Smithsonian Channel Women in Science Contest

Throughout the month of March, The Smithsonian Channel aired all-new original programming, exploring the scientific contributions of five female scientists: Elisabeth Blackburn, JoGayle Howard, Nan Hauser, Elisabeth Kalko, and Gudrun Pflueger. (I featured one of the programs, about Gudrun Pflueger, earlier this month.)

As the month of programming wraps up, in order to commemorate the Women in Science programming, and to celebrate Women in Science more generally, I've got some schwag from the Smithsonian Channel to give away to a reader!

smithsonian stuff.jpg

The schwag package includes: the Smithsonian Channel bag (in the back; hard to tell its a bag), long-sleeve t-shirt, water bottle, and the 3 DVDs: (1) Wanted: Anaconda, (2) The Big Blue, and (3) Pandas in the Wild.

In order to win: comment on this post with the name and link to the blog of one or more of your favorite female science bloggers, along with a few lines about why you like that particular writer or blog.

By the end, hopefully we'll have another place for people to come and find new blogs to read, penned by female writers. After one week - on Friday, March 8, at 10am Eastern - I'll close comments, and randomly choose one of the commenters to receive the schwag.

Note: This isn't an April Fool's Day joke! Today is the last day of this programming block, and I wanted to get this up before it completely ended.

More like this

Christie of Observations of a Nerd is my favorite female science blogger and here's why:
-She's not afraid to voice her opinion- and loudly, at that.
-She has a great writing style that makes any piece of science interesting to read. But then again, she's always been a great writer (She worked in the writing lab at Eckerd College!)
-She shares her nature adventures in the states she has lived (Florida and Hawaii), providing locals and visitors with good ideas for adventures in the great outdoors
-She writes about life as a scientist
-She includes her own photographs on her blog, making it personal and visually appealing.

I don't know if you'd ship to Canada, but just in case. One of my fave bloggers, which I visit constantly is Doctor Becca: Even though I'm not planning on going the TT route, many of the posts on how to prepare for an interview and do's and don'ts have been super helpful during my job search. I've messaged her a couple of times and she's very gracious and always answers. I like Dr. Isis too ... not only are the shoes fab, but also the issues she tackles and her personality are great ( I also check out ... belle has been fantastic too during my job search, and as a recovering postdoc I can totally relate to what she writes and how to overcome problems and issues during the search for career fulfilment.

I'm throwing a vote in for the FallToClimb blog authored by TheGeekInQuestion. Geek is a great naturalist and entomology PhD student who shares her enthusiasm for insects and the natural world. Definitely worth a follow for anyone interested in fun and insects!

(PS, I assume you mean the contest closes on April 8th, not March 8th)

Okay, this is not an easy choice. I think I'm going to have to say Scicurious, because when you get down to it, I never miss her weekly "Friday Weird Science" post.

Christie Wilcox

Christie's blogging is fun to read and always interesting. She provides in depth coverage that's easily digestible to me, a non-scientist. She adds passion and spirit to her writing.

I actually have several faves. Here they are, in no particular order:

Dr. Isis (
I like her blog because not only is it full of smart information, it is funny, bold, and totally righteous.

Emily Willingham (
Emily's writing, in my opinion, is some of the best out there. It is not easy to take science and make it more accessible to others PLUS she often does so in a way that makes me feel like I am reading a piece of literature. My favorite science article by Emily, though, was on the SciAm guest blog, called "Of Lice and Men."

Micro Dr. O (
This blog appeals to me on a very personal level. It feels good to read about and discuss topics that are happening in my life as well. I have certainly mentioned in my own blog that starting a family while starting your academic career brings with it some level of difficulty and the title of her blog (The Tightrope) is perfect.

Hannah Waters (
Hannah has a wonderful voice that always shines in her writing. I always enjoy reading her stuff and find the topics about which she writes to be really fascinating. Especially the latest post "The danger of appealing stories: anecdata, expectations, and skepticism," which won some $$ from Ed Yong.

I hope that this helps to crack the ice so that others share their faves as well!

Kate Clancy! She's a female scientist studying & writing about 'ladybusiness'. Her articles are well-written, accessible, and informative. I also like that she shares all sorts of scientific insights into things like sexual behavior and female reproduction, which, when studied, often just turn into rehashings of social prejudices.

Maryn McKenna and Superbug

Infectious disease is a subject that begs lesser reporters to pile on the sensationalism, but Maryn always takes disease on with a certain level-headed approach. She always provides plenty of context for news too, giving readers not well versed in disease and global health plenty of "how" and "why" to makes sense of the "what."

Three great insect blogs by women:

The Dragonfly Woman's blog is full of great information about insects and focuses on the oft ignored aquatic insects:

The Geek In Question blogs about her experiences as a grad student in an entomology program in Canada. Includes some great info about the insects and other wildlife of the Canadian tundras:

And who can forget BugGirl, a female entomologist who created one of the first, and now one of the most successful, insect blogs:

Oh! So many. Lynda of Mainly Mongoose ( describes her blog as chronicling "the joys and tribulations of a field biologist (and hermit) studying mongooses in the South African bush"âand it is exactly as thrilling, surprising, and funny a read as it sounds.

Delene of Wild Muse ( I'm biased about, because we're Twitter friends and I happen to think she's a lovely human being, but she also produces a seemingly endless supply of rigorously researched and provocative articles, mainly but not exclusively about wolf conservation, *while* writing her first book.

And I don't think I need to tell you why I love reading your partner in crime at Child's Play. ( :)

Another for Christie Wilcox…
I have to admit I am not aware of many scientists male or female and I am somewhat new to reading blogs. Bloggers like Christie draw us non-scientists right in and get us interested, and coming back for more. I do realize the science world is mostly dominated by males and as a female myself I find her to be very inspiring, She is young beautiful and very brilliant. Her blogs are unique, interesting and some a little edgy/entertaining which I adore and find her to be very honest. She really knows how to write in a way that most anyone can understand and relate to. She has found ways to make science not only educational but fun and entertaining! I would like to see more females step up, speak out and blog the way Christie dose with an honest open mind, strength and humor.

As an ecologist in training with a background in paleontology, I very much enjoy Susan Drymala's "Crurotarsi: The Forgotten Archosaurs." I'll wholly admit that I knew little about the clade until she began blogging about them, and I follow her posts with great interest.

By Tor G. Bertin (not verified) on 02 Apr 2011 #permalink

Well, non-crocodyliforme crurotarsians anyway. ;-)

By Tor G. Bertin (not verified) on 02 Apr 2011 #permalink

My vote has to go to Deborah Blum. Her storytelling at Speakeasy Science ( just a joy to read â not only did she actually get me to enjoy chemistry, but her posts have made me laugh, cry and think.

I've been thinking about this more and I realized I left out some other amazing female science bloggers (at least, in my opinion):

Athene Donald (
As a professor at the University of Cambridge, Athene and her research on biological physics is no joke. Yet, she can often be quite funny in her posts. Furthermore, as a women in academia activist, Athene's reports and viewpoints on academic affairs relating to women is tops. I find her blog, hosted by Occams Typewriter, to be the voice of well-thought out advice and reason. Really great stuff.

Of course (as other have already noted) Professor Kate Clancy (Context and Variation, and her discussions on "lady business" is pretty awesome. I know I can always count on expert writing and information.

I need to share the love...

BugGirl. She is my bug blogging hero and is full of awesome. I need say nothing more.

The Dragonfly Woman. She shares my love of all things entomo, provides excellent, in-depth posts about aquatic bug-life, and also highlights the oft-neglegted role of the scientist/academic in public education/outreach (this is a big, big win in my books).

(Female) Science Professor. A wise voice in the academic wilderness. Her insightful posts give this professor wannabe a valueable glimpse into the "real world" of academia. and at Scientopia:

There are so many! But I narowed the two down that have had the greatest impact on me.

The one that I've pseudo-secretly admired for the longest time has been Dr. Isis ( because it's really lovely and wonderful to see someone that's willing to help out students all across the board, #FWDAOTI, has fantastic taste in shoes, and all while being a scientist and mother. I've never really had any role models, but Dr. Isis is a very close contender.

Dr. Kate Clancy (, if nothing else for the "Be bold. Be ambitious. And be a little bit of a bitch." mantra I'm holding onto forever and ever.