I’ll tell you more later.
It’s later now. I’m teaching a course in neurobiology, and one of the things I’m doing is having the students blog, to recount their experiences with neurobiology outside the classroom. In past years, I’ve set up a separate blog space for them to use, but I had a conversation with Beth Noveck of the Cairns blog at Sci Foo, and she recommended just throwing the students into the hurly-burly of the wider conversation. And after thinking about it for a while, I think she’s right — toss ’em into the shark tank, and let’s see how well they do. So beginning later this week, my six students will begin putting up roughly one article a week here on Pharyngula.
I still feel a little protective, though, so a few words of warning. The students had the option of posting under a pseudonym, and most have taken one. Please don’t try to invade their privacy. Another important factor to take into account is that all these students have in common is that they’re smart enough to be UMM upperclassmen and they are interested in neuroscience — do not assume that they share my political and religious views and jump on them as proxies for me. I don’t even know what their political and religious views are. For all I know, it’s a class full of devout Reaganites … and I don’t care. They can even use this space to publicly disagree with me on something, and it won’t hurt their grades.
Most important of all, be nice. This is an experiment, and they’re the guinea pigs, and give them time to find their space and their voice. I am reserving the right to pull the plug if the obnoxiousness exceeds the productive discussion, and I will police comments to their articles a little bit more ruthlessly than the comments on my own.