Sunday, 24 June 2007

Who I Am

There is a tradition amongst computer programmers that the first program written in a new language simply displays, "Hello world!" Unsurprisingly, it is referred to as a "hello world" program. In the spirit of pioneering computer geekiness, then, this is my "hello world!"

At the same time, this is not quite my introduction to the blogosphere. I am a long-time lurker at Pharyngula, and I have a LiveJournal account as well, but this is my first foray into the realm of serious blogging. As such, I should introduce myself to the blogosphere as well.

I am an American atheist living in Canada. My political leanings are so far to the left that they do not fit on the American spectrum (in other words, roughly in the middle of the European spectrum). As such, I expect to comment a fair bit on the inanities of the American right wing. Presently I am studying for my Ph.D. in biology, investigating the evolutionary relationships of microbes (for more details, see my posts). I get to play with electron microscopes and sequence genes. It is as much fun as one might imagine!

In fact, I may have quite a lot to comment on very soon. Today is the first day of the big annual conference of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, followed by another two conferences, which will keep me interested and involved for the whole week. I have already attended a fascinating talk on human migration, and chatted with some of the luminaries of my field about my thesis project, and expect much more excitement to come. Stay tuned!