One and all.

Hello. This is the first of, hopefully, many editorial posts that the new Doubleblind will deliver to you. The purpose of this place has changed over the years, and once again it does so, but at the heart of it we’re committed now to the same ideals that the site was founded with: To bring you insight, thought, and opinions on the life, state, and surroundings of academics and academia.

When I first dug this hole, I was but a lowly undergraduate with some (frankly stupid) idea about wanting to do a PhD. From there I graduated, completed a MRes degree, and began reading towards my doctorate. I have gained experience teaching, presenting at conferences, and of all the backdoor bickering that occurs in a university, and will be sharing it here in the best no-holds-barred fashion possible. Which leads us to what this site is, now: a collective gonzo journal of the experiences academics have. There are many sites devoted to explaining theory, and many sites that do this really well. While we won’t neglect this aspect, something of much more interest to an outsider, an undergraduate, heck even a fellow academic will be our lived experience of working in, around, and outside of the ivory tower. So, let’s have it.

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With this in mind, I’m happy to introduce some new faces. At the time of relaunch, joining me for the ride is Kris McCarty, Gerrit Kotzur, Adam Trower, and a technician publishing under the name “The Secret Teacher”, for reasons that will become more obvious below.

  • Kris is a research engineer and manager of a lab at Northumbria University. He fills his spare time programming, building and investigating tech. On a day-to-day basis, he can be found fixing things, messing around with microcontrollers, and creating experiments. The time he spends here will be devoted to the technical projects he finds himself involved with, as well as providing commentary for people trying to get involved in the world of academia.
  • Gerrit is a fellow PhD student and linguist at Northumbria. Together, we founded CoSCo, an interdisciplinary research group examining the nature of mental representation. We achieve this through studying the domains of language, body and a mind that is situated within an environment that contributes to cognition. Here, Gerrit will be comparing the academic experience cross-country, his experiences in Germany to his experiences in the UK.
  • Adam is a medical statistician and researcher based at Leeds. Here, his interests are in explaining statistics. Particularly, he will be covering the differences that present themselves when one is a mathematician doing statistics versus a medical professional using statistics to carry out research. Also within his interests are clinical trials and health studies, as well as the ridiculous biases we all have as non-logical entities.
  • The Secret Teacher (TST) is a technician at a university that will remain nameless. Here, TST is writing on the “extra” work his role involves: of being a teacher and educator without the recognition or remuneration of a person in such a role. Naturally, it will be quite a critical project, and so the posts will be remaining anonymous. We will not be revealing this person’s identity or location at any point, but this person will be revealing, perhaps, a darker side to the academic world than you may expect.

You can find out more about each author through reading their profiles and, of course, the articles they produce. This is a very hands-off project for me, beyond what I submit myself, and everyone here is free to publish as and when they wish. In other words, it’ll be just as exciting to see things unfold on my end as it will be for you guys – and I’m really looking forward to finding out exactly how it does.

About the author

Ash

Ash is a PhD student in psychology at Northumbria University whose research focuses towards the general cognitive mechanisms of memory and attention. Most of the time he can be found writing about rubbish, or being rubbish at writing. Personal interests include philosophy, statistics and better understanding how we can convey our knowledge of science to others.

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