Guess who’s coming to dinner

I think it is safe to say that most of you have no idea who I am. I’m not an esteemed academic or an established science communicator. And while I previously aimed to be the former, I would now much rather work to become the latter. Armed with a recently earned PhD in astrophysics, I decided to start blogging my way into the science communication world. ‘Dinner Party Science’* was born about a month and a half ago; I figured a good way to extend my readership beyond my facebook friends would be to transfer the blog to Nature Network. So, here I am.

I like to write about somewhat curious science facts that, while not being necessarily useful, are at least interesting and entertaining. (Maybe this is because astronomy, my science of choice, doesn’t have many practical applications.) I’ll write about things that you could potentially talk about at a dinner party as a way of impressing or amusing your guests. The first post I wrote on my previous website (copied below) will give you a better idea about this concept:

This blog’s inspiration is a Portuguese expression: “desbloqueador de conversa” (literally, conversation unblocker). Something you say at a dinner party when silence kicks in or when some of the people at the table are having a heated argument and ruining the atmosphere. A snappy way of changing the topic of conversation: “Did you know that the penis of the blue whale can be 8 feet long?”. Go figure, my favourite ones are related to science. Actually, what I find interesting is the science behind the fact so that is what I plan to write about. Use it if you need it.

To that I would like to add that, while I would like this blog to be about science in general, you may find that I am particularly inclined to post about astronomy as that is the only science I can claim to know anything about. Science that is somehow related to food or drink will also be a preferred topic. It’s a dinner party after all!


*This blog is inspired in name by the brilliant Cocktail Party Physics.


8 thoughts on “Guess who’s coming to dinner

  1. Frank Norman

    Welcome to NN, Barbara.  I look forward to reading moire.
    I like the sound of the word desbloqueador.  WIth a little modification it could serve as an alternative to that awful word "blogger".  Step forward – Blogador! 


  2. Stephen Moss

    These are risky times to be saying that astronomy has no practical applications, what with the government looking to cut areas of science that bring no financial benefit. What about all those great ultra-sensitive cameras that were developed for star-gazing, and which cell biologists like me now use in fluorescence microscopy?


  3. Austin Elliott

    If we changed Frank’ "blogador" slightly to
    blogeador (a)
    – then it would scan/fit nicely into Bizet’s Toreador. Anyone want to do the lyrics?
    PS Welcome Barbara. I don’t think you need worry about being well known – the general (not that) well-known-ness of even passably well-known bloggers (and academics!) is well judged from Eva Amsen’s much discussed "No-one cares about your blog" t-shirt. And you could probably print the same t-shirt and substitute "science", or "papers", and not be far wrong. But one of the best features of the blogosphere is that people largely judge you on what you write, and not on who you are.


  4. Maxine Clarke

     Welcome to Nature Network. Fascinating first post – in fact I initially misread desbloqueador for de-lobster-bisque, in keeping with the dinner party theme….
    I think astronomy is safer than most scientific disciplines from the dreaded "practical applications" point of view, considering that it is the scientific discipline that children and school students love, and hence what attracts them to science in the first place. (for the most part) 


  5. Barbara Ferreira

    Thank you for all the nice comments!
    Stephen, you are absolutely right — I should have said that my (purely theoretical) astronomy has no practical applications. I also agree with you Maxine. Unfortunately, when it comes to cuts, governments don’t always remember how important astronomy is in attracting young students to STEM disciplines. 
    I like both blogeador(a) and blogador(a). For some reason it brings to mind the Portuguese word for talkative, falador(a). Blogeador(a) or blogador(a) could mean he/she who blogs constantly.


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