There are two things that I want to accomplish throughout my PhD: to develop as a researcher, and as an individual. Those two goals are multi-faceted, but blogging supports both of them. So, why do I want to blog?
- To document my research process. Most often the output of scientific research is presented as a complete story or a major breakthrough. The years of work, the side-line inquiries, the mistakes and dead-ends don’t get much attention. I think it’s important to recognize the imperfections and difficulties in research, not just the results.
- To highlight the uncertainties and debate in science. Researchers are human, and the scientific method does not automatically produce Truth. There is rarely consensus, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
- To improve my writing and to make writing a habit. To share my writing in an open forum that exposes it to comment or criticism.
- To practice clear communication.
- To participate in a community outside of my institution and the people I interact with daily. This really means reading other blogs, and commenting on them.
- To become more confident in sharing my ideas, despite the terror of being laughably wrong. This is the most important reason to me – without facing discomfort, we stagnate.