Barbara Braams is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University. Her field of research is developmental neuropsychology, focusing on social-emotional brain development in adolescents. She is also part of the editorial team for the Leiden Psychology Blog, where she's also one of the more prolific contributors. As such I thought she'd be well-placed to talk about blogging about your research and the reasons to do so.
In science we continuously discover new things. In my field, developmental neuropsychology, we are interested in the typically developing brain and in the last couple of years several important findings have been done. For instance, we used to think that the brain was fully developed around adolescence, but now we know that actually the brain still continues to develop until around age 25. I think it is important to make these discoveries available for everyone and for me, blogging is a way to do that.
What value does blogging add for you?
Most scientific papers are only accessible for scientists, whereas online blogs are easily accessible for everyone. Therefore, blogging gives everyone the opportunity to read about new discoveries in science.
How does blogging work for you?
I usually try to blog about adolescent development, because of the close connection to my own research. Regarding topics, I try to get inspired by scientific papers that I read or articles in the news. For instance, recently the minimal legal drinking age in the Netherlands changed from 16 to 18 and in response to that I wrote a blog about scientific studies investigating the influence of alcohol on the developing brain.
Do you use any other social media in conjunction to blogging?
Twitter is a great way for me to keep up to date. Many researchers post new discoveries or short news items about their work. I sometimes use these news items as inspiration for my own blogs.