Throughout history, women have been denied the acknowledgement they deserve for their contribution to science. Rosalind Franklin received a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Cambridge University, and played a key role in deciphering the structure of DNA molecules following her extensive work in x-rays.
However, it was James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins who were awarded the credit for the work and who received Nobel Prizes.
Educators have noted that some girls may be deterred from studying STEM subjects at school as they’re seen as “male” subjects, and now it’s estimated that only 13% of STEM workers are women.
Now, women in STEM are fighting back and challenging gender stereotypes. Twitter has become a public platform for female scientists to express their humour, opinions, scientific research and whatever else they feel like.
Here are 8 female scientists you should follow on twitter.
Raychelle Burks (@DrRubidium)
Bio: Analytical chemist. Left Coaster in the No Coast Zone. Sarcastic & silly.#ShadeBrigade. Near meaningless disclaimer: tweets = personal ≠ professional.
Raychelle Burks’ twitter feed is full of funny and honest interactions. She discusses science and issues such as gender, race and equality – often commenting on current events such as celebrity speeches and racial or gender-related stories in the news.
Raychelle creates and presents informative videos with ACS Reactions (a YouTube channel that appeared in our post on the Internet’s Best Chemistry Resources.)
If you say you "embellished" the facts, those damn facts better be covered in sequins, fringe, bows, lace, or beads. Otherwise, you LIED.
— Raychelle Burks (@DrRubidium) February 24, 2015
The Grumpy Chemist (@Chemistry_Kat)
The Grumpy Chemist runs a Chemistry blog where she puts her grumpy cat illustrations (like the one here). Her twitter feed is full of photos that document her work in the lab or humorous day-to-day observations.
Evil egg white proteins staring back at me after I had so cruelly denatured them. Kitchen#realtimechem pic.twitter.com/xcbSAfaH10
— The Grumpy Chemist (@Chemistry_Kat) February 21, 2015
Alice Bell (@alicebell)
Bio: Writer, editor, lecturer and researcher. Climate change. Innovation. Science. Politics. Art.
Alice Bell shares interesting articles to over 20,000 followers. Alice’s tweets regularly focus on climate change and equality between men and women.
What pants. Climate change is not "just" a global responsibility which economics can somehow trump. It's enough of an argument in itself.
— Alice Bell (@alicebell) February 22, 2015
— Alice Bell (@alicebell) March 1, 2015
Joanne Manaster (@sciencegoddess)
Bio: Read Science! host, book lover, biology lecturer, former international model, STEM advocate. Mashable says my tweets will make you smarter
Joanne Manaster appeared on Mashable’s list of twitter accounts that will make you smarter. Joanne promotes the use of social media for scientists to share their work and gain more recognition, and she was interviewed by The Chemical Blog where she goes into more detail about her interest in science communication.
— Joanne Manaster (@sciencegoddess) February 15, 2015
Katie Mack (@AstroKatie)
Bio: (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of airplane food
Dr Katherine Mack is an astrophysicist who makes use of her twitter popularity (around 20k followers) to tweet mini stories about her journey to receiving a PhD and why it can be difficult for young people to overcome the norms set by society.
There are kids who could be great scientists who believe it when told science isn’t for them. They shouldn’t have to change; society should.
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) February 21, 2015
In college once I went to a prof for help in class. He said maybe I wasn’t good enough. Saw him again later when doing my PhD at Princeton.
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) February 21, 2015
Dr Christie Wilcox (@NerdyChristie)
Bio: Freelance science writer, author of Science Sushi, & PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology w/ a specialization in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology
Dr Christie Wilcox earned her degree in cell and molecular biology. She often writes and shares articles that steer away from the safe and ordinary, helping to gather new crowds to the science scene.
— Christie Wilcox (@NerdyChristie) February 12, 2015
— Christie Wilcox (@NerdyChristie) February 6, 2015
Danielle Lee (@DNLee5)
Bio: Biologist & Hip-Hop Maven: Urban Ecology, Evolution, STEM Diversity, Science Outreach African Giant Pouched Rat behavior & natural history research.
Among her tweets about Biology, Danielle also tweets about racial and gender issues, particularly involving main stream media and STEM diversity.
#BLACKandSTEM – The Black Community's Cinderella. Always forgotten, Never invited to community events, but they love our inventions
— DNLee (@DNLee5) February 20, 2015
— DNLee (@DNLee5) February 28, 2015
Renée Webster (@reneewebs)
Bio: doing it periodically on the table
Renée Webster is an analytical chemist who specialises in the application of advanced separation of fuels and lubricants. You’ll find a funny and casual tone to her tweets on a variety of subjects.
got petrol on my hand while filling up this morning and I can still smell it and it is so gross #fuelscientistwhome
— Renée Webster (@reneewebs) February 24, 2015
lab is a vacuum chamber obvs pic.twitter.com/zkw8kmKcQQ
— Renée Webster (@reneewebs) February 18, 2015
If you know any other female scientists with a great twitter account that combines funny and sarcastic tweets with scientific findings and observations, please let us know in the comments section below.