2018: TIR’s year in review


A look back at what we were up to in our third year of operations.

Dear readers,

First and most importantly, a big thanks to YOU for visiting, commenting, recommending us to your friends and colleagues, and suggesting postings. We produce TIR primarily because it’s fun, but to know that the content is of interest and potentially also of value is extremely heartwarming. Many thanks again.

It’s been another year of sustained growth for us, averaging around 1,000 views per month. There’s a list at the end of our top ten postings for 2018.

Probably the most significant developments for us this year have actually been outside the blog itself. We published three Opinion pieces in EMBO Reports (here, here, and here), and began cross-posting to the Early-Career Scientist channel of the FEBS Network (here) – the latter in particular has been a good way of getting extra exposure to some of the postings that didn’t get the attention we felt they deserved the first time around. We also produced a guest posting for the Biochemist Blog (here).

In 2018 we also started a Twitter account (@TIRscienceblog), and while we’re still finding our feet in that particular medium it’s already proving a lot of fun. Do follow us there if you’re a member. We are generally pretty useless when it comes to promoting TIR, so all the retweets, likes, and clicks are much appreciated – thank you again.

In commercial terms, we again had silent auctions of the original versions of Oliver’s artworks in February and November, and produced a 2019 calendar (perfect for laboratories!). Don’t forget that print versions of Oliver’s artworks are always available and can be ordered from his personal website (here). He’s also available for commissions. Yet again, thanks to all who’ve supported Oliver’s professional output in this way.

That only leaves us to announce the yearly listings. We aim to post once per calendar week, and only missed that target for three weeks in the whole of 2018 – two of them while Brooke was on holiday. Many of the top 10 postings belong to the “How to…” category (here) that aims at improving scientists’ soft skills, so I guess it’s fair to assume that you guys like that content and we’ll do our best to maintain output in that area.

TIR’s top 10 postings for 2018:

1. The cell biologist’s guide to fine dining (racked up yet another 1,000 views despite being posted in 2017!)

2. Near-death experiences

3. Setting up shop (a short guide to starting a research group)

4. Hat tip: let’s hear it for the good guys

5. A bartender’s guide to the life sciences

6. Seeing triple (a short guide to experiment reproducibility)

7. A Valentine’s to science

8. Garbage in, garbage out

9. Catechism (a short guide to asking questions in seminars)

10. How sexist are you really?

So that’s it! A very Happy New Year to all our readers, best wishes for 2019, and here’s looking forward to plenty more postings. You keep reading, we’ll keep reflecting.


Brooke & Oliver 

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