Thursday, February 25, 2010

Science blogging for quals!

In a few months, I'm going to try to convince a room full of professors that I know my stuff well enough to keep going down this crazy road called science. That means I'm going to have to stuff an awful lot of knowledge into my feeble little brain in short order.

Since I'm the sort of chap who learns by doing, I thought I could use this fantastic and ill-frequented patch of the Interwebs as practice space -- sort of a public whiteboard where I can scribble my notes in hopes that the very act of scribbling can charge enough synapses to get me through quals. Making it public will, I hope, instill in me the (undoubtedly spurious) notion that someone is expecting something from me, short-circuiting the otherwise constant desire to go do something else.

Thus I present to you: Mutualism Mondays! For your edification, and my betterment as man and scientist, I will be publishing here a weekly compendium of Information on Symbiotic Mutualisms. These posts will deal with a new species interaction each week, and are meant to serve as a brief background and jumping-off point for further research. Since my primary purpose here is preparing for my exams, these posts are likely to be a good deal more technical than what you'll find in the Hours By Hours archives; however, you should be able to get a feel for the system whatever your background.

Posts should include, at minimum, a brief (~300-500 word) overview of the system, a link to relevant research programs active in its study, an annotated bibliography of a handful of seminal and current papers, and, where possible, a pretty picture or two. I'll modify this format as I get a feel for what's most useful.

My goal, of course, is to somehow manage to pass my quals and score another three and half years enjoying the life of an intellectual social freeloader. But maybe, just maybe, the magic of teh Google will someday bring along someone who finds the collected information useful.

We can only hope.

But I digress. Come back this Monday, March 1st, for: SHIPWORMS!