Terra Sigillata

One year of Terra Sigillata

I specifically launched Terra Sigillata on my sister’s birthday last year so that my aging brain wouldn’t have to remember (or forget) yet another important date.

The original post and ad hoc mission statement holds up pretty well after a year. I’ve also moved my second post, “Why Terra Sigillata?,” over here so that folks can appreciate why a name most commonly encountered by ceramics craftspersons is a perfect metaphor for medicines from the Earth.

For those who don’t know my background or never read the About section, I’m a displaced pharmacy and pharmacology professor working in an odd research environment who decided to use the blog as a mechanism for current vignettes in medicine that would usually preface my lectures. The blog has served me well in that regard and it is nice to now have a searchable record of these stories if I ever got back to full-time teaching.

What I was unprepared for was what a great community bloggers are and how much fun it is to have international conversations about drug topics and alternative medicine, even if they grow heated and contentious.

Most of all, it is you, the reader, to whom I am most grateful for coming by every day to see what’s up and commenting on my topics with a perspective only you can provide, broadening the conversation and revealing to me my own blind spots.

When I look back through my original posts, it is also refreshing to see how many of the bloggers who served as my inspiration to start my own blog have now also become colleagues, and many, good friends.

Likely during some twisted drinking spree, ScienceBlogs Associate Editor, Katherine Sharpe, stumbled upon the old Terra Sigillata. Continuing in her disoriented and certainly pharmacologically-altered state, she sent me an invitation to join ScienceBlogs (on my birthday, no less!) whereby many of my sources of inspiration now became my blogging teammates, or blogleagues, or SciBlings, or whatever the hell we’re calling each other these days.

In my early posts, I noted the example of then-Doctor Free Ride, Janet Stemwedel at Adventures in Ethics and Science, Grrl Scientist, and, of course, PZ Myers’ Pharyngula.

Of course, I can’t let any acknowledgments section go without mentioning Orac and Respectful Insolence, who linked to me early and often, and gave me my first chance to host a blog carnival, The Skeptics’ Circle #31. Having done much of my research training with MDs, I know that I am fortunate to count Orac as both a colleague and friend.

The only person who comes close to Orac in directing referrals to me isn’t even a blogger: anjou, a lymphoma survivor (yeah!) and dedicated patient advocate has magical ways of sending traffic my way.

With most of my trainees being women, I also became interested in the travails of YoungFemaleScientist (Ms. Ph.D.). She keeps me honest and well-informed on how far we have to go in academic biomedical sciences to be true mentors and take care of the next generation of scientists, regardless of gender.

Finally, I was also unprepared for how setting up a blog would engage me more in my local community. For this, I am most thankful to the prolific Coturnix, Bora Zivkovic, who blogs around the clock right here at Sb, and medical/journalist, Anton Zuiker (MisterSugar).

Finally, during my current self-imposed abstinence from alcohol (I’ve lost ten pounds), my guest blogger and real-life colleague, Erleichda, has come to save The Friday Fermentable with his columns on wines, cheeses, and wine travels.

I’m also grateful to Medscape founder, Peter Frishauf, for his vision advice and many other friends and bloggers who have come through town like Chris Mooney, Dave Munger, etbnc. There are, of course, many, many others who have offered their encouragement and tips and I apologize for missing you here – please come castigate me in the comments.

It has been a tough year for some.

Dr Derek Lowe of In The Pipeline is now facing the closing of his pharma unit and looking for another job.

My behind-the-scenes navigator of all things bloggy, BotanicalGirl, disappeared from the scene after a departmental kerfuffle but she always has my gratitude and best wishes.

GrrlScientist has had the roughest year of us all but now seems to be bouncing back. One day at a time, my friend.

And once again to all readers, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my unique science knowledge with you and engaging with me when you can. There are many, many other lurkers who never comment but I know via SiteMeter that you are out there, all around the world, and I thank you for spending a few minutes with me whenever you can.

Comments

  1. #1 coturnix
    December 15, 2006

    Happpy Blogiversary! It seems like yesterday!

  2. #2 anjou
    December 15, 2006

    Hi there-
    Happy Anniversary!! And thanks for helping me out in my lymphoma advocacy work and helping the on the fencers understand the limitations of in vivo and in vitro work on substances like curcumin (#3 ?) Many on the cancer support boards have found your posts incredibly informative and helpful– keep up the good work!!!! Youre explanations are clear enough for non-scientist patients to understand– that’s often not easy to do, and I applaud your writing abilities! Know that Karl, from http://www.lymphomation.org , joins me in this Thank You and appreciation

  3. #3 Tara C. Smith
    December 15, 2006

    Congrats on the anniversary, Abel!

  4. #4 Anton Zuiker
    December 15, 2006

    Congratulations and job well done! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.

  5. #5 Bill
    December 16, 2006

    Happy Birthday! (To your blog, and your sister.)

  6. #6 Sid Schwab
    December 16, 2006

    Gee, has it been a year? I’ve been a too-infrequent visitor of late, and for that I’m sorry. Yours is a great blog.

  7. #7 Abel Pharmboy
    December 16, 2006

    Many thanks, all – and to Tara, Bill, and Sid (for jogging my memory that they weren’t mentioned above and for all of their supportive links and comments over the past year).

    anjou and Karl, I will get to part three – thanks for your vote of confidence on behalf of the patients you serve.

  8. #8 drcharles
    December 17, 2006

    congratulations, your blog and voice add a great presence to the scientific community as it evolves online, and i wish you continued success and many more happy lurkers like myself ;)

  9. #9 Ian Musgrave
    December 17, 2006

    Happy Blog Birthday, and many more of them. As a current teaching/research pharmacologist I point out your blog to my students to help broaden their pharmacology outlook.

  10. #10 IAMB
    December 18, 2006

    I feel like such a jerk lately. I missed Orac’s second by a few days, I missed yours and I also missed BronzeDog’s. Now I’m making up for it…

    Happy blogiversary/annibloggery!

  11. #11 Abel Pharmboy
    December 18, 2006

    Dr Charles, even your comments are literate – it’s an honor to be part of this community with you.

    Dr Musgrave, I’m terrifically pleased that you find the blog so useful. I’ll be sure to keep your students in mind with the educational value of future posts and would always be happy to have a visit down your neck of the woods!

    Poohbah, don’t sweat it – seems like we all started blogs around the same time. Fling one for me!

  12. #12 Pam
    December 18, 2006

    Happy First Year!

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