Hello everyone! I’m stepping out from behind the curtain to share some very big news: Body Horrors has a brand new home at Discover Magazine!
I know. I know! It’s terribly exciting! I’m elated and nervous and so very humbled to have my blog hosted by this fine institution, not to mention having this incredible opportunity to continue developing as a science writer and infectious disease scholar. Today in my “hello world!” post at the blog’s new home I wrote,
I began Body Horrors as an experiment in writing about the public health of infectious diseases and parasites – an experiment that is still running today, a carefully cultured organism that’s constantly evolving and growing.
Without the curiosity and interest of my readers, yes you!, this blog wouldn’t be the vibrant, thriving organism (or is it a parasite?) that it is and so I want to thank you for visiting, reading and commenting on my articles. Thank you thank you thank you! I know the reaction of some people to the content (viruses! microbes! parasites! oh my!) of this blog is this so I appreciate you hanging in there. Your visits and comments are greatly appreciated, truly. I put a tremendous amount of research into my articles as well as a fair amount of pre-publishing agony and anxiety over tone and sentences and images – you wouldn’t believe how much time I spend coming up with pun-riddled titles – and it’s gratifying to know that not only do people enjoy my work but that they’re learning from it. I am continually in awe that people get a kick out of the things I write. So thank you.
I’ll be doing very much of the same sort of gig at Discover that I’ve always done: writing about the history, sociology and anthropology of infectious diseases and parasites to ultimately figure out just how are we humans managing and molding the presence of infectious diseases in society and vice versa, which is otherwise known as the practice of “public health”:
This is the most complex and fascinating component of our relationship with the bacteria, viruses and parasites that we coexist with – how do we as a society educate ourselves on preventing and controlling disease and can we change our own behaviors so as to do so more effectively? Not only do these public heath needs serve as some of the most difficult challenges we face today (see: polio eradication) but they also have the potential to be the most enlightening and innovative achievements that humans can accomplish, ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek found squirming animalcules under a microscope and since John Snow controlled the 1854 cholera outbreak in London. It’s not rocket science but it is human science and that is also what this blog about – a celebration of the intersection between humans and microbiology.
I’ll also be starting up a recurring series of articles over there called “Microbial Misadventures,” detailing unfortunate mishaps where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how diseases are spread. Here’s just a hint of an upcoming article: anthrax, hippies and drum circles. See? I told ya it’s gonna be good.
Remember: both microorganisms and humans need nutrients, love and a petri dish to grow so I do hope you’ll join me in my blogging (mis)adventure and venture over to Body Horrors at Discover! Sadly, in a week or two I’ll be shutting this ol’ girl down and making the final, permanent move to Discover. So go! Go to Discover! Godspeed!