Droves of scientists have decided to introduce themselves to Bill Nye “The Science Guy” by posting on Twitter using the hashtag #BillMeetScienceTwitter in hopes of encouraging the star to share the spotlight with real scientists who are experts in their specific field.
As reported by Forbes, the particular hashtag was created by Dani Rabaiotti, a scientist who studied “the effects of climate change on African wild dogs” and was first to use the hashtag to introduce herself to Nye, along with Melissa Marquez, a marine biologist, and Dalton Ludwick, an entomologist.
On Friday, the hashtag was used in more than 3,400 tweets, including introductions to Nye.
Some of what spurred the movement was Nye’s new show airing on Netflix. The show premiered in April and included cameos from a few celebrities, but Nye handled the majority of the hard science. Many in the scientific community suggest that is “not good form.”
Rabaiotti said, in regards to norms within the community, “In science, what you do is say, ‘oh, that’s not my area of expertise, but here is someone who knows the answer.’”
The #BillMeetScienceTwitter isn’t the first hashtag used on the social media site designed to gain more recognition for today’s working scientists. #ActualLivingScientist was created in February as a method for those working in scientific fields to announce their presence to the world and explain a bit about what they do.
Rabaiotti believes public involvement is becoming a larger part of the job for many scientists, stating, “I think scientists have almost been forced to step more into the public eye.” She continued, “Science is being threatened. It’s not so much a choice, but something you just have to do.”
The hope is that the hashtag shines a light on scientists and may encourage those best known on TV, like Nye and famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, to share some screen time with members of the diverse scientific community.
However, even if that doesn’t occur, Rabaiotti does seem pleased with the level of engagement the thread has created.
Approximately 18 hours after the hashtags creation, Nye did acknowledge the group, saying, “I see you, Science Twitter. You are the aerodynamic laminar flow beneath my wings.”