Andrew McAllister

Your Nerd of Trust

January 16, 2018 | 2 Minute Read

If you’re reading this from Facebook, you are part of my friends and family. That means you know that I’m a huge nerd. I’ve wanted to study physics since high school and I’m now finishing up my PhD. When we meet in person (which probably doesn’t happen often enough!) lots of times you ask about the latest in the world of science or physics. But, I’m here online too and I want to let you know that you can ask me stuff here whenever you want.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Andrew, I haven’t seen you post something to Facebook in over a year.” That is a true statement, it was March of 2016. Or “Andrew, I send you stuff all the time and you never even respond.” Also true (and I’m sorry). But I’ve been watching conversations about science on the internet and there are a lot of misunderstandings. Both about what doing research entails and what results can mean. So far, I’ve only been watching.

But I want to stop watching and start helping. One of the ways I can do that is talking to you about science and research and making the resources I have available. By letting you all know in public, I hope you’ll hold me to this.

What exactly am I offering? If you see or hear about something science related that interests or worries you, send it my way. If it’s about physics, awesome, I know something about that. But, even if it isn’t about my field, I’ve got a lot of resources that can help answer questions you have. I can get the original research papers from anywhere for free (In most cases, I’m allowed to give them to you too). Plus, I know many other scientists in different fields who I can talk to or put you in touch with. Either way, I’ll help you find answers to your questions. If you want to know more about what doing “research” or what getting a PhD entails, let’s talk about it. I can tell you about my typical day (it’s pretty boring) or tell you about stories I’ve heard from other scientists.

So, if you are seeing this from a Facebook, know that you can ask me things! Don’t wait until the one time a year we get to see each other. Use me (and any other scientists you know!) to ask questions and learn more. There is a lot of good science reporting going on out there…but sometimes it’s easier to just ask the nerd you know on Facebook.

Learn More:

I was partially inspired to do this by this paper by Craig McClain (free) about using your social network for science engagement. A bigger part of the inspiration came from the SciCom Journal Club. Once a month they talk about papers based in Science Communication on Twitter. If you are into that, come check it out!