Back in the mists of blogging time Ed Yong set up the yearly tradition on his blog of asking readers to delurk and leave a small post in the comments about themselves. It's a fascinating idea, and one that I have always been terrified of carrying out myself in case nobody answered (there is nothing sadder than organising a party that no one turns up too!)
I do appreciate that this task would be easier if the commenting system was more user-friendly, but I know that at least some of my readers have left comments before now, and it would be great to learn more about who actually reads my blog, and why. For those that want to join the party, it would be great to hear who you are, what you do, where you got your interest in science from and whether you're still working in the field. If you have a blog or twitter of your own please leave a link to it - I love finding new bloggy friends!
Much as I love scientists, I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who work in non-science related jobs. The thing is there are lots of publications that tell scientists about science. It's also very easy to get scientists excited about science. I started this blog to try and make microbiology vaguely accessible to a more general audience and some audience feedback would really help me to know how I'm doing with that.
To help get the party started, I thought I'd just write a quick paragraph about my blogging philosophy. One thing I never wanted this blog to be was a bastion of facts - unchallengeable truths about the Way Things Are. And while I try to be as precise and accurate as I can be, there is the odd mistake floating around *cough*surface-area-to-volume-ratio-of-a-sphere*cough*. Instead, the main aim of this blog can be summed up in one word: excitement.
I wanted this blog to share the excitement, passion and enthusiasm that goes into science and makes it work. Despite what various textbooks tell you about the cold, clear rationality of the scientific method, the fact is that there aren't many people as emotional and enthused as a scientist who has just made something work. Science is a continuous exploration of a magical country, and you don't get much more freaky and magical than the inside of a single cell. When I write, I try to keep hold of that feeling, and hopefully some of that is conveyed in the blog posts that come out.
But enough about me, let's hear what you think!