center for brain, behavior & evolution

Understanding the natural diversity of behavior, in the lab & in the wild.

A call for contributors

 In 1837, Darwin scratched out a rough phylogeny and scribbled the words "I think" beside it. It would be 22 years before he shared his insight with the world. You don't have to be Darwin to have an idea worth sharing. Propose a post today.

In 1837, Darwin scratched out a rough phylogeny and scribbled the words "I think" beside it. It would be 22 years before he shared his insight with the world. You don't have to be Darwin to have an idea worth sharing. Propose a post today.

We think is a new group blog about animal behavior, its mechanisms and their evolution. The site will feature summaries of the latest literature, introductions to new methods, opinions on controversial topics and perspectives on professional development. In fact, we’re interested in any idea that challenges or enriches how we view our work and its place in the world.

Our mission is to promote the interdisciplinary study of behavior by reducing barriers between behavioral research and allied fields – including neuroscience, ecology, endocrinology, conservation, psychology, genomics and computer science. We want to foster the use of new tools and new ideas. Although the site is run by professional biologists, it is not intended as a substitute for peer-reviewed literature.  If a peer-reviewed paper is comparable to a presentation at a national meeting, We think is more like a good conversation over drinks after a day’s sessions – an animated and informal exploration of the science that wows us.

Our blog is intended for behavioral biologists, biologists-in-training, and researchers in allied disciplines. Pieces assume a broad background in biology but use minimal jargon. Experts will express their opinions and explain challenging topics to non-specialists. In the process, we hope educators, students and the public will find our posts useful introductions to scientific literature. We suspect non-scientists will enjoy eavesdropping on the lively debates that accompany scientific discovery.

The site will publish pieces ranging from 200-2000 words. These pieces will include short descriptions of recent publications; first person accounts of work in the lab or field; explanatory articles on complex topics; reviews of neglected or classic papers; intersections between our science and culture; and applications of our work to solving problems. Beautiful images, video and audio will find an appreciative audience. That’s a long list, and it’s not nearly everything. (You should submit a proposal.) For a list of canned categories, please visit our page for contributors.

By contributing, you can shape our field and its future. Your unique expertise can help other researchers and trainees see the value of overlooked work, gain access to a specialized field, or recognize shortcomings in the literature. Your contribution can also raise your profile among potential collaborators and prospective students. We will promote posts through a significant social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and other venues, as well as through a variety of content aggregators. When a piece is suitable for a very broad audience, we will work with the UT College of Natural Sciences press office to place posts in online sites like Wired, the Huffington Post or National Geographic.  We provide site visitation statistics you can use to assess the Broader Impacts of your contribution. And you can finally impress your family by showing them that some people find your thoughts interesting. Lastly, it doesn’t take a lot of time to write a short piece in everyday language based on your existing expertise.  It’s more like a thoughtful email to a collaborator than a paper for one of the Trends journals.

To contribute, please go to our submission site and briefly indicate 1) the topic of the post, 2) its timeliness or relevance, 3) its audience, 4) its approximate word length and 5) the proposed date of submission.