Every week (or so) I post a quick Q&A with one of our bloggers on the network, so you can get to know them better. This week, I chat with Carin Bondar from PsiVid blog.
Hello! Let’s start with first things first. What is the name of your blog and why did you choose that name – what does it mean?
I co-host the PsiVid blog with Joanne Manaster. We liked the name PsiVid because it combines our main focus (video/film and TV science) with a little ‘geek-speak’ added on. There is so much fantastic work in the area of science film, and our blog aims to show it off. So far we’ve written on diverse topics from all over the spectrum in terms of their scientific content. Whether it’s a music video parody of Lady Gaga or the latest developments in cellular imaging we’ve got it covered!
Where does the artwork for your banner come from, and what are you trying to convey with it?
The artwork on the PsiVid banner was done by science artist Perrin Ireland. I love this image because it seems fluid, almost film-like. The monkey is scratching its head, which to me indicates a work in process. Our blog is very much about learning and teaching aspects of multi-media use in science, making the best production based on your needs. Film-making is not just for professional media folks anymore, scientists are striving for fantastic production value in their work.
Tell us more about yourself – where are you from, how did you get into science?
I actually started off my professional career as a ballet dancer in Frankfurt, Germany. I quickly realized that the world of dance wasn’t where I wanted to be, so I began studies at university and gravitated towards biology. It wasn’t until my third year that I actually declared a biology major, but I’ve never looked back! There are so many aspects of biology that interest me. My masters degree is in the area of evolution and development, and my PhD is in community ecology.
How did you get into science blogging and science writing? What were the early influences on you regarding your blogging style and topics?
I had a bit of a detour in my life while trying to finish my PhD. My dad and brother both passed away, leaving me to take over a fairly massive family business. I put my studies aside and devoted my full schedule to the business (a pretty ridiculous undertaking for this happy-go-lucky biologist!). I turned to the internet because I missed biology and it was a great way for me to stay connected with the science community. I felt immediately embraced by all of the fantastic science bloggers, and it was something that kept me fulfilled as a scientist while I dealt with everything else (somewhere in there I became a mother of 4 as well). Among the first blogs I started following were Allie Wilkinson’s ‘Oh for the love of science!’, Al Dove’s ‘Deep Type Flow’ (Al is now a member of the Deep Sea News team), and Andrew Thaler’s ‘Southern Fried Science'.
What is your blog about? Who is your target audience, and why do you think people should read your blog?
This blog is all about science on film, video and TV, from massive Hollywood hits to lab-based video projects. In addition to interviews, advice, film reviews and quirky audition calls we have created ‘CyberScreen Science’, an annual science film festival that takes place during the ScienceOnline conference. Our blog reaches a wide audience because our posts are so varied in nature.
Anything else interesting about you, perhaps cool hobbies?
My life is generally chaotic and fun. My kids are 6, 4, 2 and 3 months, so there is no shortage of tasks to complete at any given moment! I was able to sell the family business in 2009, leaving me with more time to spend with the family and of course to work on my beloved biology blogs. Also, I’m a pretty great cook – I would consider myself to be an amateur foodie. I think my retirement project will be to go to culinary school.
Previously in this series: