Bora Zivkovic, more than anything else in the world, loves to write about himself in Third Person Singular.
Bora Zivkovic, better known online as ‘Coturnix’, writes on “A Blog Around The Clock” which is a fusion of his three old blogs: Science And Politics (a mix of science, politics, personal, blogging-about-blogging and miscellaneous stuff), Circadiana (chronobiology and medicine of sleep), and The Magic School Bus (academia and science education). This blog was a part of the Scienceblogs.com collective from June 2006 till July 2010 at http://scienceblogs.com/clock.
Bora was born in Belgrade, in (what used to be) Yugoslavia (now Serbia), where he trained horses, got his black belt in karate, and studied veterinary medicine. In 1991, just one week before the (first of many) wars broke out in the region, Bora emigrated to the USA. He got a MS degree in the Department of Zoology at North Carolina State University studying the physiology of circadian and photoperiodic timing in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica, hence the online handle), while taking a number of graduate classes in history and philosophy of biology as well. In the same year – 1998. – he became a US citizen.
Since arriving in the USA, Bora has been living somewhere in North Carolina, first in Hendersonville for a couple of months, then in Raleigh for 11 years, then in Cary for 9 months, and finally in Chapel Hill for the past seven years. He has met Catharine, his wife-to-be and an NC native, on his first day in Raleigh. They have two children: son David (17) and daughter Ruth (14). They also have two dogs and a cat. Bora teaches introductory biology to adults at a North Carolina Wesleyan College, while his wife, after almost getting a degree in philosophy, decided to become an ICU nurse instead. They are avid readers and book collectors.
Like many other Americans, Bora started blogging during the Democratic primaries, starting in August of 2003 on John Edwards’ campaign blog, later on Kerry-Edwards forums and JREgrassroots.org, until finally deciding to strike on his own by starting “Science And Politics” in August of 2004.
“A Blog Around The Clock” is in many ways a continuation of all three of his old blogs. It contains posts about higher education and science education, as well as his lecture and lab notes – the kind of stuff he used to post on “The Magic School Bus”.
Like he did on “Circadiana” he continues writing about many aspects of chronobiology: circadian and other rhythms and clocks, as well as biology and medicine of sleep. The posts range from introductory, almost textbook-like posts explaining the basics of the discipline, through reviews of literature on particular lines of research or on clocks in particular groups of organisms, all the way to critiquing the newest research and criticizing the way it is presented in news media.
Like he did on “Science And Politics”, Bora continues to write about anything and everything that strikes his fancy on any given day, often cycling through “phases” of interest. For instance, he may spend a few days writing a lot about current politics, or perhaps about the psychological underpinnings of ideology and religion, or how it all ties to sex. The following week, he may churn out a string of posts about recent studies in animal physiology, behavior and evolution. After that, he may muse about blogging and how it changes the way science is communicated, followed by intense local North Carolina blogging, or blogging about horses, or about the Balkans, or he may get all sentimental and say something about his personal history. Not to mention that some posts may combine two or more interests together – how about a post containing personal recollections about the politics surrounding equine science in 1980s Serbia in comparison to the same in today’s North Carolina (yet to be written, but why not)? And of course, a lot of posts about science communication, media and the current upheaval in the world of journalism.
The title of the blog is a word-play, reminding readers that Bora blogs about (biological) clocks, that he blogs around the clock (i.e., several posts per day), and that he’s of the Beatles generation, having fun as if it was still the 60′s.
The blog is very difficult to categorize as it is so eclectic. While there is almost nothing there about physical or Earth sciences, and very little about medicine, the blog regularly covers many areas of biology including neurobiology of behavior within ecological and evolutionary contexts, science education, higher education and science communication, as well as intersection between science and politics – this not so much about science policy, but rather what science can tell us about the way people acquire their political ideology and why they vote the way they do. There is relatively rarely something written directly about religion or the evolution-creationism debate, though that appears on occasion as well.
Bora’s homepage is here. He can also be found on Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Nature Network, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Imeem and Dopplr. Feel freed to subscribe/follow/friend him on those services.
Bora got a job in the comment thread of one of his posts on this blog in the spring of 2007. He worked as the Online Community Manager at Public Library of Science, focusing mainly on PLoS ONE until August 2010. After moving the blog away from Scienceblogs.com, Bora accepted the position of Chief Editor and Community Manager of the Scientific American blog network, starting in September 2010.
Bora has organized four globally renowned ScienceOnline conferences and is now in the midst of organizing the fifth one – ScienceOnline2011.
Bora is the series editor of The Open Laboratory – a series of annual anthologies of best writing from science, nature and medical blogs. You can see (and buy) the first four anthologies (and the fifth one is in preparation) from Lulu.com: 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Bora is also serving as an external adviser to the World Science radio+Web science program, is a member of BlogTogether, writes on the ScienceInTheTriangle blog and sometimes helps at the Research Triangle Park.
After all of the above, Bora Zivkovic still thinks that writing about himself in Third Person Singular is kinda fun.
Cooper CB,Voss MA, and Bora Zivkovic. Extended Laying Interval of Ultimate Eggs of the Eastern Bluebird, The Condor Nov 2009 : Vol. 111, Issue 4, pg(s) 752-755 doi: 10.1525/cond.2009.090061
Zivkovic B. The future of the scientific paper. Journal of Science Communication vol. 07, issue 02, june 2008.
Mico Tatalovic and Bora Zivkovic, Science Blogging, BlueSci, 13 January 2008.
Steele C, Zivkovic B, Siopes T, Underwood H. Ocular clocks are tightly coupled and act as pacemakers in the circadian system of Japanese quail. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology 284 (1) , R208-18 (2003) (Epub 03 Oct 2002) PubMed ID:(12388441)
Underwood H, Steele C, Zivkovic B. Circadian organization and the role of the pineal in birds. Microscopy research and technique 53 (1) , 48-62 (2001) PubMed ID:(11279670)
Zivkovic B, Steele C, Underwood H, Siopes T., Critical photoperiod and reproduction in female Japanese quail: Role of the eyes and pineal, Abstract. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Chicago, Illinois, January 3-7 2001.
Zivkovic B, Underwood H, Siopes T. Circadian ovulatory rhythms in Japanese quail: role of ocular and extraocular pacemakers. Journal of biological rhythms 15 (2) , 172-83 (2000) PubMed ID:(10762035)
Underwood H, Steele C, Zivkovic B. Effects of fasting on the circadian body temperature rhythm of Japanese quail. Physiology & behavior 66 (1) , 137-43 (1999) PubMed ID:(10222486)
Zivkovic B, Underwood H, Steele C, Edmonds K. Formal properties of the circadian and photoperiodic systems of Japanese quail: phase response curve and effects of T-cycles. Journal of biological rhythms 14 (5) , 378-90 (1999) PubMed ID:(10511005)
In the Media
Serbian Immigrant Ponders Links Between Politics and Science by Nicholas Genes, Medscape, February 1st, 2006.
Interview with Science and Politics by Simon Owens, Bloggasm blog, February 10th, 2006.
Genetics Interview #13: Bora Zivkovic of A Blog Around The Clock by Hsien Hsien Li, Genetics & Health blog, August 24, 2006.
Can blogs make science cool? by Janet Babin at NPR Marketplace, January 19, 2007.
Discovery finds its way a click at a time by Kristin Collins, Raleigh News & Observer, Jan. 21, 2007 (also reprinted in Baltimore, Houston and Charleston SC newspapers).
Science blogger Bora Zivkovic by Corie Lok, 22 January 2007 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news070122-2
Science Bloggers Avoid the Spinach Dip Brush-Off by Eva Amsen, Inkling Magazine, January 24th, 2007
Review of three anthologies of science essays, The Reading Diary of John Dupuis, March 01, 2007
Online, Three Years Are Infinity by Klaus Taschwer, Heureka, March 29, 2007.
Scooped by a blog by David Secko, The Scientist, Vol. 21, Issue 4, page 21, April 2007
Scientists Enter the Blogosphere, by Laura Bonetta, Cell, Volume 129, Issue 3, 4 May 2007, Pages 443-445
Blogger’s Unite by Paul Stevenson, Nature, June 14, 2007
Interview with Bora Zivkovic, Crazy Uncle of the Science Blogging Community by John Dupuis, Confessions of a Science Librarian blog, March 13, 2008.
Elisabetta Tola. To blog or not to blog, not a real choice there…. Journal of Science Communication vol. 07, issue 02, june 2008.
An Interview with Bora Zivkovic, Organizer of ScienceOnline’09 by Brandon, Extreme Biology blog. October 10th, 2008.
Radio In Vivo (mp3), Carrboro NC, December 3, 2008.
Science Online 2009 with Bora Zivkovic, Atheists Talk #055, February 1, 2009.
Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers? (video), The Scholarly Communication Program at Columbia University, New York City, NY, 20th February 2009
Review: The Open Laboratory edited by Jennifer Rohn 15 April 2009 by Michael Le Page, The New Scientist.
A Blogger Success Story by Caryn Shechtman, New York blog, Nature Network, 02 June 2009.
The Open Laboratory: Interview with Bora Zivkovic, by Walter Jessen, Next Generation Science, July 20, 2009.
Die Internet-Kultur sickert in die Wissenschaft ein by Lars Fischer. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, July 31st 2009. (English translation, full transcript).
Taylor, M. P. 2009. Electronic publication of nomenclatural acts is inevitable, and will be accepted by the taxonomic community with or without the endorsement of the Code (pdf). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 66 (3): 205-214.
Researchers! Join the Twitterati! Or perish! by James Dacey, Physicsworld.com, February 22, 2010
Online and Overseas: Less hand-wringing over state of science journalism by Robin Lloyd and Cristine Russell, Columbia Journalism Review – The Observatory, February 25, 2010.
7 Questions with… Bora Zivkovic, interview by Jason G. Goldman, The Thoughtful Animal blog, June 25, 2010.
Skeptically Speaking #80 (radio), Science Journalism, October 8, 2010.
Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour #68 (video): Taking Science Online, October 15th, 2010.
Panel (video), Rebooting science journalism: Adapting to the new media landscape, NASW/CASW meeting, New Haven CT, November 6th, 2010.
Naseem Interviews Bora Zivkovic, Organizer of the Science Online Conference on Extreme Biology, December 3, 2010.
Explain yourself: Master Science Blogger Bora Zivkovic, interview by Lena Groeger. Explainer.net, January 21, 2011.
What’s New with Science News, Scientific American podcast, February 16, 2011.
The “Blogfather”. Interview with Bora Zivkovic , by Marisa Alonso Nuñez, Science Box, 14 November 2011
New York Times: Cracking Open the Scientific Process.
Skeptically Speaking podcast #152
Science… sort of (podcast): Episode 122: Finding a New Course