Note to readers

As readership grows (thank Ceiling Cat), I am being inundated with emails from readers (as well as from nutcases who want to call me a racist, alt-rightist, misogynist, or someone bound for hell). I appreciate the readers’ emails, as I depend on these to direct me to many news items and other juicy things to write about. But when emails are several hundred per day, I simply can’t keep up and also do my other work.

This makes me feel bad, as I like to respond to every reader, but with so many emails it’s nearly impossible, and I feel like I’m being rude when I don’t have time. Also, some exigent emails get lost in the accumulating pile, and I forget them.

To solve this problem, I’m asking readers to email me no more than once every three days or so. I don’t want to discourage contributions, so if you have multiple things to bring to my attention, combine them in one email rather than writing several times a day or even daily. Please, however, keep letting me know of interesting stuff out there.

Two exceptions: if something is extraordinarily timely and I must see it immediately, send it along. Also, corrections of fact or of typos are welcome at any time.




  1. Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Why not set up a free email account that we can use rather than your University one? That way you can skip through & eliminate the goat nutters (such as me), & choose the “Ceiling-Catly” sheep! Also, all pictures then in folders that you can go through as & when…

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Another suggestion to take or not – simply take donation and see how that goes. If enough to cover the expense of having an assistant to handle the onslaught. Not possible to continue to enjoy this “hobby” if you are working at it 15 hours a days.

    Sadly there are many crazies out there and you do not have time for this.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Well, back when you first said to combine items into one email, I started a draft. But now when I look at it, you’re gonna get this massive email – so there the draft sits. I’ll let it grow. Trim it. Let it grow more.

    Not sure I’ll send it though. Nothing edgy/snarky/jerky about it, just don’t think combining items in one email will help.

    One item per three days – that sounds like it might work better for you?…

    • Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Maybe readers should ‘buddy-up’ to use the American expression?! 🙂

  4. Historian
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    This comment is slightly off topic, but I hope I am not being too audacious by writing it here. I have noticed that virtually all posts have a “shelf life” of one day or less in terms of readers commenting. This is particularly true when the post no longer appears on the main page. But, I consider many of the substantive posts important enough to warrant much more than one day’s discussion. So, I am humbly making the suggestion that links to posts that Professor Coyne feels important be placed somewhere on the right or left pane of the main page. New ones can be added or old ones removed as Professor Coyne deems appropriate. This suggestion would particularly allow people who cannot get to the site on a given day to contribute to the discussion.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Longer comment periods are a great idea I think – PCC(E) bumped it already just for me one day, and I thank Him (PBUH)^**

      ** Paws Be Upon Him

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      If you subscribe to the site, you’ll receive email notifications of all new posts You can keep those links as long as you like, and join the discussion when it suits you. (I frequently don’t get to the meatier science posts until a day or two later.)

      And if Jerry’s already overwhelmed with sorting through site-related email, I’m not sure where he’s going to find the time to curate a “must read” or “greatest hits” list. In all probability such a list would quickly go stale; those topics that Jerry feels are important are the ones he posts about most frequently.

      My suspicion is that the decline in comments on any given thread after a day or two has less to do with it falling off the front page than with the fact that there are always newer, fresher posts to comment on. Readers too have limited bandwidth, and prefer to go where the action is.

  5. mrclaw69
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Alt right?! Racist?! Misogynist?!

    I guess this sort of invective is the price for anyone who dares to have an opinion outside the narrow window of “agree with what I say or else”.

    It’s as tedious as it is galling and inaccurate.

  6. mrclaw69
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    BTW – I second the “getting a site email” option.

    • Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I don’t see how that will help. Jerry still has to sift through it, same as just having one email for everything.

      • Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Yes, that’s the problem. I’d prefer that people just send fewer emails if they’re frequent communicators, and put extra stuff in them. I don’t think that’s too hard.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted July 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        The point is that if WEIT-related email goes to a separate address, Jerry won’t have to sift through it in order to find important, non-WEIT email. Sifting through the flood of WEIT mail then becomes something he needs to do only when he’s specifically working on WEIT. It won’t get in the way of his regular life.

  7. Paul Britton
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    What is the email address for wildlife photo submissions please?

    • Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Click “research interests” at upper right of page, which will take you to my University page with an email address.

  8. J Cook
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    For your flat earth followers, check out EPOD- Earth Science Picture of the Day
    for a picture of Earth’s shadow at ‘sunrise’ or ‘sunset’.

    • Posted July 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I never tire of pointing out to other people the earth’s shadow rising or descending in the atmosphere at those times of day. Wonderful!

  9. Posted July 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Happy to comply, Jerry! I don;t know how you have time to do all this work; but I am really glad you do it!

    Please keep up the good work! 🙂

  10. Avis James
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I am always amazed at how fast Jerry replies to my e-mails.

    • claudia baker
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


      I appreciate all you do, and don’t know how you do it!

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