Game on! I’m joining the fray… (from blogger Dave Ng)

Looks like I’ll be playing with the Terry blog as well. And first up is a post that can somehow provide a bit of background about myself. So… who am I, who am I?

Well, I’m a big fan of making lists, so maybe presenting my background a la list form, is the easiest way to divulge the elements that I could bring to the table. Here goes:

1. This is my coffee mug. Hmmm… is there any character assessment that can be done with this?


2. My Dad beat up Bruce Lee. True story, although in truth, my Dad was 10 at the time, and Bruce apparently was 8. I sometimes use this anecdote as an example of spin, and to exemplify that the manner of how the information is presented is an important consideration in itself. Spin seems to factor prominently in the things we call “Global Issues”

3. I know a thing or two about molecular genetics More specifically, I’m a Faculty member of the Michael Smith Laboratories, who is mandated to focus on science education and science communication. There’s actually a lot going on here (which I can save for later), but some of the details can be found here.

4. Badges are cool Especially these badges. I’m a founding member. If you’re interested in joining, we’ve got a facebook group going on.

5. I dabble in web dynamics. The internet is pretty fascinating to me, and I’ve been lucky enough to indulge in it in a variety of ways. Mostly of note are some of the silly experiments I’ve gotten to help create via the Science Creative Quarterly (a web publication I run), and The World’s Fair, a blog I keep with STS Professor and McSweeney’s editor, Ben Cohen.

As an aside, I also do o.k. in the vanity google department, although this didn’t always use to be the case.

6. I write a little (sort of). Mostly stuff which I refer to as literary science humour. i.e. funny stuff with a scientific twist, and hopefully a few things to learn on the way. This type of writing was actually one of the reasons why the Science Creative Quarterly was set up (there’s lots of great science humour there), which by the way has a readership of 8000 to 10000 per day, and is especially keen to get UBC submissions.

Anyway, maybe my best example of this type of writing can be found here. Other writing related things of interest? Recently, I had something published where I was depicted in comic book form. And, my first foray into general audience book publishing happens to be a book which actually has a unicorn on the front cover.

7. I’m significantly involved in the UBC Terry Project. Specifically, I am the token science dude. But seriously, this project is nothing short of wonderful, and hopefully you’ll all get to play along – whether it’s by going to an event, taking the course, or just making this website a frequent stop. The two biggest perks for me so far: (1) the opportunities to work with folks from the type of academic backgrounds that we, geneticists, don’t normally have a chance to work with; and (2) because I live in Richmond, I’m usually the person who picks up our keynote speakers and drive them to campus or to their hotel (oh my, the stories my ’97 Honda Civic could tell).

8. My wife and kids are all exemplary. Although also the reason why I’ve seen High School Musical 2, like, 4 times already. Do University students watch that stuff?

Anyway, here’s the thing – I’m kinda serious about the coffee and character thing, and think it would be kind of neat to just randomly meet some of the students out there at UBC, chat a little about potential ideas, projects, etc. Anyway, let me know if you’re game for a coffee, maybe I can make this a weekly thing – my treat.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at