Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Blogging Scholarship: Results and THANK YOUs


I want to sincerely thank everyone who voted and helped to spread the word in support of Escaping Anergy for the 2011 Blogging Scholarship! This year, Escaping Anergy competed against blogs about the NBA, baseball, religion, shark conservation, paleontology, tech gadgets and traveling at the chance to win the 2011 Blogging Scholarship awarded to full-time students who blog. Being relatively new to blogging, I was ecstatic to have such amazing support from my family and friends, The University of Maryland, fellow science bloggers and science enthusiasts! Although Escaping Anergy lost the ultimate prize (by only a few hundred votes!) I honestly believe that I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did without your amazing support! Being able to earn First Runner-Up has propelled Escaping Anergy into a bigger public arena, which I hope will enable it to be seen, discussed and further supported by more of the public. The greatest result of this scholarship adventure has been the chance to advocate for better public science and health education. Coming in a close second has revealed that much of the public (at least those who read blogs) craves to have a more in-depth understanding about the biology behind critical health concerns and disease. 

Throughout this scholarship process, I have received numerous e-mails, tweets and blog posts that not only positively acclaim the work I’ve done so far on Escaping Anergy, but also have asked for more information about particular aspects of immunology that may directly affect their lives. I am genuinely excited so many people have discovered their interest in immunology through Escaping Anergy! It was a truly amazing experience to receive so much positive feedback and messages describing your interest to learn more about immunology during this process and I hope to continue to hear from you!

For these reasons, I am so proud to see Escaping Anergy play a role in enhancing the public’s interest in immunology! Is there an immunology research paper you found that you’d like to see further explained? Are you an immunology/med student who has a question as you prepare for your immunology exam? Is there an immune-based therapy you’d like to know more about and the research behind it? Did you read a health news story that mentions the immune system and would like to learn more? I hope you continue to help spread the word about Escaping Anergy and I look forward to receiving more e-mails, tweets and posts about how understanding immunology affects your life and what you would like to see discussed on Escaping Anergy!

Lastly and Very Importantly: an extra special thanks to…

David Shiffman and Jacquelyn Gill who continuously advocated for improved science education as fellow finalists for the Blogging Scholarship. They are fantastic science bloggers and I hope with our combined effort, the public has greater appreciation and support for a variety of scientific issues! A recap of all the science bloggers who were selected as finalists for the scholarship can be found here.

Christie Wilcox of Science Sushi (and winner of the 2010 Blogging Scholarship) who promoted all the science bloggers up for the 2011 prize and offered generous words and support for Escaping Anergy on her Scientific American blog:
It’s not easy to make immunology engaging and interesting, but Heather does a fantastic job of it. She clearly has a passion for what she does, and loves to share it with others. She hopes that her blog will help connect the general public to a field that is often overhyped and misinterpreted – and I’d say she’s off to a damn good start.” 
Mike at for helping to spread the word and support for Escaping Anergy for the Blogging Scholarship: 
I've had the recent pleasure of exchanging email with Heather Cohen of The Escaping Anergy blog… Folks like Heather, Her interest in immunology and Her passion about these kinds of issues are the ones that can make a big difference in finding cures for so many diseases in my opinion.”
Aaron Broege of The Sensitive Scientist, who provided constant support for Escaping Anergy during the scholarship process and did a fantastic job at helping to spread the word:
"If you like your science served up awesome, vote for Heather's Blog!"
Tom McCaughtry, fellow immunologist who helped to rally votes and provided constant support for the need of a blog devoted to immunology research, commenting on PZ Meyers' post “A Poll with a Point”: 
Heather Cohen writes an extremely interesting blog that communicates scientific research to the public. She doesn’t dumb down the science like some of the other “news” sources, but she makes it simple enough for anybody to understand!”

 Thank you all a million times over,


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  2. What a great accomplishment! I'm happy to hear of all the positive feedback you have received throughout this process and hope that this leads to more active readership allowing you to further connect the public with the basic immunology research community. Keep it up!

  3. @Duffy: Thank you so much for reading Escaping Anergy! I hope you continue to check out more posts! Stay tuned for future posts regarding exercise, nutrition and your immune system-so much amazing research is happening in this field that might be of interest to you!

    @thesensitivescientist: Thank you a million times over for your constant, and much needed support throughout this whole process! So much to write about and can't wait to add more posts soon (after the holidays!)

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  5. This is the first time that I have heard of immunology. It seems like a very complicated subject. I am guessing you have to learn a lot of chemistry and anatomy in order to understand immunology more.

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