I’m a top science blogger!

Contributed by
Jul 6, 2006
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Nature is a premier magazine of science for scientists, and as such is an unquestionable authority whose authority must not be questioned.

So when they say this blog is among the top 5 science blogs written by science writers, then who am I to argue?

Well, actually, I'm a scientist, so maybe I can argue. I thought it was funny that they listed me as a writer and not a scientist (if they had me as a scientist I'd still be in the top 5, not that I'm preening or anything). Now granted, I haven't done primary research for about 5 years now, but still. And really, I've done far more writing now as a popularist than as a scientist. And...

... hmmm. I may be having an identity crisis. Am I more of a science writer, or scientist? It's fully correct to say I am no longer a professional scientist, as I am no longer paid to do scientific research. And I do get paid to write, as it happens.

Holy Haleakala! Am I now a writer and not a professional scientist?

I guess it depends on what you mean by professional. For my day job, I write educational activities and related materials about astronomy, but I was hired because I'm an astronomer. So the inevitable conclusion is, I'm both.

It's funny: I know a lot of amateur astronomers who hate being called amateurs. I can understand it, since in many cases they know far more about operating a telescope than many professional astronomers (like me). But in the end it's just a label, a handy way of referencing a group. I don't care much one way or the other... or so I thought until I saw that list on Nature.com! So I guess even though intellectually I have no issues, there's a reptilian part of my brain telling me I need to be placed into a category. I think that's pretty interesting.

Now I'll go sun myself on a rock someplace.

My congrats to PZ Myers at Pharyngula for being top blogger!