February 4, 2017
Allow us to introduce you to an #actuallivingscientist
Posted by Laura Guertin
Never doubt the power and reach of social media. It takes just one simple hashtag to ignite an international community – this time, it is for a great cause. Scientists are using the hashtag #actuallivingscientist on Twitter to introduce themselves and what they do.
On February 2, 2017, these tweets appeared:
@AlongsideWild Hi Dave! Maybe this is a good opportunity for other scientists 2 introduce themselves with a pic and #actuallivingscientist.
— Mary Roblyer (@darthmom7) February 2, 2017
Then, others encouraged tweets to use this hashtag:
Are you an #actuallivingscientist? Tell us about what you do! Bonus points for photos. pic.twitter.com/2xjNKkmsV5
— IRIS EPO (@IRIS_EPO) February 4, 2017
Soon, individuals started posting images and a short description of their work. Here are tweets from fellow AGU bloggers:
#actuallivingscientist for three decades field work on glaciers measuring climate change impacts. pic.twitter.com/KqU82gwyaX
— Mauri Pelto (@realglacier) February 4, 2017
I’m Jess, an #ActualLivingScientist who studies why volcanoes collapse for @USGSVolcanoes! And I wear a lot of blue. #DressLikeAWoman pic.twitter.com/WSFQ0R09Rl
— Jessica Ball (@Tuff_Cookie) February 3, 2017
As an #actuallivingscientist I’m committed 2sharing my knowledge w/younger generations to create a scientifically-literate society pic.twitter.com/tSujQOJzQq
— Dr. G (@guertin) February 3, 2017
Some tweets are for research teams or groups of scientists:
Want to meet an #actuallivingscientist? Cool! We’ve got hundreds—this batch even tweets: https://t.co/5HERHpVnno pic.twitter.com/bhUUAvTJE7
— CA AcademyOfSciences (@calacademy) February 4, 2017
Looking for an #actuallivingscientist? Here’s 34 youth scientists from 25 nations working together to save wildlife https://t.co/VhjmiN56g5 pic.twitter.com/xksICXhmTB
— Connel Bradwell (@connelbradwell) February 4, 2017
Some of the tweets added a touch of humor:
I’m Dawn! I map the oceans, study underwater volcanos & hot springs. I also build Legos! #actuallivingscientist #meetascientist #scicomm pic.twitter.com/42WYlc92HL
— Dawn Wright (@deepseadawn) February 4, 2017
Hi, I’m Katherine (AKA Katie). I’m an #ActualLivingScientist studying #GreatLakes fish & enjoy long walks on the beach setting minnow traps. pic.twitter.com/drsATsQnTH
— Katherine O’Reilly (@DrKatfish) February 3, 2017
We are Edi and Berti, and although neither of us is an #ActualLivingScientist, we work as field assistants for @rschott, who is one! pic.twitter.com/DQZXAMk9F9
— Edi & Berti (@GigaGeology) February 4, 2017
Some tweets added other trending hashtags:
Hi I’m Christina! I’m an #actuallivingscientist studying how Arctic kelp respond to enivronmntl stressors. While working, I #DressLikeAWoman pic.twitter.com/gowZWUh3dX
— Christina Bonsell (@c_bonsell) February 4, 2017
I’m an #actuallivingscientist who, also, serves her country #DressLikeAWoman pic.twitter.com/7PfFuhcMur
— Jaunetta Hill (@untamedtigress1) February 4, 2017
Sometimes, paleontologists look like this. #distractinglysexy #actuallivingscientist #DressLikeAWoman pic.twitter.com/MxJcEAvmZR
— Tara Lepore (@taorminalepore) February 4, 2017
Certainly, scientists have enjoyed and benefited from these tweets:
Thanks for all of the new follows! #actuallivingscientist is connecting me to all kinds of interesting new-to-me tweeps.
— Meagen Pollock (@meagenpollock) February 4, 2017
But are we reaching the objective from the very first tweet? Are more people actually meeting a scientist?
Teachers – follow #actuallivingscientist & share w/students the amazing range of careers w/photos – help students meet scientists!
— PAESTA (@PAESTA) February 4, 2017
I hope everyone takes the next step and shares this amazing collection of tweets with their friends, neighbors, local K-12 school teachers, etc. Highlight the range of scientific disciplines, locations of research, instrumentation used, etc. Call attention to the diversity of individuals and interdisciplinary fields. Perhaps volunteer to follow up with a classroom through a Skype session, or visit for Earth Day… a virtual introduction to a scientist is great, but imagine the impact if we help kids and adults meet and speak with an #actuallivingscientist ….
A Twitter account is not necessarily to view these tweets. Here is a link to the Twitter Moment for “These are real, living scientists” and a link to search results for the hashtag #actuallivingscientist.
For an example of exactly what a hashtag can set out to accomplish, please see the entire thread associated with this original tweet – a woman wearing pearls while conducting an autopsy https://twitter.com/drjudymelinek/status/827363458744061952
Letters to a Pre-Scientist did a nice Storify of their pen pals that used the hashtag #actuallivingscientist – https://storify.com/LettersPreSci/lpsscientists