Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving on up to the East Side (of Texas)

Sorry to have been quiet recently.  I've two excuses.  The first is that I've been working on an entry about recognizing bad science.  This was inspired by a slew of poorly-made astronomy documentaries I saw on TV recently, as well as some websites and comments people have sent me with "science" arguments that are so poorly made, they aren't even wrong -- they're just jibberish.  But despite several hours of writing, re-writing, planning, re-planning, editing, redacting and agonizing, the entry hasn't worked.  There's too much to write for one blog entry.  So, I'm going to try breaking it up into individual points, and we'll see how that goes.

But the second and bigger reason is that I've been focused on finding a job.  The money that pays my salary runs out in August, and as I mentioned back in March, the job market in astronomy is bad and getting worse.  I am therefore very excited and VERY relieved to announce that I've been offered a job, and that I just officially accepted it this afternoon. Starting in August, I'll be an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University -- Commerce.

TAMU-C is a university in northeast Texas between Dallas and Texarkana.  The department I am joining emphasizes both research and education.  I will have the chance to work with students who are interested in careers in science, as well as future middle- and secondary-school science educators.  The campus hosts a planetarium and associated public outreach.

This will be a new phase of my career, and from this side it looks to be a daunting challenge.  I'll be sure to let you all know how it is going!

Last, a note to my personal friends who read this blog.  I thank you all for the support, help, hints, and options you've given me over the last few years, and especially this year.  I regret that I have not (yet) thanked you personally, and I hope that you do not feel like I've been ignoring your emails and messages.  While I've been fretting over my future, I've invoked the common introvert defense mechanism of crawling into my shell until it all passed. I didn't want to bother y'all with my problems, and I didn't want to admit how completely overwhelmed I've felt.  I did greatly appreciate each and every show of support and offer of advice and help.  I'm starting to emerge from my self-imposed exile now, so I'll be in touch soon. :)


  1. Congratulations, Professor! This is well deserved, and very exciting!

  2. Anonymous8:57 AM

    I want to add my congratulations and also urge you (for my own selfish reasons) to not forget, during the busy year ahead, your plan to author some essays on bad science. We miss Stephen Gould and Martin Gardner. Just in case you are not aware, there is inspiration in Mr. Gardner's book entitled something like "Science, Good, Bad, & Bogus."