« blog

New year, new blog, new title

Martin Johnsson


This will be the new home of my blog (previously here). I’ve been blogging on and off since 2010, as long as–or possibly a little longer than–I’ve been involved in research. Supposedly, science blogs are a dead medium, but I still like them and wish more scientists would take the time to write them.

Recently, the blog has been on an extended unplanned hiatus. This is not the first time I’ve slacked off, and some of the reasons are obvious. When things get busy, writing for fun is one of the first things to go. However, another reason is the friction of the medium. I’ve grown less and less fond of Wordpress and its hopelessly painful user interface.

pandoc to the rescue

In the search for something nice and minimalist, I found Lukas Schwab’s “very basic Pandoc static site generator” (pandoc-blog on GitHub), that uses the Swiss army document converter pandoc to turn a folder of Markdown files into a series of html pages presented in chronological order–i.e., a blog.

Deeply unattractive out of the box? Yes. Easy to customize? I hope so.

Sounds great to me! This means losing some of the fancy functionality, obviously. The options for subscribing are limited, and there’s no comments section. But then again, who comments on blogs in 2023? The 2000s called and wanted back their futile hope for a democratic online future! Please send me an email instead.

With some luck, this will feel better. Eventually I might figure out how to point onunicornsandgenes.blog to this page instead. The old posts will remain on Wordpress, because I can’t be asked to convert them.

Docent appointment

Also, I was recently appointed docent (associate professor1) in Animal Science, specialisation in Quantitative Genetics and Genomics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. For any reader not hip to what that means, it means I can be the main supervisor of PhD students, participate in PhD examination committees, and that I have another official document certifying that I am, indeed, a huge geek.

A Swedish Red Polled cow eating leaves under a blue sky. (Photo: Martin Johnsson. License: cc-by 4.0)

  1. The translation of the title into English is not that clear-cut, but “associate professor” is the one that SLU goes with.↩︎