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 Cassie Rodenberg from The White Noise 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?

My blog is called The White Noise and came after many a failed title brainchild. Defeated tries included “Monster” and “Vices.” Though I appreciate brevity, “The White Noise” won out quickly – it befitted the insidious nature of addiction, drugs and mental illness better than any other title, the way in which substance abuse exists as blurred sound below every cranny of life.

Where does the artwork for your banner come from, and what are you trying to convey with it?

The banner is designed simply, meant to express the drone and all-encompassing bind of substances, and their monochromatic effect on life. The talented photographer Justin Rose was kind enough to lend his design expertise.

Tell us more about yourself – where are you from, how did you get into science?

I admittedly have varied and wayward interests -- from economics to existentialist theory -- but all of them hold science, or the notion of “why and how,” an investigatory curiosity, at their center.

I’m from South Carolina and studied chemistry at the university. I credit my research days – studying the Amyloid-Beta precursor peptide to Alzheimer’s – for cementing my love and appreciation for the intricacies of scientific process. I cite my seventh grade phases-of-the-moon fascination and Charlestonian interest in pluff mud for the rest.

How did you get into science blogging and science writing? What were the early influences on you regarding your blogging style and topics?

I never thought of melding scientific and writing interests until college. Before then, and I suppose after, they were their own magnetic poles, aligning in tandem. Somewhere along the way, the expression and beauty of writing won over the exactitude of passive voice in lab reports. The chair of my department (chemistry), the wonderful Pat Owens, nearly insisted upon my blogging. I owe him much for that, and for encouraging the nugget of science writing in my mind.

What is your blog about? Who is your target audience, and why do you think people should read your blog?

My blog is about the greys of addiction and mental illness and all they entail -- batting at cultural notions and lacing what we’re predisposed and taught to think with chemistry. It’s too easy to ignore problematic, taboo pieces of society. The blog is for them: for addicts, those with mental illness, and their families and friends. The blog is for all of us, containing both the science and the emotional components of neurotransmitter quirks.

Anything else interesting about you, perhaps cool hobbies?

I like writing fiction, short stories mainly. Anything longer tends to turn into some sort of twisted horror fiction medley or another. There’s something beautiful in brevity.. though I do admit to recording many a free flowing scene into a voice recorder. Perhaps I’m building to something.

I also enjoy general adventuring, a good yoga session, and hearing stories.

Thank you!


Previously in this series:

Michelle Clement

Janet Stemwedel

Charles Q. Choi


Jennifer Ouellette

Kate Clancy

Christina Agapakis

Melissa Lott

Jennifer Frazer

James Byrne

John Platt

Jason Goldman


Gozde Zorlu