Adventures in Ethics and Science

2010 blog-reader census.

DrugMonkey’s Google calendar must have told him that it’s time for the meme in which bloggers ask their readers what they’re doing here, a meme whose originator is the esteemed Ed Yong.

Having played along myself in 2008 and 2009, I’m on-board to mount the 2010 version of this blog-reader census. Please respond to at least some of these questions in the comments so we can avoid the expense of sending people with clipboards to your front door:


Who are you? (Scientist, philosopher, other? Student, parent, working stiff, blissful retiree? Given that personal identity is a matter of deep philosophical import, I’m going to let you decide the right way to deal with this question.)

Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?)

What brings you to this blog?

What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? (Not that I want to drive any of you away!)

If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?

What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)

What topics would you like to see more of? (Are there or have there been raging blogospheric kerfuffles on which you have wanted me to weigh but which I have not?)

Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

Comments

  1. #1 EcoPhysioMichelle
    July 2, 2010

    Physiology grad student.

    Nope.

    Good question. I’ve been reading for so long that I don’t remember what originally brought me here. I particularly enjoy the sprog blogging.

    I don’t know, it would have to be something pretty offensive (which I don’t think would happen).

    Lurking is my natural state. I am content with that.

    My favorite posts are the ones where you examine the ethics behind various issues that come up in scientific/academic life. They are always very meaty and interesting reads.

    See above.

    I’m happy with it. It’s your blog, do what you like!

    Elect a new governor?

    Apricot jam. Save it or sell it or give it away as a gift.

  2. #2 Lorax
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you? Scientist/teacher/parent/asshole

    Have we met in real life? No

    What brings you to this blog? Your coverage of ethics in the biological sciences

    What’s likely to bring you back? Your coverage of ethics in the biological sciences

    What would be likely to drive you away? Weekly post on what your kids talk about……j/k!

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting? No therefore Not Applicable x2

    What do you like reading around here? Your coverage of ethics in the biological sciences
    Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?) None really and sure, its part of the fun as opposed to sitting around agreeing with each other ad infinitum.

    What topics would you like to see more of? Your coverage of ethics in the biological sciences
    (Are there or have there been raging blogospheric kerfuffles on which you have wanted me to weigh but which I have not?) That’s up to you.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day? Not up to my needs, can you help me write some fundable grant applications too?

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? Close some colleges outright.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots? Eat them, or better yet, let them rot for the next Sarah Palin visit.

  3. #3 DrugMonkey
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you?

    Parent, scientist, wiseass

    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?)

    Yes, after I started reading and I am enriched by both experiences.

    What brings you to this blog?

    Discussions of the ethics of scientific conduct and academic careers.

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? (Not that I want to drive any of you away!)

    I can’t imagine any likely changes to your blogging that would drive me away.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?

    lurk? yeah right…

    Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)

    Oh, you know, my friend. You know.

    What topics would you like to see more of? (Are there or have there been raging blogospheric kerfuffles on which you have wanted me to weigh but which I have not?)

    Naaah, happy with your choices so far.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    Adequate. Your pace reflects your needs. Increasing runs the risk of burnout. That would be suboptimal.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

    Ditch that silly 2/3rds requirement you guys have.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

    Fruit leather.

  4. #4 S Seguin
    July 2, 2010

    I’m a science grad student wife reader. I first drifted here as part of a search for material appropriate for an undergraduate bioethics course. I appreciate both your ethics posts and your musings on the status of science or living the scientist lifestyle. And sprog blogs. I don’t comment often- even though I really love what I read here.

    Oh, and apricot jam- just cook the fruit down til mushy (maybe some sugar). Should be delish on pancakes or toast.

  5. #5 cicely
    July 2, 2010

    Is it that time again already? Well, okay….

    Who are you? Theoretically, I do data entry, but in actual practice, I receptionate. Receptionise. Answer phones.

    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?) No. DNA. DNA.

    What brings you to this blog? Teh Intarweebs are the glass window of Science against which my nose is pressed.

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? Daily habit, curiousity, and colossal workday boredom. You can drive me away by becoming excruciatingly boring, or by spewing fundamentalist religious/political crap all over your nice blog.

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?) You’re doing just fine with the current content. I’m not a fan of angry blood.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day? I don’t figure that it is incumbent upon you to dance for my amusement. Blog at whatever pace is best for you. If you “go silent” for more than about 2 months, I’ll probably, eventually, delete you from my Favorites.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? If I did, and if they were good and workable ideas, my soon-to-be-bestselling book, “A Modest Plan For Pulling California Out of the Sinkhole” would be hitting the stands even now. I agree with DrugMonkey about ditching the 2/3rd requirement.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots? Get a lot of quart Mason jars and some vodka; doesn’t have to be the best vodka, but don’t settle for the bottom of the field, either. Fill the jars about 1/2 way with pitted, washed apricots; add maybe 1/2 cup (depending on how much sweet you like in a liqueur) of honey, top up with vodka, stack in a closet somewhere and forget about it for a couple of months. Rescue, strain through unbleached coffee filters, save the soused apricots (they’re yummy!), maybe let the fluid settle and then draw the clear portion off the top (I use a siphon hose). Subject the result to Quality Control; if it passes muster, decant into nice-looking glass bottles (but watch out for the ones that have some sort of film, frequently irridescent; that shit’ll come off in your booze). Cork, hand out to friends.

    Alternatively, donate the unaltered apricots to your local Food Harvest.

  6. #6 Autistic Lurker
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you? working stiff, ex-scientist dropout.

    Have we met in real life? nope, would you want to?

    What brings you to this blog? I have no clue, I’ve been here for a long time and I totally forgot why I’m still reading (well, to excuse myself, I have a lot to think about).

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Yes.

    Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting? good question; now that I think of it, I only post in forums where I personally know some of the authors; here, I never really got to know anyone.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs Yes that’s fine by me.

    Thanks :)

  7. #7 Cath the Canberra Cook
    July 2, 2010

    * Working stiff, academic science dropout, but am now in public health statistics being all quantitative and computational.
    * We’ve never met.
    * I drop in often when I see an interesting headline on sciblogs’ “last 24 hours” page. But I’m not a true regular.
    * I rarely comment, and am most likely to if it’s food related. (To wit, apricots!) Would hate to see promotion of that religious accommodationism. (I’m on PZ’s side in that fight.)
    * California needs to get rid of their anti-tax provisions. How, I do not know.
    * Jam, pie, vodka infusion, dry them, hand out to friends, food bank donation, sell to local grower shop.

  8. #8 Jalyth
    July 2, 2010

    Who: Student of Engineering.

    Have met? No.

    Why here? Random choice of scienceblogs, IIRC.

    Lurk? Always. Might change someday. Based solely on myself, and not the blog I haunt.

    Pace: I like blogs that don’t post multiple times a day. Imo, it doesn’t add to the quality. Daily/weekly/twice daily are all good.

    Likely to drive me away: Truncated blogs in my rss feed. I know I don’t always click on the blog, and that essentially I am partaking of the blogger’s writing for free by not viewing the ads. If I’m not the desired reader, that’s fine. But there are blogs that just let me read the whole thing via rss, and those are the ones I stick with over the longterm, and eventually comment on/join in community with. It’s about time for me, which I currently have in abundance (summer) but every September I sort thru my blog list again and prune.

    I like reading lots of things: science, atheism, feminism, liberal stuff, gardening, cooking, frugality. Your way of talking about your kids is somehow not insufferable, because it’s in no way mommy-bloggish. Not that there’s anything wrong with those.

    Excess of apricots: Jelly, and give it away for birthdays/holidays. Or compost ‘em and turn them into something tasty, like vegetables.

    California: stop letting the talent move to Seattle? I kid, most the CAians here aren’t talented. :)

  9. #9 Dan
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you? Newly minted (as of yesterday) assistant professor of biology.

    Have we met in real life? Nope

    What brings you to this blog? Discussion of ethics and science and careers in science bring me here. I most value your willingness to thoroughly explicate how you reason through interesting issues.

    What’s likely to bring you back? If you keep doing what you’re doing.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting? I’m content lurking. By the time I get around to reading a post, I generally don’t have much to add beyond what commenters have already written.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day? Its perfect as is. Your blog posts invite reflection and I often save them to read when I really have time to think, as opposed to many other blogs which are a light distraction that I read when I have bits of time.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? Repeal Prop 13.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots? Is there a food pantry nearby that would take them?

  10. #10 Krazy Kitty
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you?

    Grad student (should be over very soon), woman scientist, sans partner nor child at the moment.

    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?)

    Nope

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? (Not that I want to drive any of you away!)

    I love what you write about your children, but if you stopped talking about them I’d still come back.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    First, your blog, your choice. Second, if all the blogs I read updated every day, I wouldn’t have time to keep up.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

    Ditto above re: the 2/3rds requirement. And, I’m sorry to say something so trivial, but increase taxes, especially for the people/businesses who can afford it most?

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

    Apricot jam. To avoid monotony, apricot-strawberry, apricot-raspberry, apricot-peach.

  11. #11 Jupe Blue
    July 2, 2010

    Who are you? Mother of 2 kids roughly the same age as yours, electrician, ex-science student (BA-Biology), living in Pacific Northwest.

    Have we met in real life? Never met, I keep an eye out for you when ever I’m visiting family in the Bay Area.

    What brings you to this blog? Can’t remember why I first came here. Probably interested in what a philosopher scientist would have to say. I miserably failed my “Philosophy of Science” class in college and wish it could have been different.

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? I’ll keep coming back. Love the mix of slug hunting, sprog blogging and discussion of an academic life I might of had if only I had tried harder.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting? Major lurker, would comment if I had something to add to the discussion. Plus, I’m kind of shy.

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? I only read the ones I’m interested in. Post what you want.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day? Please don’t post everyday just for the sake of posting. I appreciate that your writing is thoughtful.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? Ha, Oregon has troubles of her own. Actually, if people would really work for in best interests of the many instead of the few, things might look better.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots? Send ‘em my way. My poor urban lot isn’t big enough for fruit trees.

  12. #12 VolcanoMan
    July 3, 2010

    Who are you?

    Canadian former graduate student (who did not graduate – long story, not relevant), university lecturer (intro geology), soon to be doing a Bachelor of Education with the final goal of teaching high school chemistry.

    Have we met in real life?

    No.

    What brings you to this blog?

    I was introduced to ScienceBlogs when Eruptions was added (I followed Erik over from his old personal blog), and I peruse many of the blogs here. This one interests me because I am interested in the ethical aspects of science and education (and science education). You are an educator, and you frequently bring up the science education of your sprogs, but you temper brutal scientific reason with things like cultural values and questions of right and wrong. This blog is a resource for me in my development as an educator, and I expect it will continue to be useful as long as you keep writing it.

    What’s likely to bring you back?

    I check your blog every 2-3 days, so I am already coming back. But I enjoy the anecdotes you have shared regarding the ethical conundrums you or collegues of yours have faced in dealing with students. I always have students who ask me to bend the rules and give them the benefit of the doubt in situations that are fairly clear-cut, but not every situation is so straightforward, so I am glad to hear of your own ethical struggles in your role as an educator.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?

    I comment when I have something to add to a discussion that engages me, something that others haven’t thought of or mentioned. And if I vehemently disagree with someone I might direct a comment at them, but again, the discussion has to be something I care about. So…I would lurk less if more of your posts engaged me…that’s not a criticism, it’s just that there is so much discussion and debate on this blog site, it takes a post that I connect with at a fundamental level to draw me out of my lurker shell. But when that happens, I usually post a long and detailed response that can take me over an hour to write.

    What topics would you like to see more of? (Are there or have there been raging blogospheric kerfuffles on which you have wanted me to weigh but which I have not?)

    Good question. I’d like to see some discussion of educational theory, specifically why our education system (or your education system) is the way it is. In a recent post you mentioned how students have to declare a major after 2 semesters now, and your department is trying to woo them; it seems to me that education is a process of self-discovery as well as information accumulation, and I have always been confused by the current one-size-fits-all public school system, where students learn the same thing at the same time, with no choices until high school. This is an ideal system if you want kids to hate school, and by extension, learning. And forcing them to decide so soon into university what they’ll study brings this approach into the post-secondary world.

    So it would be really great if you could comment on the (Western, American, Californian) philosophy of education, and your ideas on how it could be improved, from kindergarten to graduate school. You are in an ideal position to observe the educational system in California through your own teaching and through your sprogs’ experiences. From an ethical standpoint it is also an ideal topic, given that the cultural evolution of our species depends on the behavior of the next generations, and the educational process can profoundly influence their perspectives. Are we not ethically obliged as humans to be anthropocentric and put our effort into providing as close to an ideal environment for learning as possible within our educational system such that the long-term prospects for our species aren’t so bleak?

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    If this works for you, keep doing it. Like I said, we all have a lot of alternate reading material here on ScienceBlogs, but I always check in to see what you’re pondering. I jump from Eruptions to Pharyngula to your blog, to Greg Laden’s place, to Dispatches from the Culture Wars to Neurotopia…usually in that order, although Ed annoys me sometimes, so I might skip him; my point is that you post frequently enough for me to check for new material whenever I’m here.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

    Raise income tax. Deficit reduction without compromising quality of life requires that you raise taxes. Perhaps a gasoline tax too…if people had to pay 10 USD per gallon, not only would the state raise money, people would drive less. The extra money made could go towards improving and expanding public transportation (not sure how it is in San Jose). On a side note, I don’t know why Americans are so paranoid of government running things…governments are messy and bureaucratic, but since their priority is providing services and putting profits into other public projects (rather than making a few people rich), government-run businesses are generally good for everyone.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

    Apricots huh…well, preserves are one idea, but if they start to get a bit…dodgy…you can always turn that to your advantage and set up a little distillery, make some moonshine. Could be a science project for the sprogs! (j/k…sort of).

  13. #13 DevelopingGeneticist
    July 3, 2010

    Who are you? I’m a young female geneticist. I’ve been working as a research assistant and tutor since finishing undergrad, and am looking at starting PhD study overseas.

    Have we met in real life?
    No, I’ve never met you in real life (I’m in New Zealand).

    What brings you to this blog?
    I probably found it from a link from some other science blog, and subscribed because I thought it was interesting. I find your posts informative and thoughtful, and a lot of the things you write about are good to know, as a young researcher. Often it can be hard to learn about what academic careers are actually like, and I find that blogs have given me a lot of insight into life as an academic.

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away?
    I subscribe to blogs that have content that I feel is useful and relevant (like the academic career stuff). I unsubscribe from blogs that are really more like personal journals (like a list of what the blogger has to do in the next day/week/month, which chapters of their thesis they still have left to write, and how much of their housework they’ve neglected lately).

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?
    I comment very occasionally – like now… I prefer to just read comments if I think the discussion will be particularly interesting, otherwise I usually only read the post itself.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?
    I’m happy with the number of posts – I find some of the blogs with shedloads of posts *cough Pharyngula cough* tend to be lower on content that I’m actually energetic enough to keep up with.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?
    I’m sorry – no ideas.

  14. #14 fizzchick
    July 3, 2010

    postdoc, soon to be visiting assistant prof.
    Yes, met after I was a reader, I appreciate the sprog tattoos.
    I read because your posts are thoughtful, well-written, and you have an eye out for the humorous things in life. An excess of combative posts (or commenters) might drive me away, but I plan on sticking around.
    I mostly lurk, but occasionally comment, and I’m fine with that.
    I like the mix of food, kids, science, and ethics. Post what you want, when you want.
    CA budget: I wish I knew, since I’d like to get a job there eventually. Forcing ballot proposals to define where the money comes from might have helped, though.
    Apricots: nth vote for the jam and infused vodka. I made limoncello in November and it turned out to be super easy and super tasty, so I imagine the similar procedure with apricots would be equally delicious. I also wonder if you could make sun-dried apricots, or with a lack of steady sunshine in the Bay area, perhaps treat them like this.

  15. #15 Michelle Dawson
    July 3, 2010

    Autistic researcher affiliated with Canadian cognitive neuroscience lab. I surfaced and waved at last year’s survey.

    We haven’t met. Found your blog via brilliant memorable 2008 post about science vs politics. Have looked in ever since. Rarely comment, but rarely comment anywhere–should work on that. Just keep blogging, please.

  16. #16 jim
    July 3, 2010

    Who are you? Working stiff, computer nerd, ex-teacher, would-have-been-physicist.

    Have we met in real life? Nope.

    What brings you to this blog? Primarily, your coverage of ethical cases, though sprog blogging is fun, too, in the gaps. But mostly, I think, you have a good writing “voice.”

    What’s likely to bring you back? More of the same! What would be likely to drive you away? Um, giving over the blog to a series on the relative merits of reality-show contestants?

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Yes. Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting? No [Curses, foiled again! -ed.] Now I’m feeling guilty… I’ll try one.

    What do you like reading around here? Ethics and sprogs. Which of my posts angry up the blood? None. (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood? No, I try to avoid foodfights, even as a spectator.)

    What topics would you like to see more of? Not really blogospheric kerfuffles, but it occurs to me that there must have been some historical ethics-in-science cases that interested you, maybe cases that changed accepted standards?

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day? I save up posts in my RSS and read them when I have time, so a few posts a week is great for me

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? Get the Governator to make a few more films. Lotsa stuff blowing up. Imax. 3-D. Da woiks. Then forbid their showing outside the state, and get all Californians to spread the word about how great they are. When you get a sufficient influx of out-of-staters, kidnap ‘em all and issue ransom demands. You could probably do this legally, by, say, passing an amendment banning the wearing of shoes with belts or something. Then fix the budget with the ransom, er, fines.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots? There’s gotta be a sprog science project in there somewhere.

  17. #17 just another grumpy grad student
    July 3, 2010

    Who are you?< \b>

    Female grad student in biology (of the macro, not micro variety), desperately trying not to leak out of the pipeline despite major obstacles and a resulting loss of faith in the way academia and graduate training seem to work.

    Have we met in real life?< \b>

    Nope.

    What brings you to this blog?< \b>

    First came here (waaay back when) because it was near the top of the alphabetical list on the scienceblogs main page! :-)

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away?< \b>

    What keeps me coming back is that your posts are thoughtful, illuminating, and funny. Also, I love the sprogs (and the gender-neutrality of the sprogs’ representation here…) and the scenes from Casa Free-Ride, even if sometimes your gardening prowess makes me and my black thumb feel intimidated. I guess you could drive me away if this turned into a total gardening blog — then reading it would just make me feel too bad about all the weeds in my yard! :-)

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that?< \b>

    I’m a lurker and I like it that way. I don’t want to be a totally anonymous poster, but I also don’t want to represent myself poorly (even if “myself” is just a pseudonymous identity). But pondering and carefully composing a comment takes more time than I have (bad enough to be reading blogs rather than whatever I’m “supposed to be doing”). I guess writing comments feels like too much of a blunt (and permanently archived) communication instrument for me to be comfortable.

    What do you like reading around here?< \b>

    I actually like reading pretty much everything — the stuff I can relate to, and the stuff that introduces me to topics I don’t usually think about. However, posts on academic life, academic power structures, and I guess what I’d call “grad student issues” have been most personally valuable. I’ve come to rely on your blog and a few others as sort of remote mentors that have gotten me through a lot of crap when local mentors have been lacking (see first question!).

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs?< \b>

    Yup. I visit on a less-than-weekly basis, but spend a long time here when I do stop by, so more posts would just be overwhelming.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?< \b>

    What everybody else said (ditch Prop 13 and the 2/3 rule, raise some taxes in a non-regressive manner)!

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?< \b>

    Apricots. Ew. Apricot preserves, however, sound tasty…

  18. #18 becca
    July 4, 2010

    Who are you? (Scientist, philosopher, other? Student, parent, working stiff, blissful retiree? Given that personal identity is a matter of deep philosophical import, I’m going to let you decide the right way to deal with this question.)

    Scientist grad student. now parent. Some variety of “other” which I am still trying to figure out.


    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?)

    Yes, after (of meeting you? Could never regret. Of certain surrounding issues of my own? a bit)


    What brings you to this blog?

    I am hoping to find the holy grail


    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)

    I like reading most everything, although I will admit to skipping certain meaty posts to come back to when I have mental resources to allocate. Sometimes I actually manage to come back.
    I enjoy reading posts that angry up the blood, but I usually have to go to the comments to find something that actually does so. You tend to be too measured (or your thinking is too similar to mine, not sure which).


    What topics would you like to see more of? (Are there or have there been raging blogospheric kerfuffles on which you have wanted me to weigh but which I have not?)

    Pointless polls.
    (I enjoy you weighing in on kerfluffles when there is an obviously underdiscussed ethical dimension, but 99% of blogospheric kerfluffles are already receiving more attention than is really ideal)

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    You could always try shorter installments of truly indepth issues, if the goal is simply more posts. I feel there are some good ones I miss due to aforementioned lack of attention span at all times for blog reading.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?
    1) Institute rule that anyone involved in making budget will not get paid unless budget is passed on time until a budget is passed; the money cannot be repaid once the budget is passed. (I’m in Pa. We need this rule too)
    2) fine the hell out of anyone not paying migrant workers minimum wage; start taxing the agricultural sector more heavily (particularly large corporations and transportation expenses…)
    3) kill the 2/3rds rule as designed. You need a supermajority for raising taxes, when you couldn’t even get that supermajority for approving the original prop 13 that caused that rule? *shakes head*
    4) …scheme involving apricots?
    5) PROFIT!

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

    Apricot pancakes!
    Apricot donuts.
    Apricot smoothies.
    Apricot applesauce.
    Dry them and add to trailmix.
    Send me some apercots!?

  19. #19 jim
    July 4, 2010

    An afterthought.

    Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?

    I remembered one major reason I rarely comment on blogs. After posting a comment, I feel an obligation to keep an eye on it for a couple of days, to answer any questions or objections to arise from it – even if the comment / thread isn’t especially noteworthy. In some blogs, I can subscribe to an RSS feed or email notification for messages in that thread. Unfortunately, none of my regular reads has this facility, but it has sometimes encouraged me to post on interesting topics elsewhere, with the knowledge that I can keep an eye on the discussion without remembering which page to refresh once or twice a day.

  20. #20 Uncle Fishy
    July 5, 2010

    Who are you? (Scientist, philosopher, other?

    non-scientist

    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog? (Are you now regretful of our real-life meeting?)

    yes. before. decline to state.

    What brings you to this blog?

    genetics

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)

    I enjoy those angry-up-the-blood posts

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    more?

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

    it’s all about prop 13

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?

    Pickled apricots might make a delightful garnish to the nightly cheese plate.

  21. #21 Anonymous
    July 5, 2010

    I’m a total lay person who got here by clicking the “last 24hrs” button while reading Pharyngula.

    Your blog is one I always read now. Amusing & occasionally thought provoking

    Apricots: “eat what you can, can what you can’t” See here

    California: Wait until the next (or next +n) quake detaches it from mainland US & declare independence.

  22. #22 Coturnix
    July 5, 2010

    Who are you?
    A SciBling. Dabbling in all sorts of science communications projects.

    Have we met in real life? Before or after you first read the blog?
    Yes, many times. After I first started reading your blog, which was from the very beginning. No regrets.

    What brings you to this blog?
    Wisdom. This is a place where I don’t just learn new facts, but also learn how to think.

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away?
    I keep coming back no matter what you do ;-)

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood?
    While sprogs posts are fun, I come for heavy-duty ethics and philosophy of science, academia and publishing.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?
    Fine rhythm as it is.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?
    Juice and marmalade/jam. A thick apricot nectar is my favourite juice, and apricot jam is my second-favorite jam after rosehip.

  23. #23 Gaythia
    July 6, 2010

    Who? I have a MS in Analytical Chemistry, and a second undergraduate degree in Geology. I’ve worked in Government and industrial labs in positions ranging from groundwater geochemistry to electron microscopy. I have an interest in science education and science related policy issues.
    Met? No, Sort of thought about figuring out how to when I lived near, but the beach was great and I never made it over the hill.
    What brings you to this blog? Ethics and education issues
    What’s likely to bring you back? More of the same. What would be likely to drive you away? You abandon your normal common sense approach?
    Comment? I comment on occasion. It has to do with some intersection of interest and time. And hopefully correlates with when I have something meaningful to say.
    Blood? I like thoughtfulness.
    Topics? Great as is.
    Pace? Continue to blog when you have something to say and have the time to say it well.
    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget? My personal solution was to move back to Colorado.
    Apricots? Freeze now, cobbler later.

  24. #24 Helen Huntingdon
    July 6, 2010

    Research engineer.

    No, we haven’t met.

    I’m not sure how I first found this blog. My degrees didn’t really include anything on STEM and ethics, so I’m filling in the holes myself.

    I liked the post today about first amendment issues with a tenure dossier. Most people in our society seem to have far too broad a notion of what protected speech actually includes. The deconstructions of ethics cases in the press are very good too.

    I comment when I have something to say and time to say it. That isn’t that often.

    I enjoy a little righteous anger now and then.

    I’m only interested in you weighing in on kerfluffles if you think there is an ethical question worth examining.

    You post more than I have time to read, so I’m not about to ask for more.

    Interstate coalitions for electric infrastructure / renewables development that don’t have to go through each state legislature individually.

    Feed them to hungry Californians?

  25. #25 Luis
    July 6, 2010

    Who are you?
    Prof. of chemistry at a public, metropolitan unviersity; BA in philosophy along with BS and PhD in chemistry

    Have we met in real life?
    No.

    What brings you to this blog?
    Posts on science and ethics mostly, but also academic life issues

    What’s likely to bring you back? What would be likely to drive you away? (Not that I want to drive any of you away!)

    Continued well-written and well-thought posts will keep me returning.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that?
    I am content with mostly lurking, although I have posted a few times in the past.

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)

    Your posts on ethics in science and academia are the ones I follow most closely, and also the ones I most often recommend to colleagues and/or students. I do not read your blog for blood-boiling – there are plenty of other opportunities for that elsewhere.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?

    I prefer the current pace of your posts. I understand the in-depth posts can take some time to write and I appreciate the writing and thought that goes into them. This also leaves more time for discussion of posts among colleagues and students without getting too far behind.

    Any ideas on how to fix California’s state budget?

    I am worried enough about the Oklahoma budget, which isn’t even close to the issues you have in Califonia.

  26. #26 Helen Huntingdon
    July 6, 2010

    I misspoke; it would be more accurate to say that for filling in the missing parts of my education regarding STEM ethics, your blog is the best source I’ve found.

  27. #27 k8
    July 7, 2010

    I’m currently a very bored secretary. I can’t afford to go back to graduate school and I like to know stuff. That’s why I read. Plus, I like the posts about your kids. How they think and discover.

    I know nothing about budgets. That might explain the inability to finish my Master’s Degree. And apricot chicken is one of my favorites.

    1 can of apricot preserves
    1 bottle of 1890 Dressing (or other French dressing)
    1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
    1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast or substitute whatever parts you like

    The sauce ingredients make enough sauce for several pounds of chicken. You can make as much or as little as you need. Obviously, the more you make, the cheaper per serving.

    Mix together the preserves, french dressing, and soup mix in a large bowl. Spread it over the chicken. Pour all the mixture into a large baking pan. Set the chicken in the mixture.

    Cook the chicken in the sauce, and baste it while cooking at 350 degrees until done. This can be anywhere from 25- 45 minutes depending on how much chicken and how it is sliced.

    I use the sauce on mashed potatoes as well. Weird, but oh so good!

  28. #28 altissima
    July 7, 2010

    former grad student (20+ years ago, ack!) now working for a small nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area

    no, we haven’t met

    I following Orac to Scienceblogs and then rummaged around to see who else looked interesting–and you were at the top of the alphabetical list then

    I enjoy your discussions of ethics and science, especially the way you walk through your thought processes. I am not a philosopher by inclination, so it’s really interesting.

    how could you drive me away? huh. well, by becoming a frothing right-wing crackpot, I suppose…

    I’m a happy lurker. Just reading all that stuff out there on the web soaks up enough of my time; I’m afraid writing would make it impossible to do anything else. Also, I don’t have much of a daily reading list, so by the time I get to a post, the comments have usually trailed off. [oh, and also, I'd rather not have to turn on Javascript--it's unnecessary to read, but necessary to comment on SB]

    Blog however often you want; I don’t visit more than once a week, myself, and I don’t need to read only the most up-to-the-minute stuff.

    How to fix California’s budget? Well, we need to get rid of about a third of the California voters–the NO TAXES OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT BE A TAX BECAUSE GOVERNMENT NEVER DOES ANYTHING FOR ME AND EVEN IF IT DID I DON’T WANT IT TO DO ANYTHING FOR ANYONE I DON’T APPROVE OF people–and then we can start really dealing with the problem. I don’t know how to get rid of them and would hate to inflict them on any other community, either. *sigh*

    There is no such thing as an excess of apricots.

  29. #29 Beth
    July 8, 2010

    Who are you?
    Myself. :)
    I’m a person with disabilities and a former engineering student.

    Have we met in real life?
    We’ve never met.

    What brings you to this blog?
    Because I come here? I don’t remember what originally brought me here but that it was probably a link at the top of sci-blogs or possibly one from the side-bar.

    If you lurk rather than commenting, are you content with that? Are there conditions that you think might suck you into commenting?
    I tend to lurk; it’s something pretty inherent in me. Apparently this sucked me into commenting.

    What do you like reading around here? Which of my posts angry up the blood? (Are you one of those people who enjoys reading posts that angry up the blood?)
    On this blog? The sprogs, ethics posts… I can’t tell you what here I don’t like as I don’t read much of those when I find them, so I can’t really be helpful here. I do think the occasional post on search terms that bring people here are hilarious, though, but also think they should remain rare.

    Is my current pace of a few posts a week adequate for your needs, or would you be happier if I delivered at least one new post every day?
    I’m fine with it. Just means I read your blog about once a week rather than more often.

    Any suggestions for ways to deal with an excess of apricots?
    Start an apridorm? Donate to aprishelters? Oh, you wanted reasonable suggestions? Fresh out of those, I’m afraid.

  30. #30 Super Sally
    July 9, 2010

    I am your Mother, who has known you since conception (I will not divulge the date here).

    I have been coming since the inception of your affiliation with Science Blogs. Because of my cultural environment, I continue come here because as a mother I am a receiver of guilt.

    Mostly it is of interest; Sprog blogs are of particular interest, of course.

    I comment too often; maybe the question for me should be what would make me lurk. A contest to push you to another tattoo might cause me to boycott.

    When you don’t blog for a whole week without prior notice, the mother worries. Otherwise I realize you are busy. Omitting a Sprog Blog, however, will bring a phone call to check on your health.

    Ask Warren Buffet how to solve the CA budget mess.

    Maybe I should not have answered this census. Then the clipboard equipped person knocking on our door would have been proof that you know where we now live.

    Apricot jam, apricot upside-down-cake, or you could even try apricot ice cream (how different could if be from peach?).

  31. #31 Anna N
    July 21, 2010

    I’m a lab manager in genomics with an interest in science education. We’ve never met in real life.

    I think I came here through Thus Spake Zuska, but my memory is fuzzy. Now I subscribe to your feed and read all the time.

    I mostly lurk and I’m fine with that. Asking direct questions of me may suck me into commenting (case in point).

    I especially like reading sprog blogging posts and anything to do with inquiry-related learning, women in science, dialogue, or axolotls.

    Your posting frequency is completely OK by me.

    I’m sure I’m too late for your apricot glut, but you could always make the apricots into apricot jam. Or mail them to me and I will eat them all.

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