This blog is as a hobby and personal indulgence of mine, not a formal academic or journalistic endeavor. As such, content is likely to contain wanton exaggerations, anthropomorphism of all domains of life, dumb puns, and blurring of the line between biology and personal experience. There will also be horrible doodles drawn on scratch paper with cheap colored pencils–I have no illusions about my artistic abilities.*
That being said, I do NOT wish to participate in the Internet’s nasty culture of blatant plagiarism, the treatment hypotheses as fact, and abysmal scientific reporting. As such, here are some principles I’ll do my best to follow:
1. I will attribute work–scientific and artistic–to the original creator(s). I will provide formal citations and hyperlinks to all primary and secondary literature that I discuss, and hyperlink to popular digital writers & content creators that I laude or criticize.
2. Any photograph or illustration I post will be attributed to its creator, who retains all rights to it. I primarily use content shared under Creative Commons, and I will provide hyperlinks to their source. Images without attribution were either photographed or doodled by me, which you may feel free to share and distribute, provided you note its source and only use it for the forces of good.
3. I will try to frame the studies that I describe with verbiage like “lends evidence”, or “supports the hypothesis”, or other conditional phrasing. I will lapse on this in shorter posts and in tangents, but I will attempt to avoid language that suggests certainty where research is ongoing.
Catch me using your photo with improper attribution? Find an erroneous summary or misunderstanding in my writing? Want me to check out a scientific counterpoint? Please leave a comment, or send me an email at helmitheros [at] gmail [dot] com, replacing bracketed words with the proper symbols.
One final addendum…I will frequently right about sex (the act & male/female/+/- stuff), sexual selection, and reproduction in non-human and human systems. These topics are loaded, particularly when they bleed into concepts of human gender and sexual orientation. Pleeeeeeeaase take such posts with a grain of salt; if I draw a macho moose or feminized fungus for comedic or illustrative purposes, I’m not proposing any gender ideal. I’m all about screwing with norms of sexual and gender identity. Again, if you note a particularly egregious/insensitive/ill-informed work, please comment or contact me (politely).
*The lowest grade I’ve received since high school was in an undergraduate drawing class. During critiques, the professor would stare at my sketches for a long time before giving cryptic non-compliments like “I note that the tree’s branches have variable energy” or “The jagged shadows shift the perception of temperature.” I’m not certain if he was criticizing me or trying to induce existential crisis.