Communicating information in the sciences, especially in a way that’s fun and entertaining, is both a honed skill and a natural talent.
These 40 people have managed to perfect that voice and now serve as the esteemed “scientist social media wizards.” They’re astrophysicists, meteorologists, science reporters and more, and you’re missing out if you’re not following them online.
You can follow all of these educators using our twitter list. And don’t forget to follow @BI_Science, as well as Science Editor @MicrobeLover, Senior Science Reporter @DinaSpector, and Senior Health Reporter @fedira.
Who he is: A retired Canadian astronaut who became the first Canadian to walk in space.
Why you should follow: Though he's no longer going into orbit, he puts together stellar tweets that show he's still up to date on space things. He's amassed nearly 600,000 Facebook followers, many of them fans of his autobiography 'An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.'
Example of media prowess: Ever-savvy, Hadfield knows what makes an epic selfie.
Dr. Carin Bondar's web series about sexual behaviours in the Animal Kingdom amassed more than 12 million views on YouTube.
Who she is: A spunky biologist and population ecologist who blogs 'SciVid.'
Example of media prowess: She filmed this parody of 'Wrecking Ball' about evolution.
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Who he is: A marine biologist promoting shark conservation in his blog 'Southern Fried Science.'
Why you should follow: For Shiffman, every week is 'Shark Week.' His witty, near-obsessive shark-related tweets and Facebook posts both entertain and advocate for a more sustainable ocean environment for sharks and other creatures alike.
Example of media prowess: Shiffman shows how anyone can become a shark activist.
Why you should follow: The team writes a blurb explaining a bit of scientific information, and graphic artists from across the country illustrate that concept in a quirky style.
Example of media prowess: They break bad news with really cute infographics.
Jake Bova curates relevant and pressing insect news on his blog and Facebook page 'Relax, I'm an Entomologist.'
Who he is: A graduate teaching assistant at Virginia Tech known for creating the popular blog and Facebook page, 'Relax, I'm an Entomologist.'
Why you should follow: Bova gives 'an unapologetic look at the world of entomology and science' through curated content about insects and all things insect-related.
Example of media prowess: Bova's posts are full of visually-stimulating images as well as funny cartoons and memes.
Who she is: A Ph.D. candidate studying cell and molecular biology at the University of Hawaii, who blogs 'Science Sushi.'
Why you should follow: Her most popular post last year was a controversial open letter to Discovery Channel for its Megalodon 'fauxmentary' that kicked off Shark Week. She also rewrites popular songs as odes to evolution and the trials of being a Ph.D. candidate.
Example of media prowess: Wilcox tweets pictures from her office space in paradise.
Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the first and only popular commercial radio program devoted to all things space.
Who he is: An astrophysicist and best-selling author.
Why you should follow: He moonwalked for YouTube, tweets the astronomical significance of the date to his 1.5 million followers, and expertly bridges pop culture and science with clarity, humour, and passion. His show 'StarTalk' is the No. 2 science podcast on iTunes.
Example of media prowess: He's a goof about the universe.
Who he is: A musician-slash-science-dork who makes videos about science news, history, and concepts on his YouTube-sponsored vlog, 'SciShow.'
Why you should follow: SciShow, which has more than 1.4 million subscribers, continues to grow with a strong demographic interest among high school and college students and women -- an engaged viewership that Green is particularly proud of.
Example of media prowess: He explained which gene is responsible for the creation of redheads.
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Who he is: An astronomer and adjunct faculty at UC -- Santa Barbara who hosts 'Known Universe' on National Geographic.
Why you should follow: Howell lends an authoritative voice to the subject of astronomy and astrophysics. He's always up to something exciting, and eagerly shares all his ventures with fans and followers.
Example of media prowess: He doesn't let himself be boxed in by research and teaching.
Who she is: A 'Mathemusician' for Khan Academy, a nonprofit website providing free classes in the STEM subjects.
Why you should follow: Even if you aren't mathematically inclined, her videos are easy to understand. Hart has become a viable YouTube science superstar.
Example of media prowess: She engages other maths and science experts on Twitter.
Who he is: A science editor of NBC News Digital, exploring physical science, space exploration, paleontology, and archaeology.
Why you should follow: During his 36 years of daily journalism, Boyle has survived a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, a total solar eclipse, and an earthquake. He says he has faith he will survive the Internet as well.
Example of media prowess: He tweets photos from behind the scenes of 'NBC Nightly News.'
Who she is: A canine researcher who explores the dog-human relationship in her blog 'Dog Spies.'
Why you should follow: During her day job at the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, she investigates olfactory preferences, dogs' understanding of 'fairness,' dog-human play behaviour, and other mysteries about the K-9 species.
Example of media prowess: Her articles entice with cute puppy photos.
Who he is: A freelance science writer digging up deets on evolution, paleontology, and natural history in his blog 'Laelaps.'
Why you should follow: Switek, author of 'My Beloved Brontosaurus,' covers everyone from the Tsintaosaurus, a dinosaur with a unicorn-style horn, to the 'Jurassic Park' co-star, Dilophosaurus. No dinosaur gets left behind.
Example of media prowess: He champions researchers up against stereotypes.
Who she is: A science reporter for Wired specializing in spiders and science mysteries.
Why you should follow: Drake, who is known affectionately in the Twittersphere as 'Nads,' has an affinity for spiders and tweets her love of the eight-legged insect while spreading the word for rain forest conservation.
Example of media prowess: She looks out for every creature, not just the beautiful ones.
Who he is: An award-winning science writer who explores biology's greatest oddities in his blog 'Not Exactly Rocket Science.'
Why you should follow: His work has appeared in Wired, Nature, the BBC, New Scientist, the Guardian, the Times, Aeon, Discover, Scientific American, The Scientist, the BMJ, Slate, and more.
Example of media prowess: Each week, Yong posts a round-up of the best science articles on the Internet.
Who he is: A meteorologist who writes for Slate's 'Future Tense' section.
Why you should follow: Informative and omnipresent, Holthaus is seemingly everywhere at once, live tweeting weather and climate updates in Atlanta one minute and New York the next.
Example of media prowess: Holthaus is all over that polar vortex thing.
Who she is: A Wired writer who delves into public health, global health, medicine, and food policy in her blog 'Superbug.'
Why you should follow: McKenna is the author of 'SUPERBUG: The Fatal Menace of MRSA,' an investigation of the global epidemic of drug-resistant staph, which received the 2011 Science in Society Award.
Example of media prowess: She curates a Twitter list of awesome women to follow.
Adam Mann's articles include the tags 'bad-arse robots,' 'moon panorama,' and 'mind-blowing science photos.'
Who he is: An astronomy and physics writer for Wired, who keeps an eye on transportation news.
Why you should follow: Mann's Twitter handle, @adamspaceman -- pronounced 'Spah-CHE-min' according to his profile -- is an awesome and punny reference to '30 Rock.'
Example of media prowess: He wrote a memorial for all the space robots that died in 2013.
Who he is: A volcanologist and petrologist at Denison University, and writer of 'Eruptions Blog' for Wired Science.
Why you should follow: Klemetti keeps the world up to date on the globe's volcanic activity, including how eruptions and other volcano-related events are affecting the Earth.
Example of media prowess: He's always on the alert, the moment he hears news.
Who he is: A climatologist and geophysicist, and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State.
Why you should follow: Mann is the go-to on all things climate. So if you ever find yourself wondering about the future of natural gas usage or the Obama administration's stance on global warming, Mann is your man.
Example of media prowess: Mann spans modes of interweb communication -- he's even doing a Reddit AMA on Feb. 21.
Who he is: An associate editor at Scientific American magazine.
Why you should follow: Jabr blends humour into a lot of his science writing, some of which even includes scientific fiction. Most of his work is published in Scientific American, but his Twitter presence is equally refreshing and entertaining.
Example of media prowess: Jabr enjoys showing the Twittersphere how crazy science can be.
Who he is: An expert on primate behaviour and ethnology, and professor at Emory University.
Why you should follow: De Waal is very outspoken about human similarities and behaviour in other animals, particularly primates. He posts provocative articles and videos by way of his Facebook page.
Follow him on Facebook.
Example of media prowess: De Waal likes to alert his audience to animal fact and fiction.
Who she is: Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society blog.
Why you should follow: An unapologetic 'Star Trek' lover, Lakdawalla is highly active online, sharing her interest in and knowledge of space exploration with as many people as possible.
Example of media prowess: She includes great images in her tweets.
Phil Plait, the 'Bad Astronomer,' makes astronomy accessible even for people who aren't space geeks.
Who he is: An astronomer who airs out myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics in his blog 'Bad Astronomer.'
Why you should follow: Plait rehashes the best nuggets of information from his articles in 140 characters or less on Twitter, tying in sports and 'Star Trek' references to make matters of space more entertaining.
Example of media prowess: He's quick with the fun facts.
Who he is: The creator of 'MinutePhysics,' a series of educational videos that explain cool physics and other sweet science topics in roughly one minute.
Example of media prowess: His most popular video has more than 8.8 million views on YouTube.
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Who he is: A medical journalist and VP/global editorial director of MedPage Today.
Why you should follow: Journals retract scientific papers with varying levels of honesty, consistency, urgency, and fanfare. Oransky's blog, 'Retraction Watch,' keeps a close eye on the self-correctors in the industry.
Example of media prowess: He's taking names.
Who he is: An editor at Nature who specialises in neuroscience and snark.
Why you should follow: Grey is constantly calling out poor science reporting on Twitter. Being the 'bad cop' of digital journalism has earned him roughly 'as many unfollowers as followers,' Grey joked.
Follow him on Twitter.
Example of media prowess: He gives nerdy Valentine's Day gifts.
Who she is: A blogger for Scientific American and author of four books.
Why you should follow: Ouellette writes the popular blog 'Cocktail Party Physics,' and entertains Twitter followers through her faux French avatar persona Jen-Luc Piquant.
Example of media prowess: Ouellette frequently brings popular culture into popular science.
Who she is: A student of all things '-ology' on her blog 'Scicurious.'
Why you should follow: Brookshire is a lead organiser of ScienceBrain Online, a curated conference for psychologists, neuroscientists, science communicators, and anyone with an interest in mind, brain, and behaviour, to discuss new and effective ways to educate about these topics online.
Example of media prowess: This jack-of-all-trades put together a calendar of STEM celebrations happening all year long.
Who she is: A New York Times best-selling author, Wired blogger, and professor at the University of Wisconsin.
Why you should follow: Blum dreamed of being a chemist, but after setting her hair on fire with a college laboratory Bunsen burner, she decided to pursue her fascination with chemistry from a safe distance. Her Twitter reads more like an RSS feed of the best tweets by experts in the field, rather than mundane rantings of a journalist.
Example of media prowess: She gives credit where credit is due.
Who he is: A science editor for Ars Technica with more than a decade's worth of research in genetics and developmental biology.
Why you should follow: Timmer has been a speaker at the Nobel Dialogs and an organiser of the SONYC discussion series, among other appearances. He's rather blunt online, weighing in on environmental legislation, creationism being taught in Texas schools, and the bane of his existence: bad PR emails.
Example of media prowess: He shares cool apps you should use.
Who she is: A science writer and environmental toxicology research fellow at the University of Michigan School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences.
Why you should follow: Dr. Hogan combines obstetrics and toxicology in her science-related tweets for a wide array of information that covers the grey area between those two not-often-seen-together subjects.
Example of media prowess: An avid reader of new research, Dr. Hogan shares her favourite abstracts on Twitter.
Who she is: A self-described 'interestingness hunter-gatherer' who writes about the questions we all have about human existence.
Why you should follow: Her 'Brain Pickings' blog posts are reminiscent of a well-crafted TED Talk; they span subjects like love, history, literature, and science, and are always very visual.
Example of media prowess: She takes pop culture references one step further by including components of how the brain thinks.
Who she is: A freelance science writer and marine biologist at heart.
Why you should follow: Wilkinson is the creative mastermind behind 'This Is What A Scientist Looks Like,' an ongoing community photo project hosted on Tumblr that seeks to change the stereotypical perception of a scientist. She also founded DC Science Tweetup, a monthly event for people in the D.C. science community to meet up, geek out, and talk science.
Example of media prowess: She speaks up for women in science writing.
Who he is: A mysterious, active British neuroscience researcher.
Why you should follow: The anonymous 'Neuroskeptic' charms on Twitter through his hidden identity. He used to blog independently before moving his blog to Discover Magazine, where fans can now read his musings on the inner workings of human and animal brains.
Follow him on Twitter.
Example of media prowess: Neuroskeptic makes his fans go :D
Steve Silberman follows his passion for autism and other 'neurodiverse' individuals with more than 33,000 followers.
Who he is: An investigative science journalist for Wired and blogger behind NeuroTribes.
Why you should follow: Silberman delves deeply into the minds and lives of individuals living with autism on NeuroTribes, and shares his musings -- along with related and unrelated science trends -- in his unique voice on Twitter.
Example of media prowess: Silberman, a true academic, finds new ways to convey his life's calling.
Who he is: An environmental microbiologist at the Argonne National Laboratory and Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
Why you should follow: Gilbert retweets useful information and news in his field. One of his biggest projects is the Hospital Microbiome, in which he takes microbial samples from the University of Chicago hospital to study the factors that influence bacterial population development in health care environments.
Follow him on Twitter.
Example of media prowess: Gilbert is often featured in documentaries.
Who he is: A software engineer at Exelis and blogger on a mission to confound you.
Why you should follow: In 2011, Klieger began posting brief excerpts from science articles, blogs, and journals on 'Out of Context Science.' The result is funny, absurd, or thoughtful, and is intended to pique readers' curiosity into reading more about the world around them.
Example of media prowess: Unsurprisingly, he has more than 100K followers on Tumblr.
You can follow all of these educators using our twitter list. We've also made a list of meteorologists to follow.