Vanity projects

It’s the last day of August, which makes the blog nearly one month old, and my PhD attempts 11 months. Being a PhD student seems to come with large side-servings of self-doubt and guilt; when you’re immersed in a narrow sub-topic of a subject that most people wouldn’t think about from one decade to another, and surrounded by other such immersed people, it’s easy to lose perspective.

Writing a blog, spinning words into a void, has something of the same introvert flavour to it. Rather than writing about the nature of blogging, or life as a PhD student (areas that are far better covered elsewhere), this blog is part of the public face of the Canada goose project at the Cotswold Water Park. The geese aren’t the property of any party involved, and so many people and organisations (many of them charities or publicly funded) have helped get this project off the ground that I felt I owed it to them to make sure the study and science are as transparent as possible.

This blog’s one place where you can find out about the geese, and its main purpose is for anybody who’s spotted one of these geese to find out about the context of the project. It’s great then to be able to give something of the bigger picture on what’s happening in the scientific community working with social network analysis. If you’d like to know more about the life histories or movements of the geese you can click through to the Resightings page, or email me for a detailed account on where a particular goose has been spotted.

Photo credit: Matt Silk


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