9 science geeks you need to know

If you’re anything like me, it’s been a rough month of
trying to avoid Neil deGrasse Tyson. The astrophysicist is known
for his lead role in the TV series NOVA and Cosmos, his inspiring
quotes about the universe, his enormous Twitter following, and —
as of December — for four
accusations of ****** harassment and assault
.

When I was winding down after a long day by scrolling through
some hilarious tweets, there he was, being a dick about the precise
scientific accuracy of someone’s joke.

When I decided to be super intellectual and pick up a book, I
was confronted with the question of what to do with my copy of
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

I couldn’t even innocently peruse Facebook for embarrassing
photos of my friends without running into a photo I’d posted of
him in high school.

But in avoiding the man, I found myself missing the knowledge
— the weird facts I never knew I needed, the life-altering
perspective on the Universe, and, of course, the occasional
ruthless take-downs of science-deniers.

Listen, fellow science geeks, I won’t tell you what to do with
the news about Tyson — that’s complicated (and
Eve already did it!
). But there are tons of other science
communicators out there. Here are some you’ll love.

  1. Emily Graslie — Science communication so
    transformative there’s a butterfly named after her: the
    Wahydra graslieae
    . Emily
    Graslie
    is the chief curiosity correspondent at the Field
    Museum in Chicago, which grants her (and us, thanks to her YouTube
    channel The Brain
    Scoop
    ) access to the coolest collections museums have to offer.
    It’s no wonder she was a member of the original Grist 50 back in
    2016!
  1. Marshall Shepherd—Marshall Shepherd is a
    whole new kind of weather man (don’t worry, this isn’t the
    Nicolas Cage movie). He’s on every medium you can brainstorm —
    his podcast Weather
    Geeks
    , Twitter, and Forbes,
    to name a few — explaining not just what the weather is, but
    why the weather is. And he’s got the credentials to back it up:
    Shepherd is a former NASA scientist who once served as president of
    the American Meteorological Society.
  1. Lindsey Murphy —Lindsey Murphy’s YouTube
    channel Crazy Aunt
    Lindsey
    is geared toward kids, but as with the best crazy aunt
    — “that one who walks by the beat of their own drum, is always
    up to something super cool, and just seems to see the world a
    little differently than everyone else,” as Murphy describes
    her
    — adults will get a kick out of her too. Murphy
    approaches science with an eye to inclusion and accessibility, and
    the science experiments on her channel can be done with items you
    probably already have around the house. Science is fun! Murphy
    wants kids to have the opportunity to figure that out for
    themselves.
  1. Cara Santa Maria—Let’s put it this way:
    Cara Santa Maria
    does everything. She’s appeared on TV shows like Larry King Live
    and The Weather Channel’s Hacking the Planet. She’s won
    awards for
    both research and journalism. She’s a host of podcasts
    The Skeptics Guide
    to the Universe
    ” and “Talk Nerdy,” which
    have in turn won their own awards. It’s like some kind of Russian
    nesting doll of awards! Plus, she founded the annual Sci Comm Camp, which gets a bunch of
    science communicators in one place — a concept I can get
    behind.
  1. Kate Marvel — I can’t tell whether it’s
    Kate Marvel’s last name or her work as a climate scientist at the
    NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies that makes her seem like a
    superhero. Maybe it’s the Wonder-Woman-esque cobalt dress she’s
    wearing in her Twitter profile picture. Or the fact that she
    studies clouds. (Think she can fly?) Regardless, she’s someone
    you should know about. Find her on the
    TED mainstage
    ,
    Meet the Press
    and, of course, Twitter.
  1. Jess Wade—Don’t tell your high school
    teachers, but your propensity for Wikipedia research may not be so
    bad after all — at least not if you’re using the pages
    physicist Jess Wade has
    created. Frustrated with the lack of representation of women,
    people of color and LGBTQ scientists (and the ridiculous,
    sometimes lipstick-smeared attempts
    to right the wrong), the
    British researcher has written hundreds of Wikipedia pages
    highlighting under-recognized scientists. She’s also pushing for
    an addition to high school science curricula worldwide: Inferior,
    Angela Saini’s book about the totally unscientific reasons for
    gender inequality in science.
  1. Jacquelyn Gill—Jacquelyn Gill must be into
    extremes. She’s an Ice Age ecologist, host of the climate-change
    podcast Warm
    Regards
    (created by
    Grist columnist Eric Holthaus
    !), and an assistant professor of
    climate science at the University of Maine (the easternmost state
    in the Union!). One reason she’s so keen on studying the past is
    that she knows what it can tell us about our future — and, you
    know, the woolly
    mammoths
    aren’t so bad, either.
  1. Joe Hanson — If you’re already here
    looking at a list of science geeks, you probably agree with the
    sentiment of Joe
    Hanson
    ’s YouTube channel, It’s
    Okay to be Smart
    . He’s a biologist by training, but he
    tackles topics like “The SCIENCE of BEER!!!” and, you guessed
    it, climate change. Hanson also co-hosts the PBS series Hot Mess,
    alongside Miriam Nielsen and Talia Buford. (The title describes the
    show’s subject — global warming — not its hosts, who may be
    hot, but are certainly not a mess.)
  1. Anna Rothschild — The first thing that
    showed up in a Twitter search of Anna Rothschild’s name
    was her own tweet blaring, “ALWAYS FARTS! ALWAYS FARTS!” It’s
    as good a summary of any of Rothschild’s goofy take on science
    journalism. As the host of Washington Post’s
    Science Magic Show Hooray,
    she’s there to answer your most
    pressing science questions, like this one from someone calling
    himself John Cena: “Why do we have butts?” (If you binge all
    the videos on that fairly new channel, head over to Gross
    Science
    , the NOVA show she’s taking a hiatus from.)

Photos courtesy of: Sheheryar Ahsan; UGA Photographic Services;
Lindsey Murphy; Rachael Porter; John Pinderhughes; Thomas Angus,
Imperial College London; Gregory Rec; “It’s Okay To Be
Smart/PBS Digital Studios”; Jason Wong.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline 9
science geeks you need to know
on Jan 16, 2019.

Source: FS – All – Science – News
9 science geeks you need to know