By Chandrakant Redican
It has been a year since this blog began and a few posts have gone off track somewhat. So I started another blog that is more suited to all the other stuff I write about. From now on I will make sure the AntibioTick is still more or less a biology blog and in line with its lofty aim to one day become the creative beacon of biology and biologists in this universe.
So I will try to abide by this commitment and not post love poems or other random stuff that does not much to do with biology. But since we believe in statistics and have a large margin for error, we can still have a few general outlier type posts and with a comfortable conscience call ourselves a biology blog.
With this new phase in the AntibioTick’s life here are a few promises I will try to keep
1) An actual cartoon drawing of the AntibioTick instead of the spider off the internet I am passing off as a tick, seriously, someone should have called me out. It is lame.
2) Regular Posts – I had serious commitment issues in life, so got some therapy with my sister who is a psychologist. She has said I should start small instead of getting arranged marriage done or something. Hence this attempt for regular blog posts.
3) A well thought out feature at least once a month (They are great to read but take a long time- like my best post- the Sponge Baba)
4) A foray into videos, drawings, photographs and cartoons, also some poetry if I think it is good enough (strictly biological- I promise!). Mostly you may see only one or two of each this year if any because I am a really slow worker.
5) I hope a few of my biologist friends will help me out in writing articles, they write and read a whole bunch but for some reason they refrain from writing creatively in biology which I know they can do very well.
And that reminds me, I have a topic that I am supposed to write about. A list of biology bloggers I know so far.
So here is the story behind this list- A year ago the blog began and I actually won a prize for it on the website Indiblogger. They gave me a badge which was nice of them. They even sent me a gift, but the courier guys have lost it and it is rotting in somewhere in Pimpri last time I called them. DTDC does not seem to give a shit and I am tired of asking them.
Anyways, I won and there were actually twenty bloggers or so in the category. So I had a look at them. Here is what I learned.
1) I am not the only badass biology blogger out there in India, there are very few others.
2) There are others that are trying at least to do what I want to do. Some are good and some are quite bad
3) There is no networking or group that is the focal point of creative people in being creative in life science.
4) All of this is really sad for the AntibioTick because the AntibioTick loves social networking, blogging and biology
I went through the list of the people who participated in the best life sciences blog competition and picked out the few people I thought were genuinely trying to write about biology, in a way that they could express themselves and let their personality shine through.
Bear with me one last paragraph before I get to the actual list. Some of these people that are in this list- they are not going to get the Nobel for literature, but they try to say things in their blogs.
This is the best written blog about biology that I know about yet, and I have searched quite a lot. Prof Haskell is sincere and his blog has great personal observations and photos. He can really write well and once you read it you will not wonder that he has published a book which is pretty popular. What is sad is that there are not many other such blogs out there that I know of. I hope I can find more like him.
This one is run by a girl called Kanmani Rajan. She is from Sivakasi and seems to enjoy her life and biotechnology. She explains stuff like what is PCR and all.In spite of her pretty run of the mill topics what I like about it is she does have personality, is not imitating anyone and is not dishing out stuff that you would find on science daily or some popular news magazine. If she tried to stretch her imagination a little she could write some pretty decent stuff.
Now this one is a bit closer to what I am trying to do with the AntibioTick blog and she seemed to have begun pretty well but has not updated her post for a while. She did not reply to e-mails, hopefully she may start again.
This one is run by someone called Vivek Misra who seems to pretty active and qualified according to his blog. He is a neurobiologist, pretty active in his work and his blog seems to be a sincere effort, though I have yet to read one of his articles
Varun who runs this blog tries to convey advanced microbiological concepts in this blog, he lists references and everything and it seems a sincere effort. If you are interested in light reading though this is not the place but microbiologists who can read technically will find this useful.
I have not listed any of the big sites like nature, science daily etc because they are not really handling science in a creative way. Actually some of the best science writing I have seen is in the economist and that too is basically a weekly newspaper. This list I have compiled is by no means comprehensive, and I will have a page put up on the blog shortly which will have all these blogs listed and I will keep on updating it. So if you know any blog and want it up there on the list- just drop me an e-mail. You can even comment, or post on facebook or twitter and I will do it.
So there you are- the first compilation of biology bloggers in the world maybe. What is sad is I meet a lot of people with a flair for writing that are in Biology but they do not really tackle being creative in biology in an imaginative way. They write awesome poems and stories in their spare time but there is not much biology in them. Biology needs good imaginative content, if you look at the tech industry it is up to its ears with blogs and content trying to be creative. Politics, sports, cinema, every field has great everyday content that is creative and fun. I hope this will change one day.
I know I have not talked about blogs about science in various native languages. But if you know Marathi- check this one out-
Thats all for now folks see you around and expect many articles better than this one soon!!!
Chandrakant Redican (The AntibioTick)