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The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal


Exploring the evolution and architecture of the mind
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One Thoughtful Solar Revolution

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The Scientific American Blog Network launched one year ago today! Happy birthday to us! Following in the tradition of the rest of the network (borrowed, in turn, from Drugmonkey and Ed Yong), I’m going to take this opportunity to find out who you are. So, time to de-lurk! (I understand that you can now use twitter or facebook to login and leave comments. Please be sure to let me know if this does or doesn’t work!)

Who are you and why are you here? If you want something more specific, here are some questions that can help guide your responses in the comments (borrowed, in part, from Drugmonkey):

1. Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to more typically-academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed? Let loose with those comments.

2. I’m interested in whether you found me, or regularly follow me or this blog, through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms that you may use to corral your information stream.

3. If you’ve been following along for a while, what are your favorite posts? What are your least favorite posts?

If you’d like, tell someone else about this blog and in particular, try and choose someone who’s not a scientist but who you think might be interested in the type of stuff found in this blog. Ever had family members or groups of friends who’ve been giving you strange, pitying looks when you try to wax scientific on them? Have a friend who is downright convinced that their dogs know when they’ve misbehaved? Send ‘em here and let’s see what they say.

Finally, remember that you can follow me on twitter and Google+, and you can “like” me on facebook.

Birthday image by Glendon Mellow, used with permission.

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Suttkus 7:41 pm 07/5/2012

    Who am I? How should I know, I haven’t been playing attention. I didn’t know there would be a test! I haven’t studied at all!

    Well, I’m a lifelong science nerd (in addition to several other sorts of nerd not relevant to the current discussion). My “true loves” are biology and astronomy, but I’ll dip into anything at least a bit. I’ll latch onto any public outreach science I can get in front of my eyes. Science blogging (here and elsewhere) has become an endless cornucopia of delights for me, and I’d like to thank you all for providing me with these little portals to amazement and wonder.

    I’m not currently a professional anything, having lost my job a few years back and with the economy sucking ever since, I’ve been a bit screwed. At least it gives me time to hang out online and annoy creationists.

    What keeps me here is your taxon reviews. Love getting in deep with a review of a group of animals. I especially like the way you present the ambiguities very clearly without trying to hide them behind a veneer of certainty.

    As for how I follow your blog, I don’t even known what RSS really is, though I’ve been meaning to look into it someday. : – ) I just follow you through SA’s website, checking up the numerous blogs I read here at the same time. I am on Facebook, but I don’t use it much (except for the aforementioned annoying of creationists) as I’m not really a social animal.

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years now, but it’s not like I marked the date or anything.

    Least favorite posts… birds. Sorry, for whatever reason, I simply cannot make myself interested in our feathered friends. I have no idea why they don’t interest me, but there you go. You asked. : – )

    Link to this
  2. 2. Jacqui p 11:09 pm 07/6/2012

    I just found your blog so I am afraid that I don’t have anything constructive to add, but I thought it rude to not respond at all. I have only just discovered all these SA blogs and articles and as a lay person appreciate how accessible they are to folks without a background in science.

    Link to this
  3. 3. jagaines 9:11 pm 07/7/2012

    I am Jordan Gaines (on Brains)! I regularly read most of the SA blogs, and yours is one of my favorites because of the subjects you explore: animals and psychology. I’m a neuroscience grad student and animal lover, so it’s really the perfect blend for me. I believe I was first introduced to you as editor of neuroscience/psych on Research Blogging (then started getting super excited when I made a few “editor’s selections”)!

    I’m made aware of your updates via Twitter or Facebook (and sometimes they show up on my iGoogle SciAm gadget). My favorite posts are usually the quirkier ones (“let’s explore this weird thing that this strange animal does”), explanations of current events (like the chimp infanticide at the LA Zoo), and…ooh ohh! the guilty dogs one! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

    Link to this

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