publication on how stereotype threat undermines women’s identity as research scientists. Stereotype concerns in science environments can lead women... Read more
I first met Shelby Prindaville while she was completing her Master of Fine Arts degree from the LSU Painting and Drawing Program. I was, on a whim, looking for artists who documented wildlife in coastal Louisiana and the Louisiana wetlands, for an LSU homepage feature story I was writing. Shelby responded to an e-mail announcement that went out, and I knew immediately that she belonged in this story. At the time, Shelby created amazing clay sculptures of anoles (lizards) jumping... Read more
“Female STEM professors not only provide positive role models for women, but they also help to reduce the implicit stereotype that science is masculine in the culture-at-large.” - Young et al. 2013 As of 2009, women only made up 27% of the science and engineering workforce, and 18% of full professors in STEM departments. With so few women in tenured and leadership positions in STEM departments at top research universities, a lack of female role models may act as a... Read more
Scientific storytelling helps researchers communicate their findings in a competitive publishing environment
Today, I attended a seminar at LSU on scientific storytelling presented by Dr. Rafael Luna. Luna is an LSU alumnus and author of The Art of Scientific Storytelling, a guide to presenting and publishing scientific research with the help of narrative elements. Too often, scientists view writing and publishing as a burden, an unwelcome add-on that slows their momentum and interferes with getting on to the next experiment. Why, then, do scientists write? There are two sets of reasons—content-related and... Read more
“An entire forest can seem to flash at the same time.” — Andrew Moiseff and Jonathan Copeland Waves of twinkling lights flashed all around me. First at a distance, then filling my entire field of view, a living undulation of male Photinus carolinus fireflies pulsed like miniature sputtering candles, on display for the females resting in the foliage on the forest floor. The male fireflies, flying above the forest floor, flash quickly four to eight times, and then all together... Read more
Cross-posted at FromTheLabBench.com When blogging about new scientific findings and their implications, how often do you use hedging statements, with terms like “might,” “could,” “potentially,” or “possibly,” as opposed to strong statements such as "prove" or "without a doubt"? Depending on your answer, you may want to rethink your language choices in writing about science. A German study published in June in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology suggests that readers may actually be skeptical of science blog article statements that are... Read more
This post is the 12th in an ongoing guest series on my blog featuring science bloggers who recently got their start in the science blogosphere. This series of posts I've been inviting from new science bloggers, or anyone who started blogging about science in the last year or so, is helping to paint a picture of how science bloggers get their start today. Cross-posted at FromTheLabBench.com -- Next up in the "New to Science Blogging" series is Karen Anthony, author of Weekademia. Karen is currently a postdoctoral... Read more
This post is the 11th in an ongoing guest series on my blog featuring science bloggers who recently got their start in the science blogosphere. This series of posts I've been inviting from new science bloggers, or anyone who started blogging about science in the last year or so, is helping to paint a picture of how science bloggers get their start today. Cross-posted at FromTheLabBench.com -- Next up in the "New to Science Blogging" series is Melissa Cristina Marquez, founder of the Sarasota Fins, a marine science education... Read more