Reviving the AstroBetter Blog and Announcing Tenure and ScienceBetter Consulting

by Kelle on February 28, 2018

I’d like to give everyone a status update on me and the blog. As some of you have noticed, new content has been few and far between the past couple years. That should be changing, starting now!

First of all, I’m pleased to announce that Joanna Bridge (University of Louisville) has joined the AstroBetter team as our new content manager. She’s a postdoc in Louisville, KY studying high-redshift galaxies at the end of the epoch of reionization. Danny Barringer has been rocking this job for several years but the time has come for him to move on. Thanks, Danny, for all of your contributions and a big welcome to Joanna! She’s got some great posts planned for the next couple months, so stay tuned.

One of big reasons for the drop-off in activity was because my path to tenure was a little rocky and I needed to focus on other things in order to ensure my long term stability in the field. (If you’re curious about everything I do, take a look at my tenure dossier.) Good news: I am now a tenured Associate Professor at Hunter College! Of course, I’ll still be busy with all of the responsibilities of being a professor, but hopefully it won’t be quite so emotionally draining and time consuming as it was these past few years.

Another reason for the lack of blog content was that the time that I did have for this project went into developing the business model to keep it sustained. Thanks to a grant and a very supportive program officer from the Sloan Foundation, I thought deeply about how to generate the needed revenue stream to keep the blog and wiki active while being a full time professor. As a result, I started a consulting firm called ScienceBetter Consulting. It’s a single-owner LLC incorporated in New York state and a certified woman-owned business. While the business is technically a for-profit LLC, the business model is all about using revenue to support community resources. The revenue from the contracts we’ve gotten so far is enough to cover the costs of hiring folks to both generate content and maintain the site’s backend.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone about the email subscription option for getting AstroBetter blog posts. Of course, new posts will be announced on Twitter and Facebook but if you’re not keen on those platforms, please subscribe via email. Full texts of new posts will be delivered straight to your inbox.

That’s it — I missed y’all and am glad to be back!

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