Sunshine Blogger Award

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A field of sunflowers with the words

We were nominated for an award!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Today’s blog post is a little different. Recently, Dudley Describes was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. We, yes both Dudley and I, are thrilled and feel honoured, and quite frankly shocked, to be nominated. We’re also incredibly happy that our blog is actually being read by more than our loyal and supportive family and friends (you guys are the best!).

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer nominated blogger award that is given to people who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community. This is something we strive for with Dudley Describes in that we want learning to be fun and exciting. Plus, nothing brightens up my day more than Dudley’s goofy face.

What are the Rules?

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Who Nominated Us?

As some of you know, Dudley is fairly weary of our feline friends but in this case, we’ll make an exception. We were nominated by the awesome blog, Schrodinger’s Cat. The mastermind behind this blog is Natasha, a graduate student from the University of British Columbia who strives to rid the world of false scientific information. Sadly, this is quite a big undertaking, but she’s doing a great job! From the science behind fireworks to the chemistry of cannabis, there is plenty to learn from this blog. Plus, there’s a hearty dose of puns for those who are so inclined.  Go check out her blog or follow her on Twitter or on Instagram

Questions asked by Schrodinger’s Cat

What first got you into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)?

I didn’t have what might be considered a typical or direct path into the sciences or academia. I wasn’t particularly academic when I was younger. I was an athlete throughout junior and high school and I was generally more concerned about my sporting performance and hanging out with my friends. I received a sports bursary for a local university, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I ended up enrolling in a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom.) degree in Sports Management. This degree offered three majors, including Human Movement Sciences, Business Management and Industrial Psychology, which exposed me to a wide range of potential career paths. I enjoyed most of my degree, but I loved learning about the human body. It turns out, when you’re interested in something, its far easier to excel in that area.

I ended up completing an Honours degree and qualified as a rehabilitation specialist (Biokineticist). I worked as a biokineticist for a short while but later decided I wanted to study further. I moved cities to pursue a Master’s degree in Biokinetics and became fascinated with how resilient the human body is and the potential role the brain plays in this regard. Side note: this is around the time I adopted Dudley. I eventually realised that I actually loved to learn, and that science was awesome, so I decided to continue in research and pursue an academic career, with my science-sidekick Dudley at my side, of course.

If you could sit down with any famous person, living or dead, and ask them one question, who would it be, what would you ask them, and why? 

I would love to sit down with Theodor Seuss Geisel, or more commonly known as Dr. Seuss. I love the balance he found between education and entertainment, as well as how he uses his amazing illustrations. I think he’s a fascinating person and I would just like to hear more about his life.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I really like that my blog allows me to be a bit more creative with my story telling, as opposed to my typical science writing. That’s not to say that science writing isn’t creative, it certainly is, but I feel like I have a little more fun and a lot more freedom when writing for my blog.

What is your biggest challenging blogging or as a science blog?

Finding the time. I had grand ideas of being able to pump out articles every week or so but sadly, this has been more difficult than I expected. Thankfully, with Dudley’s help, I’m rarely at a loss for ideas about what to write. He’s a constant source of entertainment.

What is your day job or are you solely a blogger?

I am currently a Neuroscience PhD Candidate at Simon Fraser University. My chosen field of research is sensorimotor control and learning. I investigate the factors that affect how the human body adapts to our environment to gain a better understanding of how the brain learns.

If you couldn’t have studied the science field that you are in now, what would you have chosen (doesn’t have to be science) and why?

I am fascinated with how animals adapt and survive in our environment, which is partly the reason I am studying sensorimotor adaptation. If I wasn’t in neuroscience, I would love to learn more about evolutionary biology.

How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for almost one year now… and counting.

What is one thing that you hope comes from your blog?

If I could accomplish anything from my blog it would be to help eradicate some of the elitist stigma that often accompanies science and academia. I’d like to help show people that science is everywhere and that it can be fun. I also want Dudley to be famous.

Who’s your favourite superhero and why?

My favourite superhero would have to be Wolverine. Firstly, regeneration is awesome and who wouldn’t want to be able to heal themselves? Secondly, gene mutations are fascinating and the thought of the human race evolving into a superhuman species is pretty cool. I also like the idea that anyone can be a hero. You may not have had the easiest start in life, and you may have done things that you’re not proud of, but everyone can be a hero to someone. Also, Hugh Jackman is a dreamboat.

Why did you start blogging?

I started my blog because I wanted to contribute to people’s understanding and enthusiasm about how the brain works in a way that is fun and easy to digest—and in a way that allows me to take copious amounts of pictures of my dog… for science, of course.

If you could say only one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would probably say that I am, for better or worse, determined.

Our 11 Nominations

We would like to nominate the following blogs or bloggers who have inspired, taught, and entertained us. Here they are in no particular order. Some of you won’t know who we are but know that what you do matters and is appreciated. I apologise if you have already been nominated—consider it positive reinforcement. You are also under no obligation to accept the nomination or what it entails. Keep doing what you do! I’d like to introduce you to the following Science Sidekicks…

 

A girl blowing a balloon with bubble gumNeuroTravels

NeuroTravels is a blog by Sara, a Neuroscientist with a flair for science communication and travel. Sara shares her daily science-life to help bridge the gap between science and the public. She’s also quite the jet-setter and enjoys combining her various science activities with experiencing new cities and lifestyles around the world. Keep up to date with Sara on her neuro-travels on her blog or follow Sara on Instagram

 

Dr. Echo Rivera

Are you in pursuit of learning how to design a perfect presentation? If so, this one’s for you! Echo Rivera trains and mentor’s woman academics, evaluators, researchers, and scientists to design and deliver effective presentations. I had the pleasure of attending one of Echo’s workshops and my presentations have without a doubt improved, and I’m still learning. She aims to rid the world of #deathbypowerpoint and is doing so, one amazing seminar at a time. For excellent tips and tricks—and the odd pic of her two pooches, Sage and Biscuit—check out Echo’s blog or follow her on Twitter and Instagram 

 

David Latchman

David Latchman, or Sci-Writer Dave as some of you may know him, is another great science blogger on my list. Dave is a science communicator, a writer for and founder of Science vs. Hollywood, and a podcast host for Science Bloggers. He is also a self-proclaimed pop culture nerd and sci-fi geek who loves to communicate science, in what seems like every possible medium. I follow Dave on a number of channels and love his enthusiasm and approach to science. Learn more about Dave and his science interests on his Science vs. Hollywood blog or follow him on Twitter and Instagram 

 

Space Whippet

Technically, Space Whippet isn’t a blog in the traditional sense, but it is one of my favourite Instagram accounts for a number of reasons. Firstly, it stars Kuiper J Doggo, junior space ranger and the fastest dog in USA (2018). Not only is Kuiper easy on the eyes, but this account combines fun and interesting information about a wide range of science and history related topics while sharing Kuiper’s daily adventures. If you love fun facts about science and history, enjoy photography and want to take advantage of photographic tips and tricks, or just enjoy trolling the internet for dog pics, this is the account for you! Follow Kuiper and his adventures on Instagram 

 

Science with My Cat

Looks like we’ve made a few feline friends as our next nomination goes to Science with My Cat. SWMC is run by Dani Trotman and her feline science-sidekicks, Gideon and Saturn. This blog is centered around increasing awareness of current topics in space exploration, as well as sharing projects and interesting facts to show the real-world applications of science. Dani aims to help build a motivated community for astronomers and animals lover and encourage people to take their pets along for the journey. Naturally, I love the concept and absolutely love the content of this blog. Follow SWMC at for “Fun Fact Fridays” and keep up with current astronomical events with their event calendar. Check out their blog or follow Dani and her cats on Instagram

 

The Addictive Brain

The Addictive Brain, founded by Dr. Chinmaya Sadangi, aims to help bridge the gap between science and the world in general. It features everyday scientists doing their thing and gives us a sneak peek into their daily science activities such as experiments, experiences, and work space. Scientists from numerous fields help explain their research in an interesting and understandable way so that we can all appreciate it. This blog has a wide range of interesting topics and is an excellent way to branch out and learn about science related topics in a variety of different fields. Check out The Addictive Brain blog or follow them on Instagram 

 

Her STEM Story

Her STEM Story is a blog aimed at creating a community of brave, smart, aspiring, and confident women, who can help inspire girls to take up more challenging higher education and fill the gender gap in STEM fields around the world. Her STEM Story was created by Prasha Sarwate Dutra, a mechanical engineer who attributes a lot of her experiences in life, as well as the freedom and independence she experiences, to her choice in education.  This blog features ordinary women and their extraordinary stories to help inspire and encourage girls into STEM-related fields. Check out the Her STEM Story blog or follow them on Twitter 

 

Scholar Culture

Created by Christine Streeter, a doctoral student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Scholar culture is an educational and lifestyle blog for scholars who are searching for tools, academic guidance, and a space to socialize with others who are not too cool for school. It is a place where students empower students by sharing experiences to increase confidence and happiness as scholars. Each week, Christine shares helpful tips and tools that are guided by her experience as a doctoral student. If you’re interested in joining this Scholar Squad, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter and Instagram 

 

 

Buttercup the Ocean Pup

Again, this technically isn’t a blog but another one of my favourite instagram accounts. It features Buttercup, a chihuahua that loves communicating about science and helping protect our coasts and the ocean. This account shares awesome fun facts about the history behind our coastlines and up to date information about what’s happening in ocean related research and politics. Plus, buttercup is just the cutest pup. Check her out on Instagram

 

 

Science Everywhere

This is one of favourites. Science Everywhere is made up of a bunch of friends, all with different professional backgrounds and a knack for doing fun, weird science. Namely; Anthony Morgan, Emily Johnson, Dan Re, and Dash McGorman—and their team is growing. Science Everywhere  aims to build a global science culture that thrives on curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.  They prove that it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone can (and already does) make Science Everywhere—see what they did there? The Science Everywhere team shows that it doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated and it certainly isn’t boring. Find out more about the awesome Science Everywhere team on their blog or follow them on Twitter 

 

SciSites

Interested in science and travel? Look no further. SciSites is your one stop digital magazine that showcases STEM-related sites across the globe. How cool is that?! This concept is the brainchild of Dr. Lakshini Mendis, a neuroscientist and full-time science writer who envisioned a one-stop site that would help satisfy the nerd in all of us. If you’re interested in infusing some science into your travels, follow the SciSites blog or find them on Twitter 

Our Questions 

These questions go out to the creators of each blog. If your blog is made up of a team, anyone who wants to join in and answer these questions can feel free to do so. 

  1. What made you decide to start blogging?
  2. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from blogging?
  3. Have you done any formal/informal training for blogging/writing? If so, can you recommend a resource that you found helpful?
  4. What is your elevator pitch for your blog? i.e. how do you describe your blog to others in 30 seconds or less?
  5. Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
  6. Do you ever get “writers block”? If so, how do you overcome it?
  7. Do you have any hobbies outside of blogging? If so, what are they?
  8. How did you come up with the title of your blog?
  9. Do you any apps or productivity tools (website plugin, photographic equipment etc) that you enjoy using?
  10. What is the biggest tip you can provide about blogging?
  11. Last but certainly not least: do you have any pets? If so, please provide a detailed description of this glorious animal. (Pics are encouraged and appreciated)

 

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