Society has gradually recognized that Earth is but a speck compared to the vastness of the universe. Biology is going through a similar process with the realization that plant and animal life are ironically miniscule compared to the gargantuan scope of microbial life. Despite the growing appreciation of microbes for the health of all life and the planet, we still often forget to give much notice to this ‘invisible’ biological universe.
Since 2012 Daniel P. Haeusser, PhD, assistant professor in the Biology Department, serves as an associate editor and contributor for Small Things Considered, an esteemed microbiology blog with more than 1000 posts and two million views. Started by former American Society for Microbiology (ASM) president Moselio Schaechter, the blog shares exciting, unexpected and unusual stories from the microbial world with the general public.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Small Things Considered in June, ASM Press will publish In the Company of Microbes: 10 Years of Small Things Considered in both electronic and paperback formats. This ‘best-of’ collection includes selections written and edited by Haeusser and reflects on the interactions between microbes and other life, conveying the sense of amazement and adventure that microbiology research holds.
Haeusser also integrates the blog into his BIO305 (General Microbiology) and BIO307 (Environmental & Pathogenic Microbiology) courses as it features writing from amateur enthusiasts from high school through graduate school students and professionals alike. The blog enables students to gain experience communicating complex scientific concepts of interest to a broad audience.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs