One year of precocious baboons: More sparkling Pleiades wanted

It’s been a year since we started to roll out the Psychonomics Featured Content section. I published the first post on September 25th, 2014, but there was quite a bit of preparatory work behind the scenes that predates our public appearance, so now is a good time to proclaim “happy anniversary”, or whatever one does after a new science blog turns 1.

Unlike precocious baboons, blogs are not mature enough to do math on their own at age 1, so I’ll have to help out a bit to determine if our blog is more like Canopus or the Pleiades.

By now, we have published 88 posts, counting this one, and in case you have forgotten their titles, the word cloud below tells you what those posts were about:

The word cloud nicely reproduces the scientific focus of the Psychonomic Society, which is obviously dedicated to memorylearning, and baby George. Gratifyingly, our science doesn’t seem to mind the occasional party either, although hedonism is apparently frowned upon.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all readers who have contributed comments—on the blog, or more frequently by email—and above all, I want to thank the team of 5 Digital Associate Editors whose contribution has been absolutely indispensable. Between them, they have contributed around 25 terrific posts on topics outside my area of expertise, ranging from dolphins dialing 9-1-1, to disappearing haystacks and information about why God is up there and why we can sometimes hear a face.

So thanks, AnnaCassieGary, and Melissa:

It’s been great working with you, and I look forward to the next year of blogging for the Society together with the 5 Digital Associate Editors. I am particularly pleased that I was able to create a team that included junior researchers, especially because the quality of their work was such that I never thought of them as “junior”, but as colleagues from whom I could learn some interesting stuff. I am even more pleased that I was able to achieve gender balance in the team.

You may have noticed that there are only 4 faces in the picture above. This is because, sadly, Jason Finley has decided that despite having a transcendental mind, and despite the fact that not all minds that wander are lost, his new faculty job is too demanding for him to continue blogging for us. He has therefore decided to resign, effective the end of August. His last post yesterday on the cognitive benefits of blood and gore video games was therefore truly his last, at least for the time being.

He therefore gets his own picture:

Yes, we are sad to see him go as his posts have contributed some really exciting material about the intersection between the human mind and technology.

But as Jason says: “Game on!

To help us continue the game, the Psychonomic Society is now looking for another Digital Associate Editor to fill the vacancy left by Jason’s departure. The job description is simple: Join a team of stars in the Pleiades that is committed to making Psychonomic research accessible to a broad audience. We believe that our Society does terrific science, and we believe that our results are worth sharing with each other and the public on a digital platform. If you want to know how successful this effort has been, just check this link for the media coverage of my recent post on how birth experience affects cognitive functioning.

The nomination process is very simply: If you feel that you want to serve as Digital Associate Editor, send me an email ( If you know of someone else who might be suitable, and you want to nominate them, send me an email (

Go for it.

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