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Changes to projectsteph

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It’s been more than a year since I started this blog. Some elements were in need of review and revision.

The most significant changes are a new theme and an updated About page.

I’m not a big fan of the name of my blog, but I can’t think of anything else I like better. So for now, it will stay “projectsteph”. (Suggestions?)

Theme

I just changed my blog theme last October, but I keep finding myself drawn towards what WordPress calls “magazine” themes. I love their clean crisp feeling!

After much deliberation, I decided to update my blog to this theme called “The Morning After”. The feature that really sold me was the skinny header image up top. As you can see, I’ve already uploaded an image of a Coomassie-stained gel (detailed description to come later). I plan to upload more fun science images in the future.

The other feature I really liked was the way “sticky” posts are displayed. To avoid crowding up the home page too much, I’ve only made one post sticky: my blog post on “I am not wasting my Ph.D.” It is by far my most-viewed blog post and continues to get a few views every week.

Apologies for any awkwardness while I adjust to the new theme! I’ve already spotted a few posts that need some layout adjustments. I also need to figure out what I want to do with my widget areas!

About

The About text used to read as follows:

At the undergraduate level, female biology majors outnumber male biology majors. At the graduate level, the numbers are roughly equal. However, from the postdoc level and onward, there is a dramatic decrease in the proportion of female biologists. At the tenured faculty level, female professors are few and far between. (Based on my own experience and observations. Current reports are vaguely consistent, I think.)

This phenomenon is known as the “leaky pipeline”. It exists not only in biology, but also in many other science and engineering fields.

I am one of these females who have “leaked” from the pipeline.

The funny thing is that I never intended to become a professor or run my own lab. I went into grad school with the intention of becoming a scientist in industry. Along the way, I was introduced to so-called “alternative” science careers… all of which have served to lure me away from the bench.

I don’t intend to only write on “alternative” science careers, although this may certainly make up a large proportion of my posts. I’d like to try my hand at some proper science writing – examining/discussing a recent science publication or topic of interest – but I’m not sure yet how much of that I’ll actually be doing. I’ve always thought that scientists make fascinating sociological/psychological subjects, so perhaps that’s also a topic worth exploring.

I have a number of other interests, some of which may find their way into this blog. I’ve always thought the most interesting blogs were not limited to their topic of choice, but rather were ones that occasionally veered off topic and gave you insight into the blogger’s personality.

So, in short, rather than strictly defining this blog a priori as a “science blog”, I will just start writing and see where it goes.

Welcome to my work in progress.

I’ve updated the text to something I feel is more fitting. It probably needs editing, but here’s where it is at the moment:

About me

I am a cell biologist by training and a writer by profession. This is not where I expected to end up.

I started my PhD with the full serious sincere intention of becoming a scientist in industry. However, two years into my PhD, I started to get the unsettling feeling that I didn’t want to be at the bench. My career transition is ongoing and has so far spanned several long years, starting from when I first learned about so-called “alternative” science careers in graduate school.

My transition has been fairly meandering, but I have learned a great deal about myself in the process. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has supported me in my adventure.

About the blog

I expect many of my blog posts will be on “alternative” science careers, particularly on my own transition from scientist to writer. I may also write the kind of posts you might find on a science blog. I think there are interesting science stories that can be found in our everyday lives (at least in my everyday life!), and I hope to tell some of those stories. Many other things interest me and may occasionally find their way into this blog. I’ve always thought the most interesting blogs were ones not limited to their topic of choice, but rather, ones that occasionally veered off topic.

So, in short, I am not going to define the scope of this blog a priori – I will just continue writing and see where it goes.

Other changes

  • Description of this blog has been updated from “musings and obsessions of a biologist searching for a fulfilling career” to “musings and obsessions of a biologist and writer”.
  • Added an “Archive” page. I like being able to visually skim the titles of my blog posts.
  • Updated the “Writings” page.
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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Changes to projectsteph

  1. Hey there, just wanted to let you know that I’ve been following your blog for a little while and I’ve been enjoying it! I’m doing a molecular biology postdoc right now and am enjoying the bench work for now, but have started to think about some alternatives including science writing. I’m looking forward to future posts about alt careers :)

    Posted by missphd | June 29, 2011, 11:10 am
    • Thanks so much for writing, and I’m happy to hear you enjoy reading my blog! Best of luck with your research. I need to blog more – definitely hoping to get some more posts up about alternative careers!

      Posted by scwai | July 1, 2011, 11:12 pm

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