Welcome to fifteenth installment of my You Should Know Series. It’s where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs I believe the rest of the world should follow.

You Should Know Dr John A Johnson and Mahalo.ne.Trash

The blog name comes from the Hawaiian word Mahalo which means thank you; and recited aloud Mahalo.ne.Trash = mahaolo does not mean trash. It’s nerd speak. At Mahalo.ne.Trash, Dr. Johnson blogs about a range of things, which is not always science. He posts music videos, comics that catch his eye, stand-up comedians, and basketball. When he does blog about science, he usually focuses on his own research which focuses on planets around other stars. He emphasizes planet formation and searching for life elsewhere in the Universe. More frequently, he has been blogging more about the meta-aspects of science, such as psychology (what is intelligence?), as well as racism and sexism in science.

Dr. John A. Johnson is a Professor of astronomy at Harvard University. He earned his PhD in Astrophysics from University of California Berkeley and BS in Physics from Missouri Universe of Science and Technology. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Astronomy at Caltech. He is an observational astronomer who dabbles in instrumentation and statistical data analysis. His primary research areas are in exoplanets (planets around other stars) and stellar astrophysics.

In his own words

We scientists pride ourselves in being objective, but science is nonetheless a fundamentally human pursuit, subject to all of the messy biases and isms that make up the human experience. I choose not to ignore the effects of these meta-issues on the way science is done and it's my goal to increase the efficiency and efficacy of science by shining a light on the human shortcomings of our pursuit.


Links to some of his engaging material:

Performance-enhancing drugs – Dr. Johnson discusses his struggles with anxiety and depression and makes an important case for mental health self-care that is all too often ignored and avoided in STEM and academia.

Blinded by my privilege – He shares how he messed up as a professor by forgetting his own (male) privilege when addressing a female student.

On the Two-Body Problem - Dual career academic couples and academe's non-optimal (lack of a) solution

Being Black at Harvard - A professor's response to #ITooAmHarvard

A Young Black Scientist Making History - On the first black woman astronomer to publish a first-author paper in Nature...in 2014"


You can engage Dr. Johnson at the following social media services:

Twitter: @astrojohnjohn

Connect with him and be sure to leave a comment at one of his blog posts. Seriously, do yourself a favor and visit his blog now! I hadn’t realized he has been blogging since 2007 (as long as I have), so I feel like I’ve been missing out on some great science blogging. At minimal read these 5 posts from above and leave a comment. Tell him you found him via The Urban Scientist (me, @DNLee5) and #ScholarSunday.


If you are enjoying this series and would love to participate, then complete this form: Science Blogger Spotlight. In the upcoming weeks I hope to shine the spotlight on scientists, science educators, and science communicators with emerging online presences (via blogging, Twitter, podcasting, etc).