Who sponsors this blog?
The American Society for Microbiology. The Society contributes in technical and conceptual ways.
How do you choose material for the blog?
We keep an eye on the current literature and select items that are unusual, sometimes overlooked, and above all, exciting.
You seem to post a lot of items from students and other young scientists. How come?
We acknowledge that science will increasingly utilize social media, thus we want to provide young colleagues with an opportunity to hone this particular skill.
Do you edit the material written from people outside your inner circle?
Yes, with gusto. Not only because it makes for more consistent writing, but also because it constitutes a learning experience for the author.
Are contributions from readers welcomed?
Yes, but be aware that we have fairly strict standards regarding the choice of subject matter and style of writing. If you are interested in contributing please email elios179 [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
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 elios179 [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
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, but in addition we have sections that are specifically educational, e.g., "Terms of 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.
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.
I am a member of the media and interested in talking with an expert in the field. Who should I contact?
Please email Aleea Khan at the American Society for Microbiology at akhan [AT] asmusa [DOT] org.
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.