Monday, February 7, 2011

An embarrassment of riches

I have been quite the fancypants lately. In addition to the flood of new traffic from Science Online 2011, and in particular my post on the women scienceblogging panel, folks have been heading here to talk about broader issues of underrepresentation and racism, and, of course, iron-deficiency and the ladybusiness.

Then, because of a happy accident and the fact that Laura Weisskopf Bleill of wanted to help me promote some focus groups I am running for a study on doctor-patient relationships around hormonal contraceptives,* I became a Chambana Mom to Know. At the same time I was recruited by the ever-clever John Hawks to do a diavlog where we discuss women in science, blogging in academia, my fieldwork, the ladybusiness, #aaafail, and lots of other stuff.

I am feeling quite overwhelmed by the fact that I have a lot of new readers, and this is no longer the intimate space it once was (usually when I write, I imagine myself to be talking to a group of female friends while we sit on the couch and hang out - it now feels like giving a seminar to a medium-sized room full of people, where we are somehow still able to manage cool sidebar conversations). This is new and exciting, and while there is a part of me that will grieve for that little space where I knew most of the people who read me, I am delighted to bring anthropology to more people and keep pushing myself to write more accessibly for more people.

So, I am trying to think of next steps in terms of my writing. I still owe you all a summary of the survey I did on my readers a few weeks ago: given my day job commitments, that is the plan for what will probably be my single big post of the week.

However, I also want to continue to do two things: shorter researchblogging posts on articles I find interesting, and longer posts on specific issues around women's health, anthropology and medicine. So if there are particular papers you want me to read, particular topics you want me to cover... say so in the comments!

*I need to double-check with the IRB about whether I have approval to advertise this on the blog. If it turns out I do, expect a post on it this week!


  1. Why doesn't men's health get any significant attention, anywhere? If women died 5-10 years younger then men, women, and, in general, women and men in academia, would be wearing badges that say, 5-10 years.

  2. Hi, I just came across your blog today and added it to my bookmarks right away. Thanks for covering these topics! Here is a paper that may be of interest (I mentioned it in the iron deficiency post as well):

  3. Oh Sam/Shawn - just look at, oh, the rest of medicine if you want attention on men's health. If you are upset about the attention men get, this might not be the blog for you, since it is rather explicitly about women's health. That is what I research for a living.

    Katie -- awesome, thanks! I just commented on your other comment actually, with the promise to read the pdf :).

  4. KBHC,

    Thanks for the response. I guess I am just upset that no one in health care explicitly works to reduce the life expectancy gap between women and men.

  5. You might want to read the book by my dissertation advisor Dr. Richard Bribiescas, seeing as he studies men for a living: Men: Evolutionary and Life History (very accessible, for a general audience), and check out his website: People do work on precisely what you are upset about... I'm just not one of them!

  6. WATM!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!#$%@^$#$%@^&*(!!!!!

    Ok, sorry Kate, I couldn't hold back. Don't mind me. I can tell you are gonna need a bigger bucket already:)

  7. Congratulations Kate. The extra attention is more than deserved.

  8. I think the trick (it can be a hard trick) is to remember that you've been recognized for the way you already write about the things you're already interested in.

    Also you may have already had more readers than you expected. Also if it helps, an increase in readers doesn't necessarily produce more comments.

    Finally, with any luck, the work you've been doing to promote more women blogging about science will siphon away some of the attention away you and towards the larger pool of bloggers like you.

    Anyway, congratulations, you may not be used to it but you certainly deserve greater attention.


  9. Thanks, all! I wrote the post mainly because the situation embarrasses me and I feel like I've hit Internet Saturation. You all are going to get tired of me if this keeps up (thankfully, it won't, but still!).

  10. Thanks for the shout-out. You are doing very important work, and we're proud to have you in our community.

  11. Well, good. This is my new favorite blog! I came across a link somewhere to your recent post about anemia and then started reading back through your archives.

  12. Thank you Laura! That means a lot coming from a Chambanamom :).

    Thank you Liz, that is very sweet! I'll try and produce something new and exciting for you all next week.