Forum: Do You Feel Good Or Bad About Putting Your Photo At Biostar?
gravatar for ugly.betty77
7.1 years ago by
United States
ugly.betty771.0k wrote:

When we wrote about Biostar two months back, we noticed that many users post their best pictures, many post their worst pictures or cartoons and many do not post photos at all. I presume the choice is not arbitrary for those who are using the forum for long time. What are your thoughts on the topic?

The question has bigger implication on the way we write papers (discussed here) and maybe in the way we are doing science. Few weeks back, we asked whether single author papers should be written with 'We' or 'I', and everyone responded with 'I'. That is quite a bit of change from the way we used to write technical papers in the past. Are we being more selfish in our scientific outlook and asking more human-centric questions, 'personalized' questions and so on, or are we still exploring the beauty of nature as scientists? How much of our science is being guided by narcissistic/selfish tendencies?

Think about the implications. In a grant panel, will you support a project that says that it will explore curing human diseases more than a project that talks about, let's say, seeing fractal structure in bacterial colonies? Does that human-centric view also make our science more short-term oriented? Cultural changes can definitely impact the creativity and long-term approach in science.

forum biostar • 4.9k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 3.6 years ago by dixita0 • written 7.1 years ago by ugly.betty771.0k

I honestly didn't really think about it. It's kind of my default behavior on sites like this.

I guess looking back on it, it might be useful at conferences if you recognize people you "know" from the internet.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Madelaine Gogol5.2k

I will just answer on the first paragraph: I did not put my photo picture 2 years ago because I was novice in the field and did not feel comfortable with putting it next to the questions that might be too trivial for the community. And beside, I love what transposable elements did to corn at my picture!!

ADD REPLYlink written 7.1 years ago by Biomonika (Noolean)3.1k
gravatar for Emily_Ensembl
7.0 years ago by
Emily_Ensembl21k wrote:

I would be happy to add a photo, but it's really complicated. It took me ages to find the information on the FAQ page, which directed me to Gravatar, which then told me I had to set up an account with WordPress. I decided I didn't want to set up accounts with two different extra websites just in order to have a photo on here.

If Biostar had a method of adding a photo that didn't involve signing myself up for even more I-don't-know-what on the internet and enlarging my digital footprint, I might just add a photo.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Emily_Ensembl21k
gravatar for Mary
7.0 years ago by
Boston MA area
Mary11k wrote:

I'm uncomfortable being a female target on the internet. Sadly, for women, mere appearance can earn derisive comments when something she might be saying is irritating to people.

That said, nothing specifically has happened here that is an issue. It's sort of an old habit in forum settings, but I'm not convinced it's much better out there than it used to be. I used to just use a non-gendered pseudonym too. However, I ultimately felt that was backfiring because it led to the appearance that there weren't any women in the conversation. So more frequently I'll use "Mary" now.

I use a 'nym and a cartoon in some places to keep my real life a couple of steps away from crazy people because I also take some strong stands on heated science/political issues. It used to be I was worried about creationists and anti-stem cell folks. Now it's anti-GMO and anti-synthetic biology folks. I know it would only take the smart ones a few keystrokes to find me though.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Mary11k

I agree, sometimes you do have to worry about being a woman on the internet. I can't see it being an issue on here, as everybody seems decent, but as a woman you do sometimes get some horribly misogynist comments based on the fact that you're a woman, and whether the male in question finds you physically attractive or not (neither response is pleasant). We only need to look at the response that Elise Andrew got when she revealed that she (a woman!!! an attractive woman!!!) was behind I fucking love science to see that misogyny on the internet, even in science, is alive and well.

Like you, Mary, I am happy using my own name on here, which makes it quite obvious to any native-English-speaking person, or indeed anybody who can use a search engine that I'm a woman. (I often google the given names of people who email me to find out if they're male or female, just so that I can use pronouns speak about them to my colleagues, and I definitely do it for people I intend to meet).

ADD REPLYlink modified 7.0 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Emily_Ensembl21k

Very good points. I follow the same rules, because I often like to take the controversial or unpopular side to find out whether people are arguing based on reason or 'talking their books' (as they say in finance). That got me into hot water many times. My earliest education about crowd behavior in internet groups came in 1993, and since then I do not feel comfortable about using my name or picture or anything personal.

Biostar is a very focused community with specific Q&A format, providing less room for arguments. However, my experience with academics had not been very positive. Academics are very closed-minded, if you challenge any of their cherished ideas. Software groups are usually better, but I found the professional pessimist communities among the most open-minded about new ideas.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by ugly.betty771.0k
gravatar for Istvan Albert
7.0 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k wrote:

I think putting up a photo and/or having a real name/identity has many benefits and few if any drawbacks.

Computational sciences (bioinformatics included) lack in their social dimension - it is not easy to get to know people that have similar goals, needs and expectations.

Facilitating this process can pay off in many unexpected ways. Do you know the saying "luck favors the prepared"?

To expand on that, luck favors those that are "known".

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k
gravatar for Jonathanjacobs
7.0 years ago by
Rockville, MD
Jonathanjacobs250 wrote:

IMHO There's relatively little benefit to using avatars and aliases in "science social media" circles - even here.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Jonathanjacobs250

That all depends on the kind of 'benefit'. Would you please clarify what you have in mind?

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by ugly.betty771.0k
gravatar for always_learning
7.0 years ago by
Doha, Qatar
always_learning1.0k wrote:

At Biostar I usually come for answers of my queries so never interested and thought about putting photos or seeing the photos !! :) :)

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by always_learning1.0k
gravatar for Arnaud Ceol
7.0 years ago by
Arnaud Ceol850
Milan, Italy
Arnaud Ceol850 wrote:

I feel like showing its face on sites like Biostar is important. Here we are all scientists, and are all likely to meet in conferences and workshops, or to collaborate on some project. The website is about exchange. I honestly don't care at all about how a member looks like, but I like to be able to recognize people I'm interacting with.

Nevertheless, what I think is more important is showing his/her real name and institution. Your work is likely to be published sometime, so better show off from the begining. I'm more likely (and more conficdent) to answer someone if I know who he/she is.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Arnaud Ceol850
gravatar for Damian Kao
7.0 years ago by
Damian Kao15k
Damian Kao15k wrote:

In my relatively small experience of publishing papers, I've always felt uneasy about associating the work with my name via the use of 'I'. The reason is mainly that, as an author, you are your worst critic. I know all the intellectual holes and analysis that could have been done better.

While I am proud of the work I've done, that uneasiness is hard to get pass. And to be perfectly honest, that uneasiness can also be interpreted as narcissism; I am so worried about associating minor publication problems to my name, that I am hesitant about putting my name on it.

Perhaps there is some narcissism in doing scientific work; however, I think it is a fine line between narcissism and pride in your work. I don't think a scientist can be asked to be totally ego-less in their work and still be passionate about it.

As far as putting up a photo of yourself. I think that's really more of a privacy issue.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.0 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Damian Kao15k
gravatar for Giovanni M Dall'Olio
7.0 years ago by
London, UK
Giovanni M Dall'Olio27k wrote:

I have just uploaded my photo, after 3 years and 8 months in Biostar!

I don't have any special feeling about putting my photo. I was just too lazy to do it, until now!

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio27k
gravatar for lzwright
7.0 years ago by
lzwright150 wrote:

I'd be willing to feel good or bad about it if I could actually upload a photo of myself and then decide. But I can't figure out how to do it.... I go to my user info, the edit tab and ..... niente. is this some kind of bioinformatics challenge?

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by lzwright150

I am facing this issue as well!! someone pls let us know.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by vijay1.6k

the images come from gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatars):

create an account there, upload your image, then set the same email on Biostar as you set on Gravatar

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k

well I did all that but I am still blue. life goes on though. ;)

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by lzwright150

should work though - there may be some extra settings for example you can show different images on different sites. In your case this is the ULR it is trying to read from gravatar

ADD REPLYlink modified 7.0 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k
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