Field of Science

Who the hell are you?

Ed Yong's meme about getting readers to say something about themselves is spreading. Now it's here. Also on The Loom and Evolving Thoughts.

I thought it might be fair to share then some statistics on Pleiotropy, before I ask you to share something about yourself.

In the last three months Pleiotropy has had 8,395 visits, 10,579 pageviews, 1.26 pages viewed per visit, and on average visitors spent 45 seconds here (not a Poisson distribution - few people spend many minutes, while 85% of all visits are by people who are here for the first time, and most of those come via Google, and stay a couple of seconds of average). I get significantly more visitors when I blog about peer-reviewed research and post it to Research Blogging, which is not often lately, because I am working on the last of my PhD thesis. I have earned a total of $29.12 with Google ads since I signed up in April 2009.

As of today, the ten most visited posts (with total pageviews) are:

1. Paul Zachary Myers 11,853
2. Sex among siblings 3,504
3. Islamic crud stones innocent girl in Somalia 3,167
4. Wealthy men's women have more orgasms 1,638
5. The male beard as proof of God 1,179
6. Homosexuality is not a choice 1,178
7. Carnival of Evolution 16 - the [find modest synonym for outstanding] edition 1,049
8. Orangutans to replace chimpanzees as our closest relative? 981
9. Why is cannibalism taboo? 886
10. Darwin was wrong about the human appendix being vestigial 857

(PZ linked to the post I wrote about him.)

With a little luck, I expect three or four people sharing something about themselves in the comments here. Say what you want, but I'd especially like to hear i) what you do for a living, ii) why you read what I write, iii) how you first found this site, and iv) if you know of an available postdoc position in theoretical/computational evolutionary biology starting next month.

Thanks in advance.


  1. A late flowering academic who studied for the hell of it for thirty years. I read whatever catches my eye with no grand purpose, and this site caught my eye. I do philosophy and blogging.

  2. Sure why not.

    i) I'm a Chemical Engineering student in one of India's most prestigious engineering colleges, (it was set up by MIT back in the late 50s) Like most Indian parents, my parents forced me into engineering without having any clue what that actually entailed, being humanities grads themselves. Luckily I was fairly interested in science so I got by.

    ii) Why I surf your site- it's because I needed to get back in touch with whats going on in the bio/tech world.

    I was forced to leave biology as a subject when I entered the 11th grade, and take up computer science instead (no issues with comp. sci. though, I enjoyed that as well)- simply because I didn't want to be a doctor.

    Long story short, I landed up in ChE impressed several people (including myself) with my performance in college biology courses, and I'd much rather pursue biotechnology and other interdisciplinary fields for higher studies than old fashioned 'pull oil outta the ground' Chem Engg.

  3. Air, that's interesting. I happen to be doing my PhD at Keck Graduate institute, which has a master's program in biotechnology. The degree, Master of BioScience (MBS), is a two-year degree, and has focus on bioscience, biotechnology, finance, business, and management. Incidentally, through connections we have lots of students from India.

  4. i) I'm a work-at-home mom who does billing for a local business, but I have grand delusions of being a science illustrator.

    ii) I like to have a few intellectual, informative blogs on my blogroll to offset the sappy, overtly Christian flavor of the other mommy blogs.

    iii) I don't remember. Maybe a link from Dread Tomato Addiction or one of the other blogs on my list.

    iv) No. Do you know anyone who needs illustrations of organisms?

  5. i) In theory, I do data entry for a very small, very niche computer software company; in practice, I answer the phones and wander through the scienceblogs (and other sites of interest).

    ii) Because I'm at least passingly interested in most sciences, and you write clearly and interestingly.

    iii) I don't remember clearly (because I've slept since then), but it seems likely that I rode in on the link from Pharyngula; I hang out there a lot.

    iv) Sorry, I can't help you, there.


  6. i) I'm a deli clerk at a Dominick's (the Chicago division of Safway). That English Lit undergrad degree seems like a worse and worse idea as the economic situation in America continues its tailspin.

    ii) You write things which are thoughtful and fair-minded on a range of subjects which interest me. I'm no scientist but I enjoy learning things about it. And it's nice to have you on my blogroll as someone who opposes creationism not chiefly on ideological grounds, but because he understands how evolution actually works.

    iii) It's been so long that I've had you on my sidebar that I truly don't remember. Perhaps Pharyngula, perhaps random Googlemancy--I think I ran across you at a previous job (all my employment up till now has been as an admin) where I had internet access and could surf at leisure.

    iv) Alas, no. Though if it turns out any of my customers work at one of the universities in the area I'll certainly ask.

  7. (i) I advise grad students like you
    (ii) Because you're my grad student :-)
    (iii) You sent me the link
    (iv) Still looking....

  8. lol, since Chris dropped in, I guess I can do that too :)

    1) I am a scientist and do iPhone apps
    2) It is funny, and I sonetimes write similar stuff, and I like it a lot if a creationist starts arguing with you, which happens far to rarely
    3) you told me
    4) I would offer you a job if I would be in the position to hire (and have money...)

  9. i) I'm an undergrad research assistant, which means I get to leech off taxpayer-funded wage subsidy programs and steal low-qualification jobs from actual BSc graduates (like basic lab tech-ing). Right now I'm actually doing lit research and writing for a new protistology course being developed (incl working out new undergrad labs) for the best job I've ever had =D

    ii) You write intelligently and to-the-point (something I need to learn myself...) about topics I care about. Additionally, you spice things up with occasional battles with creotards.

    iii) I actually don't remember. Maybe through a link/reference by someone else, which is how I usually find new blogs.

    iv) No but I'll pay closer attention to our mailing list which occasionally has such things...

  10. 1. I am an Indian graduate research assistant studying towards a PhD in chemical engineering, in the US.

    2. I really enjoy your take on creationist/religious arguments. Having been raised mostly religion-free, it wasn't until lately that I realised that I have no better reply to creationist arguments than "that's stupid".

    3. How I got here: I think it was via Google for that Somalian stoning post.

    4. I am afraid I don't have a contact that could help, but I am sure you have considered a post-doc at the school of biomolecular engineering here at Georgia Tech.

  11. Hey. I haven't been around for a while because I spent most of the summer in Mexico. My answers:

    1. I am a PhD student in cultural anthropology. I actually started off in archaeology, then made the subtle shift to cultural anth. I make my living by teaching and assisting classes while trying to ford the insane rivers of grad school with some sanity.

    2. Why do I read your site? First of all because I have never lost interest in biology. When I was doing my undergrad, biology was one of my other favorite classes. I could have gone that route as well and been perfectly happy. I would have probably gone into marine biology and picked some interesting tidal creatures to study for 30 years or so. But anthropology works too! I always liked reading the debates that Gould and Dawkins brought up, and reading about evolutionary theory is not only fascinating but fundamental (IMO). I definitely enjoy getting your take on many of the issues that surround evolutionary theory (esp how people react to it).

    3. I think I came across your site via Dienekes' anthropology blog, which is heavily focused on physical/biological anthropology.

    4. I wish I did!

  12. I found your blog because you were one of the first people to comment on mine! You dig up some interesting stuff, which is why I keep coming back here. Sorry, can't help with the post-doc but if you ever want a career in medical writing...

  13. Compared to all the other job offers I have right now, medical writing doesn't sound so bad. Because nothing is always the worst.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS