More and more scientists are finally using Twitter. For many people, Twitter has become the primary place to catch breaking news, follow hot trends, make new friends, and establish business contacts. Mike “Dr. Mike” Stevenson wants to see even more scientists take advantage of this marvelous social media tool, so he has compiled ten reasons why you should be using Twitter for science.
If you don’t sell yourself, no one else is going to do it for you. You have unique science to share with the world and the world wants to hear about it!
You should talk to people on Twitter every day. Try and engage with your tweeps (i.e. Twitter friends) within your own field of study to make yourself seen, but also reach out to others outside your field. You never know where the next collaboration will come from!
- Share and promote the work of others
If you see some great science being done by someone else, don’t just ‘like’ it, retweet it! Better yet, retweet with a comment so you can add your own spin or thoughts/opinions about it. Helping to spread great science is what it is all about.
Everyone in the science community needs support. Be there for someone during a rough or particularly low period. There are times when you’ll feel the same, and this great community will be there to reciprocate. S/O to the awesome #phdchat community.
- You’ll never miss out
Being on Twitter is so much better than…not being on Twitter. By that, I mean you will most likely hear about great opportunities: upcoming conferences, potential job openings, or the most amazing science hashtags EVER!
Through Twitter, you’ll make new and wonderful friends. You’ll share ideas and talk about the highs and lows of each other’s lives. The sense of community that comes from supporting one another on this platform is unlike any other, so be a part of it.
If you have an idea, you can float it to the communal “hive mind.” You’ll meet other people who share the same passion for it as you do. So many great collaborative ideas stem from the interactions I’ve seen on this platform.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from other people on Twitter. The sheer volume of scientists and knowledge packed into this platform is beyond amazing. There are experts on EVERYTHING. Got a question? You’ll get an answer…and quick!
Anytime I peruse science hashtags, I often see people posting about a problem they’re having, be it technical, laboratory-based, or writing-related. There is always a response from multiple people offering potential solutions.
If nothing else, science Twitter is just the most fun place online. From GIF games to ID’ing fun, there are many interactive events to take part in; you’ll never be bored!
Michael Stevenson is a postdoctoral researcher, who has worked in the field of parasitology for most of his life. He has worked on multiple species, both plant and animal parasites; all of which cause significant damage to their host species. He is an advocate of Science Communication and hosts the SciComm podcast. Follow Dr. Stevenson on Twitter.