Metamorphosis is coming.  I was invited to blog over at Wired Science. There is a HUGE amount of blogging talent out there, and they chose … me.  This is evidence that there is a real readership for news and comment writing ranting about insects, agriculture, and nature. Exciting!

I won’t be moving anytime soon; probably not until late August. I’ll keep all of you posted.

I would really love to hear from all my readers HERE, in this survey.
What do you want me to write about? What burning insect questions would you like to see answered?
(Please note the “Bug Girl Will Not Diagnose You guidelines; if you really have a “burning issue” you may want to see a doctor for some ointment.)

I started out as a pretty rough writer, and over the years you’ve let me learn in public how to do this bloggy thing. I’m still learning, and I still have a long way to go. The vast majority of people I’ve met online are fabulous, and it makes me so happy that you are part of my virtual community. Group Hug!

Below the fold are more personal thoughts about this move with animated gifs and cursing, for those who are curious.

When I first got this news I was:

And then:

and then I started to process things a bit more:

So many people around me are writing amazing shit. Go look at Ed Yong’s long read about insects and phytopathology on cocoa. This post about spider behavior by one of my new colleagues at Wired. So many, many more excellent science writers online.

Who the hell am I kidding?
I can’t do this! I don’t know anything about writing!  Right now I am having a massive attack of Impostor Syndrome, Writer’s Block, and random panicky consumption of mass quantities of ice cream. I’m sharing my panic because I think making my freakout public might be helpful to others. (Honestly, serving as an object lesson to others is really my primary purpose in life.)

Writing online is hard. People are mean.
And now I’m going to go on a much bigger stage, and potentially fail in a much more spectacular way. WITH MY REAL NAME.

Yep.  You Heard me.  My name is Gwen Pearson. I’m going to start using it, so if you see someone outing me, it’s ok. I don’t work for a state government anymore, so I can use my real name without fear of losing my job.  You all have been so wonderful at helping me protect my identity when there were issues with my employer over the past 6 years.  Thank you so very much, everyone.

I don’t have to worry about an employer anymore…because I’m not employed. I’m hoping this move to connect my two identities doesn’t make that a permanent condition. I have no idea what’s next for me, but I’m super honored to be a cog in the Wired machine, no matter how small.  And I’m super geeked to have your support for what is, really, just me being obsessed and excited about insects online.  Apparently nerdy passion for science can take you interesting places.

I think this quote from Simon Pegg sums my online career up pretty well:
ehrmahgerd bertles!

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection.

It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult.

I’ve said all along that my autobiography will be titled “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.” This will be Chapter Twenty-Two. Here’s hoping that Huge Tracts of … Geekery are enough to see me through this next adventure. I hope you will all come along with me for this ride, even if it ends in flames and tears.

Thank you.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Entomologist. Educator. Writer. NERD.


  1. Congratulations Gwen. Keep your tone, and your attitude, they make you special. You have nothnig to worry about. I´ll still think of you as buggirl though

  2. Everyone does call me Bug, and I hope that will continue. Especially since most of the time I don’t actually answer to Gwen.

  3. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to see what’s coming!

  4. You. I mean. And. I.
    I have delusions of grandeur that I might write for a living, but YOU ACTUALLY ARE DOING IT. So great. I am very happy for you!

  5. Woo hoo! … That is all.

    Wait, no. It’s not. Your combination of humanity and… is insectery a word? It should be… has been refreshing, informative, and inspiring, and it’s great to see that you’re getting a larger audience. Please carry on.

    Also, woo hoo!

  6. Sadly, I’m not actually doing this for a living. I’m not sure it would even qualify as a part time job.
    But it is a great way to finally “claim” all the stuff I wrote and did as Bug G. Membracid, and hopefully will lead to more employment in the future!

  7. Couldn’t be happier for you! I’m so looking forward to reading your posts! Congrats.

  8. Well, I’m weird in that “for a living” and “for money” aren’t really totally synonymous. You’re doing it as a more integrated part of YOU and your life, and in a bigger more awesome way. In any case, THIS IS SO AWESOME I AM YELLING! ;-)

  9. This is such amazing news. I am very proud of you; you’ll be an asset to Wired and I hope this is the beginning of many more great things. Good on ya,… sista

  10. Very excited for you! Wish you the best and can’t wait to see the spectacular stuff you’ll keep doing.

  11. FUCK YEAH! At the World Conference of Science Journalists, Betsy was talking about how stiff the competition was. You have beaten dozens of people for that place and you totally deserve it. Totally.

    The impostor syndrome is natural; I felt it when moving to Nat Geo. But just do your thing. It’s why they hired you.

  12. Wow, this is a well deserved opportunity for a talented person. As far as impostor syndrome, almost everyone has a bit. I worry more about the folks who don’t have it. Congratulations!

  13. You already write to a high standard so no more of this talk of imposters. Go for it and we will carry on enjoying your articles wherever they are published. :-)

  14. Welcome to WiSci! This is going to be so great. (Also? Nobody else is using gifs there yet, so you rule, already.)

  15. Terrific news — congrats!! [sends fist bump] And your writing already rocks, so things will continue to be awesome. Well-deserved indeed.

  16. Great news! Congratulations and I look forward to all your great stuff on Wired.

  17. Aysha Prather July 31, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    You’ll be great.

  18. Sounds like a great opportunity! I think you will do great, and I will keep you in mind when we have breaking entomological news.

  19. Wow, wow, and WOW !!! You CAN do it. I’m an avid reader of Wired, especially the science pieces, and I look forward to reading your articles.

  20. Congradulations.

    And I hope you’re not un-employed any longer than you want to be.

  21. Congratulations! I look forward to enjoying your writings on Wired.

  22. Your name may be Gwen, but you’ll always be “Buggy” to me. Congratulations. You are at the TOP of my daily “must read” list.

  23. I grok your imposter syndrome, but it’s bogus. You da bug bomb, toots. I love reading your stuff. A couple of days back there was a huge scary wasp/bee thing staggering around on my desk, falling on it’s back, looking seriously disoriented. Then it took to the air and freaked me out by doing a few loops around before suicide bombing into my glass of ouzo. When that kind of thing happens, can I send you a picture so you can tell me what kind of critter has been freaking me out? That’s what I’d like to see you become – a bug identification service for us uneducated bug watchers. Es possible?
    Aside from that, anything you have written so far has been fascinating. Just keep going.
    Oh yeah, and congratulations.

  24. Congratulations on your move to WIRED! And hey, your first name is just one letter off from my middle name (Gwyn).

  25. Well done and well deserved. I look forward to reading your work in your new online home.

    And, Wired folks, should you be reading all of these comments — I think you’ve chosen well.

  26. Congratulations, Bug! An excellent fit of network to blogger.

  27. You all have fun ya hear! Although I don’t understand the problem with working for the guvment and being a buggeek. I did it for years and it has turned out just great.

  28. Great news! Congratulations and I look forward to all your great stuff on Wired.

  29. Congratulations! Such exciting news. I wish you the best!

  30. I am so excited for you! I can’t tell you the number of times i’ve quoted your blog to people… you really do everyone a great service by spreading your knowledge in such an accessible way!

  31. Congratulations! You deserve it. My favorite Bug Girl posts are the ones where you put into context the insect stories (like CCD) in the popular media. It’s nice to have you jump in and say, “Wait a minute, it’s not quite that cut and dried!”

  32. […] of Wired, did you hear the BIG NEWS!  Bug Girl will be posting over at Wired Science! BIG congrats from […]

  33. Bully for you, Bug Girl — glad to see you get the deserved greater exposure. Best of luck at Wired and elsewhere.

  34. Congratulations on being chosen to write for wired! That’s a great accomplishment.
    Good Luck :)

  35. Yes, congrats! Am excited for you, and can’t wait to see your entries at Wired.

  36. Brilliant news, looking forward to your new venture at Wired!

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