Editorial: BMCDB Community turns to the Blogosphere
As chair of the BMCDB graduate group, I want to take the opportunity to welcome our community to the BMCDB blog. I hope this blog becomes a means for all of us, past, present and future, faculty and students, to remain connected. Although our success is often measured by our individual achievements, I believe that those achievements are sweeter and hopefully come more easily with the support of a cohesive graduate group. Ideally, we should treat this forum as virtual meeting place to reinforce our face-to-face interactions (not as a substitute) and where we can collectively celebrate each other’s successes, offer support during down times and keep track of each other as we journey beyond BMCDB.
It seems ironic that in an age of pervasive digital connectivity, we need yet another forum to bind us together. Yet at the same time, it feels as though the demands on our attention and time continue to increase at an alarmingly rapid pace. I can remember when it was possible to keep up with the literature in a field by attending a journal club and sitting down in the library (yes, with paper copies of journalsl!!) with a single cup of coffee every few weeks. PubMed alerts, Google scholar, Faculty of 1000 and the sheer volume of journals and articles makes “keeping up” feel like an exercise in futility. In the face of these changes I have modernized my approach, substituting a café for the library, my computer for journals and espresso (or 2) for the cup of coffee. Yet there is something so very gratifying about having a colleague connect you to a paper or approach that changes how you think about your research. Perhaps it’s because we are, after all, social creatures and the “connections” we make matter as much as the facts. Regardless of the reasons, I am confident that our interactions and connectivity makes us better researchers. I can think of no better role for a graduate group than to foster those types of interactions between us all.
So then, let us blog or at least take a few moments away from Facebook, Twitter (really, do we tweet?) and emails to read the BMCDB blog or better yet, to share your thoughts, experiences or your latest results with the rest of us. The quality of this blog, just like the quality of our graduate group, depends on your participation. I look forward to “seeing” you on the blog, and of course at our annual meeting this Thursday! Play hard and work harder!
Chair of BMCDB