The first one.

Like many people, I’ve decided that this year I’d like to start writing more. I’m (hopefully) nearing the end of my PhD and I’ve been thinking about where I want to go next, and what I’m gravitating towards pretty much always involves communicating complex scientific topics to non-scientists. More generally, we’re heading into a time where people will need to be more aware of what’s going on in the world, to think critically about it and speak out about it. Our bullshit detectors should be high, as Jon Stewart called for. So here I am, resolving for this year to blog once a week minimum. I’ll do what I can to contribute to the necessary discourse between scientists and the general public. I’ll look for cool new scientific developments to share, and keep an eye out for media misrepresentation (it happens a lot, and is truly cringeworthy). Most of all, I’ll be on the watch for attempts to stall progress, both scientific and otherwise, by those who don’t understand it and/or are being paid to keep it from happening.

If there’s any lesson we should glean from 2016, it’s that rational, empathetic people cannot sit by and expect progress to happen on its own. We need to take an active part in it. So many of us have the ability to do so— whether it’s due to experiences in our personal life, or our career background, we should use our experiences to provide a logical perspective on issues we can speak to. It’s easy to get caught up in our own hectic lives and use that as an excuse not to participate, but it’s clear now that we have a job to do.

I’m setting a reminder on my phone. Sunday nights, I’m telling myself to write. I’m going to try to discipline myself, make myself take some of that time spent on Facebook and Reddit and use it to be productive. We’ll see how it goes.

(Also, prepare for some unrelated featured images, because I’m still figuring this WordPress thing out, but the default “random raspberries in a mug” picture is not my jam. Here are some San Francisco houses, because in these uncertain times, it helps to occasionally stop and admire lovely things.)

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