Monday, 17 March 2014 11:03

The Good Words—Science Tweeters You May Not Know About but Should

Written by  ASCB Post Staff
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Twitter logo blueThe whole point of Twitter (assuming that it has a point) is that it's personal. You follow whomever you want to follow. The Twitter algorithm keeps suggesting people similar to the people you're already following but what's the point of that? In our book, the two best reasons to follow a Twitter handle ("@" twitter handle) are that the tweeter says interesting things or even better the tweeter takes you to strange places where you would not have gone on your own. If the places you'd like to go have to do with science, here are some suggestions.

Once you finally get your Twitter account, you should, of course, follow @ASCBiology. (And if you like @ASCBiology, check out our affiliates like @iBiology, MBoC editor @DavidGDrubin, and our Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi @sutefune.) Then add in a few professional news sites such as @SciAm, @nytimesscience, and @naturemagazine. But then it's time to drill down in the science Twitter-sphere. Here, in alphabetical order, are some Twitter "feeds" where we go regularly to feed our curiosity.

-Bethany Brookshire @scicurious is a PhD-scientist blogger turned science writer. She writes for major science news outlets and tweets a variety of science-related news, though she has a passion for neuroscience.

-Christie Wilcox @NerdyChristie is a cell and molecular biology grad student who writes Science Sushi for Discover Blogs and freelances for other major news outlets (when she's not researching the evolution of a toxin protein family in the Scorpaeniformes fish family).

-David Stephens @David_S_Bristol is a cell biology professor who tweets about cell biology. He especially likes membrane trafficking, but who doesn't?

-DNLee @DNLee5 is a biologist with opinions. DNLee tweets about ecology, evolution, and the challenges of being an African-American woman in science.

-@heardatnature reportedly reports things overheard in corridors around "Nature." From the accent and the vocabulary, this must be the London office but it still amusing to overhear things like, "I don't know enough about Drosophila sex." Who does?

-Jennifer Rohn @JennyRohn is a cell biology professor, novelist, writer, blogger, and editor of LabLit who also manages to find time to be a mom and tweet about lab life, women in science, and science writing.

-Johnathan Eisen @phylogenomics is a professor at University of California, Davis, and one of the tweeting Eisen brothers (see Michael Eisen below). Jonathan Eisen's research focuses on the ecology and evolution of microbes. If you like microbes, you're going to love Eisen's feed on all things bacterial.

-Jorge Cham @phdcomics is the rock star of the grad student set. Cham's twitter account links to his comic strips, which answer the question, "If I'm so smart, why am I in a PhD program?"

-Michael Eisen @mbeisen is a University of California, Berkeley, professor and HHMI investigator who also co-founded PLOS. It's no surprise that Eisen is a big fan of open access and he shares his opinions about publishing in his twitter feed and on his blog. (Does biology tweeting have a genetic or epigenetic basis? Michael is Jonathan Eisen's brother.)

-Political.Scientists @PolitScientists are graduate students at Emory who fired up a science advocacy club that now has more than 50 active members. Their Twitter feed is just as enthusiastic as the students. They bring together science policy-related news and insights from all over the web.

-Robin Lloyd @robinlloyd99 is an editor at Scientific American but her feed goes beyond just promoting SciAm. She tweets hot science stories from all over the web. How any human being could be scanning that many sources is the one question that Lloyd never answers. If a tree falls anywhere in the science media forest, she apparently hears it.

-@thekidshouldsee bills it self as "Not-made-for-kids videos that you can watch with your kids." In the lab, we're all kids.