by Brandy D. Anderson
Where would we be without science? We would still believe the world was flat and medicine would still focus on the four humurs (yuck). So, my point is, science is a pretty big deal. One of the easiest ways to catch up on all of the latest and greatest science news is through Facebook. Here are the four best FB pages to follow so you don’t turn out a rube:
About: “The lighter side of science. We’re here for the science – the funny side of science. Quotes, jokes, memes and anything your admin finds awesome and strange. If you take yourself seriously, you’re on the wrong page. We’re dedicated to bringing the amazing world of science straight to your news feed in an amusing and accessible way.”
This is certainly one of the most popular science pages in the wide world of social media, let alone Facebook. Its quirky humour easily translates to science, and their cover photo is pretty suiting. It features a quote by Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘eureka!’ but ‘that’s funny…’”. This page is consistently updated, and the posts often contain links to educational articles that are fun, too. One of the most recent links bears the title “These GIFs Will Help You Understand Mathematical Concepts Better Than Your Teacher Ever Did”.There’s also articles about the Northern Lights, white tigers, and the chemistry of the brain. My favourite recent status, however, is the funny collection of scientist valentine cards made by artist Stephanie Burrows (including a Marie Curie card that reads “My Heart Radiates For You” and a Stephen Hawkins card reading “You Make Space-time Stand Still”). You can’t get much more fun that when it comes to science.
About: “Popular Science magazine has been a leading source of science and technology news since its inception in 1872. PopularScience.com first came online in 1999 and today features up-to-the-minute news, gadget reviews, insightful commentary, and more. We aim to be your first stop for what’s new and what’s next.”
Here you’ll find articles about landslides (including a nifty time lapse), gadget fun with Crazy Carts, and bizarre guns made for Canadian police (bearing the caption: “Maybe Canada’s Armed Forces are fighting a Wendigo infestation no one knows about”). This morning’s latest article bears the caption: “3-parent IVF passed the United Kingdom’s House of Commons last week. If it becomes law, it will expand the global conversation about genetically modified humans”. There’s articles about nuclear reactors and the scientific ramifications of blizzards (like dumping snow into harbours). There’s some funny stuff, too, like the caption “Oh, it wasn’t me; it was a robot” regarding the story “Amsterdam Police Respond To Death Threat Created By a Twitter Bot”. This Facebook page offers a solid variety of stories, and it’s updated several times a day, making it one of the best science FB sites to follow.
About: “”One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.” Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot. Favorite [movie] of all time is still “Singin’ In The Rain.” Love James Bond movies. In Quantum of Solace, would rather Bond had disabled the handle in the WC with some gadget instead of breaking it off. Being a secret agent like Bond looks pretty stressful, people shoot at you and chase you– in cars, on rooftops, in boats, and even with planes. Fun to watch, but quite difficult in real life, which looks like it might be short for most of those people. Phew.
Okay, this wouldn’t be a complete list if I didn’t include this quirky and fun scientist. Nye’s page is the perfect mix of fun and information, and even the most educational posts usually have a funny twist to them. Nye also shares his enthusiasm for sports, movies, and music, and his “extended info” tab is particularly entertaining. A couple of weeks ago, he shared a selfie bearing the caption: “Wearing my Blue & Green, you can bet I’ll be watching – and watching the ball. 😉 Go #Seahawks!” You’ll also find a plethora of links to his science talks, like the recent talks he held with Star Talk and Creation Museum. The recent post I like the most, however, is the one he did in conjunction with the comedy troupe Funny or Die where “Bill Nye The Science Guy Tackles DeglateGate”.
About: “Breaking news from Science magazine, the world’s leading journal of original scientific research and global news. We publish breaking news from all realms of science, including biology, genetics, medicine, stem cells, evolution, animals, climate change, the environment, physics, astronomy, and science policy.”
This page is pretty diverse in its scientific coverage. Recently, they posted the provocative article “Everything you wanted to know about medical marijuana but where too afraid to ask” with the caption: “We’ve been smoking pot for more than 5000 years. This is what we know about it”. Then they have instructions on how to print a 3D hypercube, which looks really neat actually. For the more anthropologically minded Facebookers, you’ll find an article talking about how: “Until recently, archaeologists would have told you there weren’t any big human settlements in inhospitable environments like the Sahara or the Amazon. But they were wrong! Remote sensing technology like satellites and drones is now revealing past civilizations that have been hiding right under our noses.” There’s interesting pieces about what defines “life” and just how alien life should be defined in the first place. They post articles about migraines, about telescopic contact lenses, the origin of ancient languages, and the discovery of mammals who lived during the time of dinosaurs. This page is one of the more well rounded science pages on Facebook.