Get social: 32 academics to follow on social media

When we ask our scientists for top tips, many of them suggest you find someone in the area you’re interested in and talk to them. One very simple way to do this is to follow people on social media – people who are already working in the field you want to learn more about.

What will you gain from doing this?

a) Their tweets and Facebook and Instagram posts will give you an insight into their fields – warts and all.

b) You will be introduced to a whole community of like-minded people with very similar interests to you.

c) Advertisements for jobs, internships, training opportunities and competitions always pop up on social media, so you’d be ahead of the game when you spot them.

A quick search on your favourite social media platform will get results, but here are some ideas to give you a head start.

#biology, #biosciences, #biologicalsciences

This field is incredibly broad, encompassing animal science, genetics, botany, human biology and much, much more.

Who to follow:

Imogene Cancellare, Conservation Biologist and PhD candidate, University of Delaware, USA

Joanne Manaster, Biology Lecturer, University of Illinois’s School of Integrative Biology, USA

Phil Torres, Biologist and TV host, New York, USA

Samantha Yammine, Neuroscientist and PhD candidate, University of Toronto, Canada

#earthscience, #environment, #environmentalsciences

Geography, oceanography, geophysics, ecology, conservation – all of these subjects, and more, fall under the category of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Who to follow:

Emma L Johnston, Professor of Marine Ecology and Ecotoxicology, University of New South Wales, Australia

Dr Jacquelyn Gill, Ice Age Ecologist, University of Maine, USA

Dr Karen James, an independent researcher interested in molecular ecology, conservation and environmental research

Mika McKinnon, Field Geophysicist and Adjunct Professor, University of British Colombia, Canada

#education, #stem, #steamm #sciencecommunication, #scicomm

There are loads of people posting about science in general, or STEM, or STEAMM, or science education. Some are passionate about science communication; others about gender equality in STEM. Influencers in these spheres are worth following because they give you a sense of what a career in STEM or STEAMM might be like.

Who to follow:

Dr Adam Rutherford, Presenter, BBC Inside Science, UK

Dr Jennifer Williams, Professor, College of Education, Saint Leo University, USA

Mitchell Moffit, Co-Creator of AsapSCIENCE, Canada

Roma Agrawal, Structural Engineer and STEM advocate, UK


#engineering, #tech, #computing

Our society is becoming increasingly reliant on technology; it’s a burgeoning field that needs engineers, computer scientists and technology experts, and there are plenty of people posting about next-generation technologies on social media.

Who to follow:

Karly Moura, Computer Science Teacher, USA

Kevin Folta, Professor in Biotechnology, University of Florida, USA

Dr Lucy Rogers, Visiting Professor at Brunel University and Fellow at the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, UK

Neil Harbisson, Cyborg Artist, USA


#health, #medicine

When we think about careers in health and medicine, we tend to think of doctors, nurses and surgeons, but there is so much more to the field. You might be involved in health policy, health education, youth work, mental health. You could be working in dentistry, speech therapy or in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Who to follow:

Hugh Kearns, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Australia

Pardis Sabeti, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard University, USA

Kevin Pho, MD, physician, USA

Vineet Arora, Associate Chief Medical Officer, University of Chicago Medicine, USA


#physics, #chemistry, #math #maths

These subjects are so very different and yet very much intertwined. As a physicist, you could be working in nuclear energy, quantum physics, electronics or nanotechnology. As a chemist, you could be working in chemical engineering, with new materials or in pharmacology. As a mathematician, you might be working with statistics or in operational research; but many scientists agree that these three subjects are the backbone to many other careers, from environmental researcher to marine biologist to engineer.

Who to follow:

Dr Jess Wade, Postdoc in Physics, Imperial College London, UK

Dianna Cowern, Physics Graduate, MIT and Former Research Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Dr Suze Kunde, Nanochemist, UK

John Urschel, PhD Candidate, Department of Mathematics, MIT, USA


#socialsciences, #humanities

Anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, philosophy, psychology and sociology all come under the umbrella of social sciences and humanities.

Julie Hecht, PhD candidate and animal behaviour researcher, City University of New York, USA

L E F T, phd, Postdoctoral Fellow, Writer, Lecturer, Hip Hop Scholar, USA

Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine Segal Professor of American Social Thought and History, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Susan K Whitbourne, Professor Emirata, Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst


#space #astrophysics #spacescience #astronomy

Thanks to technological advances, the study of space is becoming increasingly exciting. Not only that, but the technologies being developed for space exploration are finding their way into our homes; think memory foam, freeze drying, cochlear implants…

Jedida Isler, astrophysicist and assistant professor, Darmouth College, USA

Abigail Harrison, aspiring astronaut and founder of The Mars Generation, USA

Andrew Radar, SpaceX Engineer with a PhD in aerospace engineering, USA

Katie Mack, astrophysicist and theoretical cosmologist, NC State University, USA

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Check out our articles to find more researchers working in the field you are interested in: