TheScientist (the lack of a space there seems to be deliberate, I'm afraid) is asking for votes for the best biology blogs out there. Below are the five that I voted for in no particular order - they've all been mentioned here before, I believe, and they're all in the blogroll down the side (along with many other worthwhile sites), but I'm always happy to recognise their superiority:
Laelaps: Brian Switek mostly writes on vertebrate palaeontology, and seems to go from strength to strength. Check out his recent posts on horse evolution and Thylacoleo. He's so good he makes the rest of us just feel inadequate in comparison. I don't know whether to bow down in front of him or kick him in the teeth.
The Ethical Palaeontologist: Julia's posts are always worthwhile, and she gets extra credit for knowing how to spell "palaeontologist".
Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted): GrrlScientist's main subject is ornithology, but she has many other interests - I especially liked here recent post on breeding trout from salmon. I would also like to applaud the great courage she's shown in writing regularly on mental illness (including her own) and living with mental illness. While I have not been affected personally by the issues she discusses (touch wood), I have had to deal with the aftershocks as they affected people close to me, and I wish GrrlScientist every bit of luck as she continues to set an example for us all.
The Other 95%: Kevin Z, my fellow aspondylologist (spot the neologism). Just be careful with that guitar.
Tetrapod Zoology: Darren Naish works on British dinosaurs, and writes on everything four-legged with the crunchy bits on the inside.
Three honourary mentions that I'd like to make:
Snail's Tales: Aydin has a passion for gastropods that must be recognised.
The Lord Geekington: Cameron is another undergrad producing fine work.
Bug Girl's Blog: Another excellent contribution to aspondylology. And I realise as I write this that I have omitted to add a link to her on the right. I'll have to correct that at once. I'm sorry, Bug Girl! Please don't send your attack Hemiptera after me!
You know, I'm not that happy that three of the five best sites out there are by vertebrate palaeontologists - I am a full subscriber to the rule that invertebrate workers must be resentful about the disproportionate amount of attention that vertebrates receive - but I have no choice but to recognise excellence when present. In the meantime, all you entomologists, helminthologists, botanists, protistologists, etc. out there - show yourselves!
Addendum: Arguably more worthy of comment than the shortage of non-vertebrate blogs, Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection and GrrlScientist have both asked why the blog-lists are so biased towards male rather than female bloggers. All I can say in reply is "beats me". A glance at my own blogroll shows more links to blogs by men than women, though I don't believe I've had any conscious bias in selecting one rather than the other. This seems particularly odd for biology - while there are probably still more male professors, my impression as an undergraduate was that, if anything, there are more female biology students arriving these days than male students, and I see no real signs of female students thinning out at the postgraduate level either. Why is scientific blogging seemingly less appealing for women? Or are there plenty of scientific blogs by women out there that I haven't had the fortune to come across?
Friday Fabulous Flower - winter thaw edition
1 day ago in The Phytophactor