Who sponsors this blog?
We do not have any financial sponsors, keeping us free from that sort of conflict of interest. You will notice that we have no advertisements. However, since its inception the blog has had a close relationship with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM contributes with technical support. And both Elio and Roberto served as presidents of the ASM in years past. However, the views and opinions we present here are not necessarily those of the ASM.
How do you choose material for the blog?
We keep an eye on the literature and select items that are unusual, sometimes overlooked, and above all, exciting to us.
Are contributions from readers welcomed?
Most certainly yes! Be aware that we have fairly strict standards regarding the choice of subject matter and style of writing, so we do not post every submission we receive. If you are interested in contributing please email to [email protected].
Do you edit the material written by people outside the STC team?
Yes, with gusto. Not only because it makes for more consistent writing, but also because it constitutes a learning experience for the author.
You seem to post a lot of items from students and other young scientists. How come?
We acknowledge that science increasingly utilizes social media, thus we want to provide young colleagues with an opportunity to hone this particular skill.
Are comments welcome?
Most assuredly. We look forward to finding out how our material is received.
Are suggestions for new material welcome?
Yes, with open arms. Please email your ideas to [email protected].
Can material from the blog be used freely for teaching purposes?
Most definitely. Educational use is one of the stated purposes of this blog. Please let us know if you share our material in your classroom and how you apply it.
Do you choose material for its obvious educational value?
Yes, we have a category called "Teachers Corner." In addition, we have sections that are specifically educational, for example, "Of Terms in Biology" and "Fine Reading."
Why do you have "Talmudic Questions?"
We like to think of somewhat outrageous questions that do not really have an answer but that tickle the mind. We like to say that these are questions for which you cannot Google the answer (also ChatGPT won't help much).
Do you stray afield from microbiological subjects?
Rarely, but on occasion we venture into subject areas that concern "higher organisms." As long as they're particularly exciting. And on occasion we offer opinions of matters that impact science in general.
How long has this blog been in existence?
It started life on December 1, 2006.
Do you have a large readership?
Apparently yes, close to 1000 pageviews daily. The numbers may drop off on weekends.
Who are your readers?
We don't have good data, but anecdotal evidence tells us that it consists mainly of microbiologists and students.
Do you enjoy posting the latest "hot" news?
Definitely not. We are not news-driven and leave that for others. We prefer to wait until the passage of time confirms that the material is proved and remains exciting.
To what do you attribute your relative success?
First, we are compulsively consistent and haven't missed a single posting at the stated time. Well, once we did… Next, we treat each item as if it were the only one. In other words, we take style and substance to heart and try very hard to do a good job.
Do you enjoy what you are doing?
And how! If we didn't we wouldn't be doing this much work. The blog does not put itself together spontaneously.