Science Corner: Giving Thanks for 6 Years of ESN Science Blogging

Photo of three folks talking and sharing info via cellphone

Me & a couple of my ESN friends, networking at the recent ASA conference. (Photo by Tom Grosh)

Next month will be 6 years that I’ve been blogging about science and related topics for the Emerging Scholars Network. Which means that just about exactly 6 years ago, Tom Grosh called me up and invited me to write for the blog. Tom and I have been friends for much longer, since I was freshman at Carnegie Mellon and he was a fledgling InterVarsity campus staff worker. He and his family have done so much for me and mine over the years that I knew I should at least give it a try. Plus, I had already started toying with the idea of writing about science, so the timing was apt. And now, 238(!) posts later, here we are!

Those posts are what I’ve given to ESN; what I’m grateful for are all the things I’ve gotten back. I appreciate the most direct benefit of writing practice complete with a built-in audience. The discipline of writing weekly has been valuable, teaching me about my perfectionist tendencies and the value of consistent engagement. I hope I have improved as a writer over that time as well. In researching my posts, I’ve learned about a lot of exciting and intriguing research. And my writing experience here has led to opportunities to write for Christianity Today and BioLogos and to write my first book, Faith across the Multiverse.

Those opportunities are also thanks to the network of ESN. I’ve met so many great people through that network. Some of you are online friends; we’ve chatted here in the comments or over on the Facebook wall. Thanks for all those engaged conversations. Or I’ve read your posts here on the blog, covering everything from practical career advice to contemplative devotionals to theological insights from an assortment of disciplines. And some of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person. That includes trips to a BioLogos conference and the ASA annual meeting earlier this year. Getting to connect with other members of the network was one of the reasons I went to those meetings and look forward to going again.

Being part of that expanding network has helped me reach a wider understanding of what it means to be a scholar. As I discussed in my recent posts on postdocs, my academic career path reached a dead end when I couldn’t find any sort of faculty position. While my job in public health software has been fruitful in many ways, it doesn’t provide the same regular connection to other scientists and scholars the same way that an academic community would. Being connected to the Emerging Scholars Network has complemented my job well by providing some of that community.

So I’m thankful for what God has been doing through ESN, thankful to Tom for that invitation 6 years ago, and thankful to all of you for being part of our community! And if I can help you with something in return, please let me know!

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Andy Walsh

Andy has worn many hats in his life. He knows this is a dreadfully clichéd notion, but since it is also literally true he uses it anyway. Among his current metaphorical hats: husband of one wife, father of two elementary school students, reader of science fiction and science fact, enthusiast of contemporary symphonic music, and chief science officer. Previous metaphorical hats include: comp bio postdoc, molecular biology grad student, InterVarsity chapter president (that one came with a literal hat), music store clerk, house painter, and mosquito trapper. Among his more unique literal hats: British bobby, captain's hats (of varying levels of authenticity) of several specific vessels, a deerstalker from 221B Baker St, and a railroad engineer's cap. His monthly Science in Review is drawn from his weekly Science Corner posts -- Wednesdays, 8am (Eastern) on the Emerging Scholars Network Blog. His book Faith across the Multiverse is available from Hendrickson.

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  • Tom Grosh IV commented on August 22, 2018 Reply

    Dear Andy, Your description of me as “a fledgling InterVarsity campus staff worker” brings back a flood of memories of Fall 1996 at Carnegie Mellon U. What a joy to have journeyed with you, Jodi, and many others over the course of the past two decades of “on campus” and digital ministry.

    Hard to believe that you’ve pressed through weekly ESN science posts for # 6 Years. Wow! I have learned so much from you in our brainstorming of next steps for ESN’s faith – science – vocation dialog. Thank-you! What a privilege it has been to see your writing develop / receive publication, even become part of the mix at this summer’s American Scientific Affiliation’s Annual Meetings. Praise God!

    Looking forward to ESN’s continued growth as a digital-first network grounding thousands of scholars in a robust theology of vocation and equipping them to live for Christ in the university across the 15-year arc of their early career wherever they are geographically. Go Team!

    To God be the glory!

      Andy Walsh commented on August 24, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Tom! Glad to be sharing this journey with you!

    Hannah Eagleson commented on August 22, 2018 Reply

    Hi Andy, We’re so appreciative of your thoughtful reflections on science, your great ideas for how ESN can serve early career scholars, and your faithfulness in ministry. Thank you so much! It’s such a joy to work together with you on the ESN team and to see that team grow over the years, in God’s grace.

      Andy Walsh commented on August 24, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Hannah! I’m glad for your encouragement and editorial support!

    davosburg commented on August 22, 2018 Reply

    Thanks, Andy! I’ve appreciated your voice and humor throughout! Congrats on the six years and the book!

      Andy Walsh commented on August 24, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Dave! I was excited to see your book so prominently at the recent ASA meeting. I hope that leads to it starting many great conversations, especially for students.

    Stan Wallace commented on August 22, 2018 Reply

    So appreciate your thoughtful posts, and commitment to the vision of ESN. Here’s to another six years!

      Andy Walsh commented on August 24, 2018 Reply

      Thanks Stan! And thanks for being part of the conversation over those years.

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