Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pseudonymous blogs and entitlement to speak

The astro-blogs I regularly read (Bad Astronomy, Cosmic Variance, Steinn Sigurðsson's) are signed, and I've met most of the authors at conferences. The science-gal and academic-gal blogs I read are pseudonymous, and I don't know their authors.*

Partly a seniority-linked selection effect. But not just. The untenured worry blogging may be held against them. And based on experience at previous institutions, I worry that any discussion of the problems of academia, and how to solve them, will be interpreted as "whining" or weakness.

Perhaps when I'm not working 16 hr days on proposals, I'll start a discussion about the right to speak -- who feels entitled to be heard, who has to shout over the din, and who still speaks behind a curtain. And what that does to those of us who just want to talk science, in a normal voice.

* Except for the fabulous Bitch Ph.D.


astropixie said...

its true that recently i've held back certain commentaries about sensitive topics (academia, religion, politics, etc...) because i'm in the job market. one reason is because i have subtly advertised my blog as a demonstration of my communication skills. but i'm also torn, because if a group doesnt want to hire me just because i enjoy this particular astronomy outreach activity, then i probably don't want to work for them for the next several years anyway.

Anonymous said...

Excellent phrase