I have been busy blogging but just not here, after launching a Research Staff Group blog for the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University back in March. It took a long while to pull together permissions and assurances, and moreover make sure that we set off in the right editorial direction. The feedback that has come in has been extremely pleasing, and not just a little bit gratifying. Around the blog there is a growing buzz and the nucleus of a team of contributors that I hope will ensure continuity going forwards.
You can find the Research Staff Group blog at the following URL http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/biosciences-research-staff/
We are trying to represent the researchers here in Cardiff with an authentic voice, though not in doing so trying to shake the foundations of post-doctoral research working. If ‘all’ that we achieve is to show the vibrancy of the people here to the wider department then in many ways that is ‘job done’. The contributions are varied in their content though happily all have been very much ‘on topic’ – even a post I asked of a former colleague who is currently looking to become a goldsmith (an interview with Ali Baird). Indeed at the moment I write this our most popular post is one on public engagement contributed by Karen Reed.
Personally I have learned huge amounts from the process. Particularly I had not appreciated how much direction contributors would need, I first thought a deadline and a topic was all that would be needed. It turns out that everyone has requested a brief outline around the style of the post and its tone. This was the very much the editorial brief that I had considered when pitching the idea of the blog to the various School and University teams, but I hadn’t realised I would be repeating that same vision to all those getting involved. So here I am temporary (the idea is that it takes a life of its own through incoming colleagues) editor of a ‘serious’ blog.
Why do I call it a ‘serious’ blog? Well not simply because it is outward facing on the world wide web and carries the Universities name with it, but moreover because in its own small ways it is seems to be beginning to affect the culture around postdocs in the School. My biggest hope now going forwards is that it continues to blossom in this and every other way.