Meet the Editors: Cristy Gelling

We are featuring short interviews with each of our editors, so that you can get to know those folks who are responsible for highlighting your posts each week as editors’ selections. For the fifth in our series, meet Cristy Gelling.

Hello! Let’s start with first things first. Where are you from, what do you do how did you get into science?

I'm from New Zealand, then Australia, then Pittsburgh. I got into science after reading a book by Stephen Jay Gould and then another one by Steven Rose.

What is the name of your blog and why did you choose that name – what does it mean?

My blog is The Blobologist. Blobology is the study of blobs. I first heard the term used as a joke by someone who was trying to understand the structure of a protein using electron microscopy. A single electron micrograph of a protein molecule doesn't tell you anything about the structure, but if you take lots of electron micrographs and average them, you can get a hazy sort of blobby idea of what might be going on. People make conclusions like "there seems to be a bit that sticks out at the top" or "maybe there are two parts there jammed together". It's blobology and it sounds stupid but it's actually quite useful. I'm not a structural biologist, but I like the idea that blobology is where you take something unintelligible, wrangle with it, do some replicates and come out with a picture that is slightly less hazy than when you went in. That's what science feels like on a good day.

What is your blog about? Who is your target audience, and why do you think people should read your blog?

My blog is about blobology, which is to say, everything. I try to write my blog for everyone, so everyone should read my blog, as long as they are interested in everything. Yeah, I know. I need a niche.

How do you spend your time when you're not doing science or science blogging? Any interesting hobbies?

I used to be a geneticist and now I'm a science writer. I've just started out as an editor for a journal, too.

Why did you decide to become an editor at ScienceSeeker? How do you use ScienceSeeker aside from when you're making your editors' selections?

I thought ScienceSeeker was a really interesting idea and I figured it would help me surf the science blogging firehose. ScienceSeeker is pretty handy for figuring out who has said what about a particular topic in the past (if I'm writing a news story, for example). It's great for finding new blogs, particularly quirky ones that are outside the big blog networks.

As you make your editors' selections, what sorts of things do you look for? What's the best way a blogger can get your attention, as an editor?

I pick posts that are at least one of the following:

a) compelling
b) interesting
c) funny
c) important
e) novel

In addition, they must be accurate. I prefer it if the posts avoid jargon and are well-written, but if it's interesting enough, I'm happy to pick a post aimed at specialists or one that's written in a sleep-deprived haze in the middle of the night. I've been there!

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