Ten Scientists to Follow on TikTok
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing and most popular social media apps of its kind. Famous for its viral dance routines and lip-synced movie quotes, the video-sharing platform allows users to post short video clips in portrait format, meaning content is easily digestible and satisfies our ever-decreasing online attention spans.
The ability to post snappy and direct video content has attracted scientists and teachers alike who have taken advantage of its popularity amongst younger audiences to use it as a powerful educational tool. Many immunologists and virologists are using the platform to dispel vaccine myths and to challenge misinformation by answering questions in succinct and engaging ways, reaching audiences who might otherwise not connect with online science content.
We’ve taken a closer look at ten scientists who have harnessed the power of TikTok to create engaging and entertaining science videos. From research technicians to PhD students, biology professors to women’s health experts…. take a look at the scientists who are going viral for all the right reasons!
Microbiologist and storyteller Maren Hunsberger is first on our list of science communicators who are making a splash on TikTok. With nearly 20,000 dedicated followers, Maren's videos cover topics such as gender inclusivity in science, vaccines, body positivity and more. Her most popular video has over 2.1million views to date and gives a 60-second account of the important work of aerospace engineer Judith Love Cohen.
Follow @marenmicrobe on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@marenmicrobe
Biochemistry graduate and research technician Darrion Nguyen of the University of Texas has built a huge online following with his relatable and funny science videos. Under the name ‘Lab Shenanigans’ his TikTok videos poke fun at PIs and offer a behind the scenes glimpse of life in the lab. His short skits combine popular memes with concepts from biochemistry to make science content more accessible.
Follow @lab_shenanigans on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@lab_shenanigans
With a whopping 8.8M followers on TikTok, the Institute of Human Anatomy account offers a close-up look at the human body, answering questions such as - why are veins blue and can the brain feel pain. Justin Cottle uses cadaver examination and dissection to give short but fascinating insights into the structure and inner workings of the human body.
Follow @instituteofhumananatomy on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@instituteofhumananatomy
Dr. Michael Rhodes of Saint Vincent College, USA became an unexpected TikTok star as he searched for new ways to keep his students engaged and connected with science during lockdown in 2020. The associate professor of biology turned to the platform to make funny videos that would both entertain and educate, gaining over 80,000 followers along the way. His videos include dance routines, plus regular quizzes such as ‘What Drug Am I?’ and ‘Guess The Muscle’.
Follow @rhodeslovesneuroscience on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rhodeslovesneuroscience
Morgan Johnston is the brain behind ‘Ask A Neuroscientist’, a TikTok account that explores a variety of popular neuroscience subjects in bite-sized snippets. Morgan is a PhD student researching female neurophysiology and uses the online platform to spread neuroscience knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Recent topics covered include migraines, optogenetics and epilepsy.
Follow @askaneuroscientist on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@askaneuroscientist
With nearly 35,000 followers on TikTok, the Scientific Blonde account brings women’s health science into the spotlight. Fronted by Kellie, a specialist biomedical scientist in histopathology, the videos tackle questions about fertility, pregnancy, menstruation and more, with the aim of breaking down taboos and helping women understand their bodies better through research and evidence based information.
Follow @scientificblonde on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@scientificblonde
Dr. Anna Blakney, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of British Columbia uses TikTok to tackle vaccine misinformation. Throughout the pandemic she has been answering questions about COVID-19 and dispelling myths about the vaccine, and has collected over a quarter of a million followers along the way. Some of her most popular video snippets tackle variants, symptoms, misleading headlines, and more.
Follow @anna.blakney on TikTok: https://email@example.com
Scientist and educator Forrest Valkai has a huge online following with millions of likes on his engaging and inspiring science videos. Covering a wide range of topics he aims to make science accessible for all, answering questions on evolutionary biology, gender, STEM education, and more.
Follow @renegadescienceteacher on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@renegadescienceteacher
Avisha NessAiver aims to make science simple with his Distilled Science account on TikTok. Offering quick and easy facts from the latest science papers, his videos dispel myths and offer bite-sized chunks of data that are easy to digest. As a COVID scientist, much of his content covers issues surrounding the pandemic, however he also dips into a wide range of other STEM issues, with over 127,000 followers regularly engaging with his channel.
Follow @distilledscience on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@distilledscience
PhD biology student Hailey Levi of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, took to TikTok with her Chaotically Science account after a dare from her younger brother. She now has over 10,000 followers and posts entertaining and relatable videos about the challenges of PhD life. She also uses her platform to speak passionately about racism in science, and to celebrate black women in STEM.
Follow @chaoticallyscience on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@chaoticallyscience
"Hey! What about..."
Tell us about the ones we’ve missed! Which science-themed TikTok accounts do you follow? Do you have your own channel? Tell us about it in the comments or tweet us at @hello_bio!
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