Social media has become an important thing for science communication. In paleontology, the activity of "Live Tweeting" professional meetings has become an important aspect of what we do as scientists. This is all part of what we feel is an important opportunity to take our science - our life's work - and make it available to anyone who might be interested.
But we still have challenges. It has been suggested, and I have experienced this first-hand, that most Americans can't name a living scientist, and certainly have some serious misconceptions about what scientists look like.
On Twitter on February 2nd, David Steen, a wildlife ecologist and conservation biologist at Auburn University
, tweeted a simple sentiment that started a phenomenon.
Mary Roblyer provided the hashtag, #ActualLivingScientist
, and scientists all over the world began to introduce themselves.
Then it started.
One of the best parts of this phenomenon is just how many of the #ActualLivingScientist posts come from paleontologists. Check these out:
Many of these tweets come from authors of this blog:
And of course, I tweeted too:
I only picked a few tweets, out of literally hundreds. Paleontology is strongly represented.
If you want to see more of the tweets, check them out here: #ActualLivingScientist
You don't have to join Twitter to see them.