I would like to offer a warm welcome to everyone that has come to read my first blog post. Most of you will know me from Twitter (@drmikeographer) where I am an enthusiastic participant in most science-related topics. Before I get into the purpose of this blog, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people on Twitter that are currently carrying out their PhD or a Postdoc position; you have all been positively brilliant in replying to questions, offering sage advice, or simply discussing science-related topics with the community.
In the past 6 months, I have found a real, engaging community of scientists and academics that not only offer their support to one another, but make it fun for students and non-students to engage with others. By following hashtags like #phdchat (currently my most searched hashtag) and #phdlife, I have found that I can offer useful advice through my own experience to PhD students that are perhaps stuck in a rut or simply need a kind word to encourage them in a negative phase of their project (Remember! – you were once in the same situation or currently are, so you know the benefits of having someone there to offer even a kind word during an anxious phase). I have found it most uplifting, being able to discuss certain topics of science with PhD students and other members of academia. I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that we are giving others sound advice regarding the various topics that come up on a daily basis and not to just sit back and let someone struggle on their own.
Together we are stronger; something I believe is all the more evident on Twitter. So the next time you see someone asking a particular question on Twitter, try and help them – this may be in the form of a direct reply using your own experience; but even if you think you cannot directly help them, try retweeting (RT) their question or query and attach the appropriate hashtags so that someone else in the community can reach out to that person and help them. It is therefore my pleasure to tell you that this blog will be focused around helping each other, plain and simple. I will be asking for topics for discussion on Twitter, and depending on the response, will choose the topic appropriately. It is imperative that we come together as a community and embrace each other’s skills and expertise. We must use our positions in this great scientific community to share ideas, help one another and explain what we do to the public audience so that we can become more effective in our research. Thank you for reading this first blog and engaging with myself on Twitter – good luck with your own research but remember, you are not alone. Stay positive! See you on Twitter! (@drmikeographer)