Scientists around the world have been taking to twitter using the hashtag #ActualLivingScientist to introduce themselves and their science to the rest of the world.
Twitter is flooded with messages from men and women of all fields of research, from biology, ecology, mathematics, climate science, geology, and more.
Many are tweeting in response to political developments in the US following the now infamous “alternative facts” of US President Trump’s counsellor, Kellyanne Conway.
The hashtag is also building momentum in the run up to the Scientists March on Washington on April 22 and sister marches confirmed for the same day in cities around the US and elsewhere in Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK to name a few.
But many are simply hoping that the hash-tag will serve as a virtual meet and great to reach people who may not otherwise have the chance to get to know scientists within their circle of friends.
For Helle Astrid Kjær, a glaciologist from the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, the hashtag is a great excuse to showcase research from far and wide.
“To my understanding it was initially a response to the Trump government statements on "alternative facts.”. But I like it just because it shows how much great research is being done today,” says Kjær, who regularly uses twitter to communicate her research to colleagues around the world.
“I hope that regular people will check out the hashtag and be intrigued. The format of a short text saying what you work on and some nice pictures could help [scientists] reach a wider community without going into lots of detail. Maybe this is a good way to give them an idea of the ongoing research,” she says.
To celebrate UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we have collated tweets from female #ActualLivingScientists.
All of whom work or study at universities and research institutions throughout the Nordics.
— Helle Astrid Kjær (@H_A_Kjaer) February 7, 2017
— Kristin Aleklett (@KAleklett) February 7, 2017
— Anja Rösel (@anja_rose) February 5, 2017
— Chloé Yeung (@ccstorytime) February 8, 2017
I curate the bones of ancient people and animals from southern Sweden, with a particular fondness for large bovines #actuallivingscientist
— Erika Rosengren (@RosengrenErika) February 4, 2017
— Hanna Kauko (@HannaKauko) February 6, 2017
— Frances Deegan (@FMDeegan) February 5, 2017
— Aga Nowak (@_AgaNowak) February 5, 2017
— Ruth Mottram (@ruth_mottram) February 9, 2017
— Hermoine Jean (@hermoine_venter) February 4, 2017
— Pinja Kettunen (@bigartisteArt) February 7, 2017
— Lena Rubensdotter (@LenaRubensdoter) February 10, 2017
And last but not least is this author.
— Catherine Jex (@CathJex) February 10, 2017
But is this virtual meet a scientist working? Well it has made one twitter user happy at least:
Thanks to the #actuallivingscientist hashtag, I've started following a ton of scientists. I recommend everyone do the same. Such positivity!
— Blake Corbishley (@blakecorbishley) February 8, 2017
If you are an #ActualLivingScientist then feel free to add a link to your own tweet in the comment feed at the end of this article.
And if you are an #ActualLivingScientist in Denmark then be sure to sign up for the Danish Science Festival Book a Scientist Scheme for an opportunity to meet and greet with interested citizens in real life.
Read more about the Book a Scientist Scheme: Danish Scientists go back to School