Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The much anticipated opening post

I promised to say something about who I am and what this blog is. So here it is.

As the box on the right reads, my name is Daphna and I am a PhD student in Tel-Aviv University. I plan my research to be about the skeptic – rationalist – humanist movement. Or science fans, or grassroots science communicators, or “geeks”. I am not sure which is the best term, so I’ll just use skeptics in this post at least.

I want to understand this movement. What it is about. Why people get involved with it. What it can – or can’t – do.

I have defined myself as a skeptic for several years and have been active with Israeli skepticism since 2010. A year ago, give or take, I started thinking it would be really interesting to talk to skeptics about skepticism. I had been doing long-form interviews on my podcast, and I found that it was something I enjoyed doing. Maybe that’s because I am kind of shy and in need of a good excuse to ask questions…

Anyway, I didn’t just want to get to know skeptics. I wanted to understand this world better through these conversations. Which, as I slowly realized, is a kind of research project. And thus the idea of going back to school to study skepticism formed.

As for the blog: I blog, of course, for the fame and fortune.

Well, not exactly, but I do want people in skepticism to know about what I do. I am still struggling with how to research something I feel part of. But I think the right thing to do is to let people in on what’s going on. Also, I hope my work will be interesting for people in skepticism, and it’s important for me to keep writing about it in a place that requires less social scientific lingo. In a way, it’s my own science communication project. That is, if you feel like calling what I do science…

I am just starting off now, both the academic work and this blog. In a way I invite you to join my thinking/learning process. I hope you enjoy it.