No hiding behind a pseudonym

I’m currently taking a science communications course. I’m learning quite a bit while also feeling increasing guilt about not science blogging more. Today we had a guest lecture by David Kroll, a science blogger/science writing professor/pharmacologist/museum communicator/jack of all trades. He suggested that as graduate students, we only blog under a pseudonym so that we can remain anonymous.

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Photo credit Jeff MacInnes

Oops. Too late for that. I had considered writing anonymously when I first started this blog, especially since I chose to write about orgasm faces in my first real post. But then I decided that, as I was planning to be civil and thoughtful in my blogging, I shouldn’t have to hide my true identity. There will be no need to live in fear of being outed, and no shit to hit the fan if people learn who I really am. Bradley Voytek thinks that his online presence helped him land a job and increases the number of times his papers get cited, and I promised the NSF that I care about the broader impacts of promoting scientific knowledge to the general public, so why hide?

On the other hand, some academics frown upon pontificating to the masses as a waste of time that would be better spent on research/grant writing. In his talk, David mentioned that some of our dissertation committee members could fall in that boat and give us a hard time. Those committee members vote on whether we get our PhDs, so keeping them satisfied is pretty important.

I’d like to think that my committee members have better things to do than drop in on my little corner of the internet. Plus, writing under my real name forces me to keep my swears down, my criticisms civil, and (hopefully) my thoughts well-formed. Let’s hope I don’t regret this someday down the line…

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