Thursday, May 31, 2012

So Long and Thanks for All the Wombats

When I was young, I hated saying goodbye. For example, when it was time for friends or relatives to leave, I would hide if I could. It wasn't that I was all broken up about their leaving, I just hated the ritual of saying goodbye -- the stupid things you always have to say, the hugs etc., even if you were going to see that person again in the very near future. And when I was the one doing the leaving, I would sometimes pretend I wasn't actually leaving in a final way. My hope was that the goodbye ritual could be put off, and then I would really leave, avoiding the goodbyes. It was strange, I know, and the feeling has sort of persisted in a mild but mostly controllable form into my adult years.

So, I have been writing this FSP blog for 6 years now and have decided that it should change, and perhaps end, but I am too cowardly to do this in a dramatic, sudden way. Why am I considering departing from the blogosphere, decreasing my presence, or at very least changing my blog-focus or format? I am certainly not bored with blogging (or with you, commenters and even lurkers) and I have not run out of things to say (or cat photos to share), but there comes a point in the life of semi-anonymous bloggers -- or, at least, this one -- when it isn't really right or fair to the people in my immediate vicinity for me to continue this type of blog.

Although I don't think any one particular blog is essential, I do think it is important that certain blog-niches be well represented. I am therefore happy that there are some excellent blogs that share the same blog-niche as this one (senior women physical science professors) -- not many, but they exist, just like FSPs in real life. And maybe there are some incipient bloggers out there who have been considering starting a blog but have hesitated. I would very much like to read some new blogs by F/SPs.

The options I am considering for the future: I could confine my blogging to the format I use over at Scientopia for the Science Professor blog; that is, mostly answering questions that people send me by email and encouraging discussion from readers about these questions and issues (I seldom have what I consider to be a real or sufficient answer myself, but I am happy to facilitate discussion). I could do that over there, or over here. And/or I could just continue with my contributions to The Chronicle of Higher Education for as long as they'll have me (comments can be made on these, although the discussion isn't typically as lively as it is over here).

In terms of writing a blog, six years is kind of a long time. Over the years of blogging, and in particular at various blog anniversaries, I have described things that have changed in my career and in my field of Science since 2006, so I will not summarize those here. I will just say for now that some things have changed dramatically and some things have not. Over the years, I have had a lot to talk about, apparently, and I have appreciated having this platform to discuss incidents and ideas. Perhaps at some point, when my thoughts are more organized, I will do a better job with summing things up.

Mostly, of course, I have appreciated the comments and the quiet readers who kept reading. I have learned a lot, and it has been a great pleasure for me.

Did I mention that I have been blogging for six (6) years? Aside from various changes in my professorial existence, these 6 years also mean that I am rather older than I was when I started blogging: When I started, I was in my early 40s and my daughter was in elementary school. I am still in my 40s, but no matter how you do the math, 50 is looming. My daughter is in high school. One thing that has not changed is that she is an amazing, interesting, and happy person. And we still have huge cats whose mission in life is to destroy the stereotype of the aloof feline.

Anyway, I will continue to contemplate my blog future as I do some intense, job-related traveling in the next few weeks, and I will go off the air during that time. But before I go, I don't want to forget that at least once/year at about this time, I like to say Thanks for reading, so here it is: Thanks for reading.






121 comments:

Naomi said...

FSP, I want you to know how much I have appreciated your thoughts and perspective over the past 3 years that I have been following your posts. Your blog has helped me learn about academic culture in ways that I never could have. During my transition from working life to academic life, your posts helped me understand the broader context of academae -- and the experience of women in academae -- and I am very grateful. You have been my anonymous mentor and I appreciate the time and energy that you have put into this blog. Thank you so much.

Susan B. Anthony said...

And right back at you: thanks for writing. I will miss this blog very much; I see you as a virtual mentor whose particular voice, wisdom, and sense of humor are a huge help to me in my own FSP-path. But I will happily continue reading, whatever changes you choose to make. Thank you again.

Stephan said...

Thanks for writing. I will be sad to see your blog go away. I have found it extremely interesting and insightful over the past four years of grad school.

Anonymous said...

Hi FSP.

Thanks for writing. This blog (and the emmenating network) was an incredible resource for me as I transitioned from grad-postdoc-tenure track. Good luck in your next phase.

JH

Anonymous said...

'Thanks for reading'.

Thank you for writing. As first a PhD student and now a post-doc in the Biological Sciences I get a huge amount out of reading your blog. I read it everyday and it almost always gives me things to discuss with my (scientist) husband and also with my colleagues. I hope you won't give it up completely, but what ever form it will take in the future it has been very valuable. Thank you again!

Renee said...

No! One of the first blogs I've ever started to follow and stuck with.
Dear FSP, you remain a sane voice in the unruly waters of the internet, you always hit the nail on the head and provoke insightful comments. I do hope you continue in some way, shape or form.
Although I do realize that this is somewhat like the end of a long-running sitcom, where I also used to feel personally attacked by these heartless characters just abandoning me, when in real life it was of course okay for the actors to want to move on and change directions. Happy travels, on and off the air!

Anonymous said...

FSP, I won't question your decision, but I will say how much I'll miss your presence if you go ahead with it. There may be other blogs in the same niche, but none I look forward to reading half as much.

I was just thinking about your recent work-life balance posts: there is nothing in the world (other than my kids) that has made me laugh so hard these last months. You're not just another blogger.

Adele Jackson said...

I have been reading here for about a year now, although I don't think I've ever commented, so although you haven't decided what you are going to do, I would like to say thank you for writing it. As a (female) high school student, aiming for a science based career, your blogging has been enlightening as well as very interesting! All the best with whatever you decide.

Anonymous said...

Somehow after reading this post I was left with the feeling that this is truly a final goodbye disguised as a see you soon post. I hope this is not the case. I am one of the long time lurkers but I want to say that I truly admire your writing and despite the fact I am not a professor (yet), as an early female scientist I have greatly benefited from your experience and insight in women in STEM. I hope you do keep writing even if it's just over at Scientopia.

JPop said...

Sorry to hear you're dialling back on blogging, I will look out for you at your other blog-venues. I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog and found it a useful source of calm advice during my turbulent PhD.

Maria Abrahamsson said...

Dear FSP,

I started reading your blog, shortly after arriving in the US as a postdoc in the physical sciences (to do a postdoc abroad=probably the best decision I have ever made). Since then, I have moved acrossed oceans, climbed (parts of) the academic career ladder and contemplated leaving academia.

During these years of scientific excitement, administrative gloom and way-too-much-sexism-
in-professional-settings I have always looked forward to your new posts, found advice on how to handle, perspective on and sometimes distraction from, my academic (and personal) reality.

The FSP-blog has indeed been a great help in my career planning and considerations. I cannot advise you as whether blogging should continue or not, I would just like to say that out of all posts since 2007, only 5 or so have left me indifferent. I hope you are aware that your blog has had a lot of positive impact and for that, I wish to say simply thank you!

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding! FSP shall continue forever - I still have a whole scientific career ahead of me and want to be entertained! What excuse do I have now not to immediately start writing my paper in the morning?
I will miss you dearly. Don't be a stranger.

Anonymous said...

FSP, over the past 6 years your blog has been the best mentor I've got! I sincerely hope you will continue sharing your wisdom in some form or another. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I would be very, very sad to see you hang up your blogging hat either as FSP or SP more generally. You have kept me going in my scientific career (in the sense of 'thank goodness I am not alone in my feelings about this crazy profession of ours') as I have evolved from stressed postdoc to happy if still sometimes stressed tenured academic. Thank you, no matter what you decide to do!

Anonymous said...

I am completely nostalgic now and re-reading all your blog posts. I hope you still write from time to time! Thanks for everything FSP, you are really a great blogger, and I wish you were my boss.

a postdoc

Prof-like Substance said...

Thanks for writing. Regardless of what you decide to do, this has always been a space for interesting discussion and insight.

GMP said...

Nooooo! Don't leeeeeave!
Unless you are really sick of blogging, why not just post sporadically, when you feel like it, same as most people? Very few people would be able to sustain the daily posting tempo that you have had for so long, so hats off to you. But perhaps it's time to make it less about us readers and more about you, things you want to discuss, however often you want to discuss them, and on whichever platform you enjoy most.

Recently a student asked where I found the academic blogs to which I sometimes send the links to my group. So I gave him a short list that started with "FSP is an absolute must-read". You are an invaluable asset to the academic blogging community, and I'd love to have you around as long as possible, in whatever form suits you best.

Anonymous said...

OK, so you're off travelling, and will meanwhile contemplate your blog's future -- now will you please promise to end the contemplation with a continuation of the blog?! Six years is a long time, sure, but for a blog such as this - no, wait, for THIS blog, - six years is nowhere near enough!

A coincidence - just a few hours ago I met another FSP whose (non-anonymous) blog has had me as a loyal lurker for quite a while. I was introduced to her, and as soon as I heard the name I shouted out "I'm such a great fan of your blog!"

Now, let me do the same here, though I mostly lurk - I love this blog! DON'T STOP ...

Anonymous said...

While I respect your need to move on, I'll be sad to see you go. Most of the other blogs I have looked at in this area, including those to which you link, are either too downbeat or not as thoughtful, and you;ve built an impressive community following this and contributing to the discussion,

Best wishes as you consider the future

Mark P

a physicist said...

This is one of a very few blogs I read each day, and the one I've been reading for the longest. I'll miss you! But, you should only be blogging if it's the best use of your time. If other things are more fun or a better use of your time, then that sounds good to me. So blog as much or as little as you wish. I will cheerfully read whatever you write.

theartofmodelling said...

Wow... I didn't see that coming! As a grad student, I had no understanding of the types of issues that affected professors or what professors thought about. Traditionally, this information was not accessible to anyone who wasn't close friends with a professor (i.e., most of us). You're blog helped me to better understand the nature of the job.

On the flip-side there is 6 years of content still to read through - and that remains as a valuable resource.

Thanks for the haircare advice.

olympiasepiriot said...

Arrrrgggghhhh...NO!!!!!!!

Oh, well, I understand. But, I like reading you and, frankly, I don't think there's enough professional scientists who are women posting regularly on the web.

But, if it must be, it must be.

No matter your eventual decision, have a good and productive summer.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing.

-A very quiet reader.

Amy said...

Thank you! I will really miss you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing!

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP, I started reading as a brand new faculty member and found much of your writing helpful in navigating departmental politics, seeing problems in the department I might have otherwise overlooked, not feeling alone and finding my place in my university community.

Some of what I have read has directly helped me and some of it has helped me mentor students, PDFs and faculty colleagues.

I will miss your posts should you stop and, really, you have already made the biggest contributions to me that you can. But, I would hate to see others in my previous position miss out on your wisdom, wit and experiences and also those of your readers.

The world probably doesn't need another book for new faculty or how to survive grad school or whatever but, should you write another book (in addition to Academeology [which I share regularly]) I would provide it to all new university members it could help.

Thanks!

nordicTT said...

I think I discovered your blog five years ago, when I was struggling with my PhD. I didn't have much time then, but your blog has been a big source of inspiration over the years, although I was mostly a lurker. I don't question your choice, but you know your readers will be sad and disappointed because the topics and the discussions here are very interesting and useful, especially for newcomers in academia. Nevertheless I hope to continue to read something from you somewhere else. Thanks FSP!

Anonymous said...

And thank you for writing. I start off each workday with your blog; it will be hard to replace. I've learned a ton of useful and interesting stuff from you and your readers. And as I'm about to start my own professional blog, I keep thinking about your tone and style as a model. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I would love to start a blog like this, but I can't be as professional and objective. My negativity would ruin the blog. We need blogs like yours. Don't go!

Anonymous said...

I started reading your blog as a new postdoc, and am now a TT faculty member. I can't tell you how many times, faced with a question, I looked up some previous post you had written on the topic. I shudder to think of the mistakes I would have made if I didn't have the blogosphere - and espeically your voice - to help guide me. I will miss your daily posts (!!) - but I certainly hope you don't take down your blog archives. There's a wealth of info in there...I think I will go back and read one random previous post per day and pretend it is a new one. :)

- FS(assistant)P

Anonymous said...

This is the ONLY blog I read. Thank you!

chall said...

Dear FSP,
I started reading your blog when I was a fresh post-doc in a new environment in the US. It
s been a very helpful, fun, eye-opening and the advice have always been great.

It's also been very good to know that some things in academia is just not "about you" but rather a systematic thing. Never mind that I 'knew and know' this, it's still different when reading about it from someone further ahead in the game/life.

I would love to make a more organised library of your posts. I understand that same questions come year after year so assembling the links with your great posts would be awesome for the new ones...

Thank you for all the great writing and stories. Happy life and good luck with everything in the future too!

Anonymous said...

Your blog has provided a lot of valuable insight for me as a grad student and I'll be sorry to see it end. Thanks for writing FSP!

Ace said...

This makes me sad, as I read this blog more than any other over the past 6 years as I transitioned from new PhD to postdoc to tenure track. I appreciated the advice, humor, honesty and the cats. I am sad but I also understand change is part of life, always. I'll be reading should you blog here or elsewhere, frequently or infrequently

Ann said...

Thanks FSP! Your blog has been full of so many stories that have made me realize "Its not just me!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is so sad.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add my voice to the list of grad students who transitioned to postdoc who are now working on the transition into STEM academia. I'm usually a lurker, but I've read all your posts and appreciate the years of perspective and anonymous mentoring. Thank you. You've been an enjoyable part of my morning routine for years and I will miss you. Perhaps it's time for me to help carry the mantle.

Aceon said...

I have been reading your blog for about five years, through grad school, NTT job, TT job, and a baby. You have been a great source of information inspiration and humor (and cat photos). I will miss you.

Geochemom said...

I will miss reading your posts every day, but appreciate that you have been doing this regularly for a long time. I started reading your blog 5 years ago, when I started my tenure track job- I submit my tenure portfolio next month. Thanks for anonymously mentoring me and many other FSPs through academia's craziness.

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP, I would like to echo what so many have already said. Your words have mentored me and opened my eyes to how the academic world works.

I had a rocky start - a terrible experience at the beginning of grad school which led to me leaving the program. Now, I'm getting up the courage to go back for my Ph.D., and your blog has been instrumental in encouraging me to do that in 2 ways. 1)Convincing me that being a FSP is possible/good/fulfilling career choice despite its challenges and 2)De-mystifying some aspects of the academic environment. More importantly, helping me learn how to look at it more analytically.

You are truly an example and inspiration to many whom you have never met!

OTHER READERS: I encourage some of you to start your own blogs(as has been mentioned in the comments). You have received much from FSP over the years - please continue to pass it on to others like myself who are just beginning this academic journey!

Anonymous said...

Another lurking theorist/applied math woman. Will miss you very much, FSP. One of the few blogs I follow regularly. Love.

MZ said...

Just wanted to chime in -- your blogs (both here and on Scientopia), along with one other in my scientific subfield, are the only ones I regularly read. And contrary to what you suggest, most of the other bloggers are assistant profs, postdocs, or grad students, who have a very different perspective. So thanks very much, and I will miss you if you go.

adiamondinsunlight said...

FSP, I'm a junior faculty member in the humanities and have been following your blog avidly since first stumbling across it last fall. Thank you so much for your witty, pithy, brilliant insights on the world of academe.

Anonymous said...

FSP,

Thank you for writing my favorite blog. I've enjoyed it and will miss it if you decide to move on!

Alex said...

Yeah, what GMP said! If blogging every day ain't your thing anymore, then don't blog every day. But don't go! Please don't go!

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP,
You have been a great mentor for me too. I started reading when your blog was brand new, and I was in my first year of my tenure-track position. Your blog was (is?) fun, helpful, and triggered numerous interesting discussions with colleagues. I got tenure recently, so I guess it is time for your blog to get tenure too and move on to something new :-)
I sincerely thank you for sharing your thoughts all these years. Although it was (probably) not your intention, your blog helped many women in the physical sciences, and other fields, deal with career-related issues. I just hope you will find other ways to continue to make a difference.

Thanks!
A recently-promoted female associate professor in the physical sciences.

Pam K said...

Say it ain't so.

Seriously - thanks for the blog.

Anonymous said...

I've only been around the blogosphere the last year or so and was introduced to it by your blog. I've noticed lots of blogs have gone quiet recently - I was shocked and dismayed to discover FSP was following the same trend. What will I read in the mornings? Your blog starts my day!!!
However, the fact that you have managed to write so well, informatively and daily for 6 years is hugely impressive and if you need to change direction (as we all need to do at some point in our careers!) I wish you all the best and hope that you will still blog in some shape or form. Thank you FSP for sharing your insights and thoughts with us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm a FSP who just received tenure - your blog helped me get there. You will be missed (and this is the only blog I read - and I've read it everyday).

Stephanie said...

I love your blog and I will be sad if you go, but I understand life changes and you need to do what is best for you. But thank you so very much for all the blogging you have done so far. You are awesome.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing! I have learned so much from your posts. Your calm way of dealing with adversity is an inspiration. I rarely comment, but reading your blog is the highlight of my lunch break each day!

Mid-career female biology prof

Anonymous said...

I started reading your blog as a senior physical sciences undergrad and kept reading through my 4 years "off" from the sciences. Keeping up with your blog during those years is one thing that led me back to grad school and has made the transition easier. I'm finishing up my first year now and am so glad I had your blog as a touchstone. Thank you so much!

Beth said...

Whatever you decide, thank you for all that you've shared and mused on in the past. While I didn't take the route of academia it's been a great window on that world and has made me think of some "female" related questions in my own life as well.

invaderxan said...

It is, of course, entirely your choice if you wish to take your leave of the blogosphere. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. So before you do – I just want to say, as a long term silent reader (for the majority of my academic life to date), how much I've enjoyed your blog.

Your writing style is one of the most effortlessly captivating and entertaining I've ever read. The things you say and right about have given amazing insights into faculty life, and your words have served as an inspiration on occasions too numerous to count. I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels that way.

So please let me wish you well in whatever you decide upon, and say a huge thank you to you for all of your writing.

All the best, and do take care.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog just as I started my postdoc last year. I was hooked immediately, and have eaglerly enjoyed your posts during my lunch breaks. Your writing (and also those who comment here) has been a unique source of mid-day inspiration and insight for me. I will miss this blog, but in any case thank you so much for your writing.

Anonymous said...

Agree with others that the news is depressing. I'm one of the old guard, and I've very much looked forward to your blog. I hope this isn't fallout from your comments about the possibility of fraud committed by the facilities people at your institution.

Psycgirl said...

FSP I loved your blog as a grad student but I love it even more as a new faculty member! I think I've gotten 85% more advice here than from the official mentor my new employer assigned me!

mathgirl said...

You have been my anonymous mentor since I was a very early postdoc. Tomorrow will be my first day as a tenured prof. It's so sad to read this post today!

So long and thanks for all the blogging!!!!

Gautam Menon said...

I read your blog regularly and will miss it greatly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog, I've been following it for 2 or 3 years and have learned so much more from it regarding "how the academic scientific world really works" than from my PhD advisor and two postdoctoral advisors, combined. Yes the level of advising on such matters has been sorely lacking in my experience and that of almost all of my postdoc colleagues (an all-too-common phenomenon) that your blog is an invaluable resource. (I think it should count as a 'broader impact' in your NSF proposals, if it weren't for the need for anonymity!)

The fact that I'm also a woman in the male-dominated physical sciences makes your blog even more valuable to me. And even though I'm a dog-person I also really enjoy the posts on your cats.

Anonymous said...

It would be sad for your loyal followers if you pulled a Cheshire cat (a la Alice in Wonderland)... Thank you for all of your posts!

P.S. This lurker would be happy to see more cat photos.

Anonymous said...

Why not be like the dread pirate roberts (princess bride): retire and name a successor FSP?

myscientificlife said...

Thank you so much for writing. Your blog introduced me to the world of blogging about life in academia and you gave me insight on things I would have otherwise never known.

Tinkering Theorist said...

Thank you for all the wombats. Your blog has been an incredibly helpful resource for me, as I've come through grad school, postdoc, and to the tenure track (though I don't technically start for another couple of months).

Your posts are well written and interesting to read, and I enjoy hearing about how you deal with things. You've taught me well, so instead of freaking out that you're leaving, I'm going to get a copy of Academeology for my office. Also during my time reading I've found a great real life non-supervisory mentor to talk with. If you continue posting on Scientopia, I suggest a post about finding a mentor, since some of us will have a gap to fill now.

Best wishes to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I started reading this blog while writing my PhD thesis. I am currently a post-doc in the physical sciences. It is the best academic blog I found. I have been amazed at the variety of topics covered and that you post almost everyday.

This blog gave me a sense of what the life of a professor is like (particularly a FSP), something that I didn't think much about as a grad student. I have gotten a much better sense of academia as a career option, without directly experiencing it (I am currently in a national lab). I'd recommend this blog to any PhD student to get a better perspective of things.

The feedback from readers has also taught me a lot about what is out there. I particularly like hearing from people with contrasting experiences wrt co-workers, department culture, students, hiring, etc.

Also, being a male, I never realized how women see and experience things differently. Whenever I have female co-workers (not applicable now), I will be more watchful of things.

Yours Truly,
post-doc in the physical sciences

Anonymous said...

As someone who went from a new postdoc, to research staff, and now to a faculty job while reading your blog, I want to thank you for the perspective on academia that you've always provided through your posts.

Anonymous said...

As a long-time (mostly) lurker, I, too, want to say thank you! Your blog was my entry point into the world of academic blogging and is the only one I still read regularly. In the transition from graduate student to the tenure-track, your anonymous mentoring and outside perspective (and cat pictures) have been invaluable. I hope that you choose to continue sharing your experiences and advice in some form, but whatever your decision, thanks for all you've given of yourself over the last six years. All the best!

DrDoyenne said...

FSP,

Your blog inspired me to start my own blog to electronically (and semi-anonymously) mentor women in my field.

I understand your decision. It's extremely difficult to write thoughtful, interesting, and relevant posts, day after day, which inevitably require time that you would normally be spending with family and friends.

Thanks and good luck.

Anonymous said...

I am a 50 something female science professor at a large university - I share your experience and your feelings. This is my first comment to any blog ever. But I have to say thank you and good luck! (well done!)

Sofia said...

Just need to add my glass to the toast -- klink! To six good years, and many more in new endeavors.

Ms. Scientist, Ph.D. said...

I echo many folks' comments in saying that I hope you keep blogging in some capacity! I recently started reading, and like many others was inspired and encouraged. I hope to read more soon...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing. As I progressed as assistant to full professor, it was so helpful to read your perspective and analyses of situations that I felt like I ran into time and time again. Your blog is an incredible resource and you have been enormously generous to give your time and energy to it for 6 years. It remains one of the first sites I check every morning and I will sorely miss it when it ends. Thank you and very best wishes. A.

Anonymous said...

:( lurker here... so grateful for all the anonymous mentoring and thoughtful advice... best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP,
Your blog has entertained me and encouraged me to think about my career and ways I can/cannot help others along in their careers. I don't read many (any) other blogs and do not relish trying to find another one that I enjoy as much as this. Your humor was particularly fun during my pumping breaks at the keyboard. I'm about to have another child, so I"ll have to start exploring your favorite blogs to find a new outlet for the fall!
Many thanks for your time and committment to the blogosphere. You will be missed.

Sincerely,
a thankful, anonymous FSPer

Pippin, the Gentle Pup said...

I work at one of the institutions involved in a new kind of online venture designed to offer courses from "elite" institutions. There are currently 38 courses offered through this venture. Four of them from FPs. It's reading your blog that has reminded me to pay attention to these kinds of things. Have fun on your travels and know that whatever your decision, you've made a real difference with your thoughts. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am really sad to see you go. I am a Ph.D. student and your blog has provided wisdom and inspiration. Thank you and best of luck with your future endeavors.

PhyPhoFu said...

I really enjoy reading your blog and I would be very sad to see it go!

David S said...

"Your blog has helped me learn about academic culture in ways that I never could have."

This!

David S said...

Additionally: I also find goodbyes to be awkward. What's with that?

Jesper said...

FSP, thanks for maintaining this blog for so long. I'll miss it badly. But I hope you will post again, at least occasionally.

jb said...

Thank you for blogging. This has been a very helpful blog. I only found it 3 yrs ago when I started my academic career. Learned a lot from you and from the comments as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the anonymous mentoring throughout my postdoc years.

- New (female) assistant prof. in the physical sciences

Unknown said...

I've enjoyed your blog for many years and recommend it for young women scientists (and engineers). The comments attest to its wide readership and value to many. All the best in your future endeavors!

Anonymous said...

I don't know but I had a feeling reading your posts last months or so, that this moment is coming. Good luck. As GMP suggested, maybe you would enjoy writing occasionally when you would like to share your thoughts on some topics.

Anonymous said...

Nooooooooooooo :( My favourite blog, how can I survive without it???

Anonymous said...

I am so sad to hear this! I am moving toward a FSP role, and I'm a mother, and I just recently discovered your blog and was so thrilled to have found it. I don't usually comment, but I am so appreciative of all you have written. I'm sure there are many other people like me whose lives you have touched, even if we don't comment about it. You are a mentor / role model -- you show that it is possible to be a FSP, you show it's possible to be a FSP+mother, you give details on the FSP career that are very helpful, you validate many of my own feelings on issues with being a woman in science, and you put a humorous/positive spin on things. Thank you for all of it.

I will continue to browse your archives and look for other FSP blogs. Thank you, and please, please stick around in some form(s).

Anonymous said...

I have been a lurker on this blog for almost as long as it has been in existence. I discovered it as a grad student. It helped me better understand the grad school culture. I appreciate the insights it provided particularly on the issues of grad student/advisor relations and the whole issue of women in science. As others have stated, it became a mentor. Thank you for the time and energy you have put into this blog. Your voice will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Cats do rule!

Lisa C. said...

Thank you for writing. I've followed you for the past 5 years, your blog was what got my through my PhD and then helped me navigate through the beginnings of my NTT job. You've given me incredibly thoughtful, insightful, and funny things to think about. Most importantly a lot of the issues you addressed (women in science type stuff) helped me realize I was not crazy or imagining disparities.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP,

Thanks for writing and while I will miss your posts, I understand you have to juggle priorities too, like the rest of us. One request, please do not take the site down even if you stop blogging. I learnt about your blog only recently and will love to be able to visit your archives again and again.

Your advice and reader's comments have sometimes been a great source of support and mentorship for a junior FSP like me. Also, I adore cats. :)

Good luck to you in your future adventures.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Your writing has provided humor, advice, and inspiration. It reminds me that I shouldn't let the hurdles push me out of science.

A quietly loyal reader.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, FSP. Your blog was often the only place where I could find honest answers, humor, and encouragement simultaneously. You have influenced my professional development in a very positive way over the last several years, and I suspect your influence will stay with me for years to come. Thank you for providing this very important forum. I wish you all the best!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything, FSP! I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog over the past 6 years. I began reading it in undergrad, and am now nearing the end of my Ph.D. I think it's safe to say that your insights into what things men accidentally do that makes life harder for women in science have been very useful to me -- I hope I am a better man in science because of your writing. Every so often I'll come across a situation that I've read about in your blog, and I will act in a hopefully better way than I would have otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Many many thanks for your years of service. I've been a longtime reader (and occasional commenter)-- and searched your blog for advice before meetings, interviews, presentations. I just received an offer for a TT assistant prof position!! Thank you for your wise words and I hope you'll continue to contribute at Scientopia or elsewhere.

NonUS FSP said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful blog: You vast knowledge, combined with subtle cynicism (sans bitterness) and delicate humor, made your posts a pleasure to read.
I could never understand how you managed to keep posting every workday.

Like many others, I hope you will find a way to post from time to time.

Good luck with your work and your family.

Female Science Professor said...

Thank you everyone for all these nice comments. This is rather amazing for me.

As I mentioned, I am not tired of blogging or out of things to say (in my opinion). The relevant information is at the end of the second paragraph. I think it is stressful for those around me to worry whether something they say or do will show up in a post; I certainly don't blame them. It reminds me of how I felt growing up when everything I said or did could show up in a sermon on Sunday in my step/father's church. I hated that (perhaps in part because it wasn't anonymous, but even so..). The question for me is whether I can write anything useful or interesting if I depersonalize the blog too much, and I am still thinking about this.

Anonymous said...

Oh FSP, I have mainly been a quiet reader, only compelled to respond once or twice. I have read every single one of your posts. And yours is the only blog I follow. Truth! Why? Well, for one I am a female scientist, and for another I belong to a feline. But there has been many a time when I was frustrated or disheartened by the "system" and something in one of your blogs just kind of nudged me over the line towards a more positive view of the world and kept me pushing along, doing my science thing. To know that you (and other commenters/readers) were out there, struggling too, really helped me at times. In particular I found that you tend to pick those niggling instances that are so hard to describe as to why they are sexist or frustrating, and other people might think one is reading too much into things. And yet... (to borrow your phrase). I don't know, somehow it's just missing from the rest of the blogosphere in my opinion. Either way I just want to say thanks. Thanks for being there when I needed you :)

iGrrrl said...

I know several people have mentioned it above, but please understand how much you have inadvertently mentored people. Simply by posting on the subjects you talk about (even cats), you've been so much more helpful to many people than their RL mentors.

I'd like to encourage you to continue with the Q/A format, using reader emails to spark discussion so that your colleagues don't have to feel like they're walking on eggshells, and the rest of us don't have to lose your insights.

Isua said...

I've been lurking and reading you for years now, and just want to say thank you for all you've written!

Anonymous said...

How about changing this blog to be an entirely cat blog?

Anonymous said...

Thank you FSP! I am one of the quiet readers and you are the only blog I really follow and look forward to. I got my PhD and my encouragement while reading your blog. I hope you find a way to keep writing.

fasmith said...

FSP,

I am more or less a contemporary in the academic pipeline (although I have an additional kid and 3 more cats than you). I have much enjoyed your posts over the years, which always seem to follow closely along with my own experiences and thoughts. It's kind of uncanny. You do a great service by vocalizing what many of us think. I'm sorry to hear you are hanging up your shingle, but wish you the best of luck.

BugDoc said...

Hope you continue blogging in some form! As another FSP, I have enjoyed and learned from your interesting questions and insights into the academic world. I'm amazed at the discipline that has kept you writing so productively over the last 6 years. Maybe something to do with the cats? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Funny, smart, inspiring... Thank you, FSP.

Karina said...

Nooooooooooo! <- My first reaction

I mean, I'm going to miss your blogging so much! I do hope that you continue sharing your awesome stories, even if it's not on this blog. I have been so impressed with your ability to continue writing frequent, awesome posts that I never even thought about you stopping! If your posts had trickled off I might have seen this coming, but not even "So long and thanks for all the wombats" had me thinking it was a goodbye post.

Thank you, FSP, for being such an incredible role model and voice in the blogosphere.

Karina said...

FSP, years ago I started to write a blog post about why I loved your blog. Now that you're done blogging, I finally posted it. I assume my blog isn't on your radar at all (being one of those blogging-my-PhD types), so here's a link. Thank you!

http://aspiringecologist.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-i-love-fsp.html

Fia said...

Let me chime in, too. I also started reading your blog as a PhD, all through my post-doc and am now at the brink of starting my own lab. Sometimes it seems like I would notmhave made it, or, at least, less smoothly, without you wisdom and advice. Thank you for writing. From all those responses, it seems as a great number of women in academia have greatly benefited from your blog. I think it is not immodest to say you have contributed a little bit to help close the nasty gender gap. Thank you very much formthat, too. You will be missed.

Liz in Ypsilanti said...

As an admin-asst-type in a science department, I have found your blog very helpful in understanding issues faced by my faculty. Thank you for the education you have offered here. I will miss you, but I completely understand. I seem to have inadvertently abandoned my blog this past winter and, other than a fierce desire to write about Ray Bradbury's influence on my life, I've not missed it. Enjoy the other parts of your life.

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP,

Thanks so much. I have truly enjoyed your blog. You have incredible insight and advice. I can't tell you how many times I have seen my own experiences in your posts, or shared what you have said with a fellow FSP. I have also always marveled at your ability to do that whole work/family balance thing, made even more impressive because you had the blogger part added in as well.

I can totally understand feeling like it was time to move on, but we'll miss you!

Cheers,
Kitty

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP,

I'm another avid reader / lurker posting rather late due to travel. I am so sad to see this news - like many others, I've looked forward to reading your posts every morning. I know that I too have benefitted from your reasonable, balanced approach, good advice, thought provoking posts, and humourous posts sprinkled in for good measure. The (mostly) respectful discussion generated, particularly at this site, has also been very valuable. I do hope that you will continue things in some format, on some time frame, but as others have urged, I hope at least your blog archive will remain up, as it is such a wonderful resource. I know I'll start reading through these in the coming days.

Thank you so much for all of your blogging, and good luck with everything!

A female postdoc in the physical sciences.

Anonymous said...

I'm an academic in the humanities, and I have very much appreciated the feminist outlook in your blog. Thank you for your humor and your perspective.

Female assistant professor said...

Dear FSP,

Another late reader (since my kids were born I have resorted to reading your blog in "binges" so my comments are always late), and a reader of 4 or so years.

THANK YOU for the mentoring. You (and your blog) are a real asset to female and male professors all over the world. I hope you know that.

Can an anonymous blogger be nominated for the AAAS mentor award? (http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards/mentor/). It should be possible, no? Hey, other readers -- can we do it?

Anonymous said...

I guess I would be considered one of the lurkers since this marks my first comment...but thank YOU for sharing with all of us your thoughts and experiences over the last 6 years. I only found your blog recently but I enjoy reading your older posts very much. All the best!

Anonymous said...

Dear FSP, be sure that you will be missed. You are the very fisrt blog I ever read, and I have followed you for 3 years.

Yoour blog is wonderful, inspiring and honest. You have been a great mentor for many people. Many thanks!!
BL

Gingerale said...

I'll miss your posts so much. You've helped me a lot. I'm very grateful. Thank you, FSP.

Anonymous said...

You were the first bookmark on my bookmark list and a companion since the birth of my second child, nearly 7 years ago. Thanks. Hope you keep up some form of the blog in some fashion.

Monisha

Anonymous said...

All good things...

DRo said...

FSP,
Like others have said, you have been a pseudo-mentor to me throughout my professional transitions (postdoc to research faculty to TT faculty). You will be greatly missed. Thanks so much for writing.

BTW, what is up with the "wombats" part of the title?

Female Science Postdoc said...

FSP, I am very happy that you have had the energy to keep this blog going for so long, since it is the closest thing to a mentor I've ever had when it comes to navigating (and surviving) the world of academic research.

As long as you keep writing, I'll keep reading...

Anonymous said...

FSP- thank you! your advice has been invaluable. I'm not sure who else to turn to now...

John Vidale said...

The AAAS mentor award suggestion above is an excellent idea to (1) recognize FSP, (2) to highlight her body of interpretation and advice, and (3) to encourage like efforts in the future.

I'd be willing to assemble a nomination, but there are several details necessary to do this that I lack, given an anonymous blog and largely anonymous commentators.