Lady psychologists, the interwebs need you

Photo by Flickr user _mubblegum_. Click for souceThe BPS Research Digest has just finished a series of interviews with psychology and neuroscience bloggers that includes some of the best known mind on brain sites on the net.

If you’re a Mind Hacks reader, you’ll probably recognise most of the blogs as we often link to them, but I was struck by the lack of female bloggers.

In the UK, 80% of psychology undergraduates are female and the profession is overwhelming female. I don’t know figures from other countries but my impression is that this is a global trend.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a vast world of female mind and brain bloggers out there that were missed in the interview series, so it seems psychology writers on the net are mostly male, with some very notable exceptions.

Ladies, don’t be shy. If you’re blogging in the shadows, let us know, and if you’ve ever thought about it, give it a go.

Link to BPSRD ‘Bloggers Behind the Blogs’ series.

7 Comments

  1. female Psych Grad Student
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve wanted to start a psych blog for a long time, but as a young career academic, I fear the repercussions of posting something naive or controversial that could hurt me later in hiring/tenure decisions. Are such fears silly, or wise precautions in a competitive field?

  2. Posted July 3, 2010 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Hi there,
    This is a common fear and leads some people to only blog under a pseudonym, which is one way of dealing with the problem. In fact, some of the best psychology and neuroscience blogs on the net are by pseudo-anonymous people.
    However, I wonder whether the fear comes from a common but annoying attitude in academia that you shouldn’t [appear to] be wrong.
    I think there is a great merit in not pretending to know more than you actually do, but making guesses, judgements, hypotheses and actually being wrong are an essential part of this.
    I don’t think any of this should stop people from blogging though and lots of my favourite bloggers often post as much about personal ‘mysteries’ (“this is cool, I wonder what it means?”) as personal ‘discoveries’ (“I want to tell you about something I’ve learnt”).
    If you blog enough, of course, you should make a fair few public blunders, and I think this is all part of the fun.
    Probably the most important is to let it wash over you and take it as a useful learning point, as all the genuinely embarrassing dust ups I’ve seen online have actually been about how people dealt with disagreements rather than the point itself.
    Anyway, my 2p’s worth. May or may not be of use!

  3. Posted July 3, 2010 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I’m a (female) researcher affiliated with a cognitive neuroscience lab. My background is atypical (so are my cognitive processes–I’m autistic) but my publication record is conventional.
    I blog much less often than I would wish. I’m a slow plodding sporadic writer with a lot of non-blogging writing to do. This is apart from the many issues that arise when you are a researcher blogging about research in areas where you also work. Then add the problem of blogging in a highly politicized area, autism, where the public discourse is lousy–lots of defamation and so on.
    Regardless, I’ve learned a lot (how I blog now is different from how I blogged in 2006), run into interesting people, and so on. To my own amazement, people still show up to read my plodding writing, no matter how sporadic.

  4. female Psych Grad Student
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Vaughan, Thanks. That is a very useful response. I’ve considered the pseudo-anonymous route before. It is tempting.
    One of the things that strikes me as absent in the world of social science/psychology/mind blogging in general is the kind of blogging done by people like female Science Professor, Young Female Scientist, and Professor in Training on academic culture, job markets, etc. in these fields. These kinds of posts are eye opening for young academics, but as most of this kind of writing is done by natural scientists it paints a rather specific image of academia.

  5. Maia Szalavitz
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m a female and I report, write and yes blog on neuroscience! http://bit.ly/bS2wau http://bit.ly/bT2u7R http://huff.to/a8fIYP
    (Don’t have an actual PhD, but did get award from American Psychological Association for contributions to the addictions field by a non-psychologist once).

  6. Posted July 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s me…

  7. Evidencebasedmummy
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi. Thank you for this post. As a brand new female blogger, it was really encouraging to come across your thoughts.
    I’ve just started my blog, http://www.evidencebasedmummy.com. I’m aiming to blog about child and parenting psychology.
    It’s all fairly nerve wracking at the moment so any advice and support is gratefully received.
    Rachel


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