Twitter’s reputation has been under fire in recent months as concerns grow that it’s a platform for hate speech and trolls. Certainly there is a growing chorus of angry voices on the platform causing some to walk away. But at Notice we have hope the platform can turn the corner. There are still vast numbers of reasonable users on Twitter having sensible conversations and sharing important ideas.
To help our readers cut through the cacophony here’s a list of 10 Twitter accounts any curious-minded lover of ideas should be following.
1. Carl Zimmer
Carl Zimmer the New York Times columnist behind Matter. He’s an science author who has contributed to some of Notice’s favourite publications like National Geographic, Wired, and Scientific American. Carl Zimmer also authored a number of fascinating science books including Microcosm and Parasite Rex, the latter being a look into the “bizarre world of nature’s most dangerous creatures.” He has won awards from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and he’s a professor adjunct at Yale University.
2. Virginia Hughes
Virginia Hughes is a science editor at BuzzFeed News. Yeah, we know. BuzzFeed right? But Hughes has also contributed to The Atlantic, The New Yorker and Slate. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Ginny (as she goes by) interned for NPR’s science desk, Seed Magazine and Discover Magazine. We found her brainy stories (literally) on video games and the NFL particularly interesting.
3. Jennifer Ouellette
Jennifer Ouellette is the former science editor at Gizmodo and the author of four general public science books. Jennifer’s work has appeared in many of the most prestigious science publications including Discover, Nature, Scientific American, Smithsonian and more. Jennifer has covered some seriously nerdy topics like the physics of bubbles and fractal patterns in Jackson Pollock’s paintings. She’s also written about the pitfalls of pseudoscience—a topic the world needs more clarity on than ever before.
4. Joanne Manaster
Joanne Manaster is a faculty lecturer in biology at the University of Illinois’s School of Integrative Biology. As a science educator and communicator, Joanne has amassed over 60K followers on Twitter. She uses her platform to advocate STEM education.
5. Maria Popova
Maria Popova is a self-described “interestingness hinter-gatherer, and curious mind at large.” This description alone was enough to pique our curiosity. Her popular website Brain Pickings features articles about art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics and anthropology. What more could you possibly ask for? Maria’s Twitter stream is a potpourri of mind-expanding ideas well worth following.
6. Sam Harris
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, author and co-founded Project Reason, a non-profit organization promoting scientific knowledge and secularism. Sam is a controversial figure who people love and love to hate. No matter your personal position on Sam’s politics, he is without doubt one of the most important intellectuals of our time. Sam Harris is known for his keen debating skills, his podcast, and his numerous books, Waking Up, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation and The Moral Landscape.
7. Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton’s essayistic books have been described as “philosophy as everyday life.” His Twitter feed can be characterized similarly. Alain has built an impressive online following with nearly 900K followers on Twitter. Not without reason. His topics are relatable and current. Essays like Religion for Atheists and How to Think More about Sex are thought provoking and the perfect way to reload your mind.
8. Elizabeth Kolbert
Staff writer at The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert has been reporting on science, politics and media since the 80s. In 2006 she won the Nation Magazine Award for Public Interest for her work on the three-part series on climate changes, The Climate of Man. More recently, Elizabeth penned and the noteworthy article titled The Fate of Earth looking at the uncertain survival of humanity on a planet under threat. If you’re concerned about the health of the planet, Elizabeth Kolbert’s Twitter account is a must-follow.
9. Carolyn Porco
Carolyn Porco is a planetary scientist and is the leader of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission, which has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. If you are as intrigued by our solar system as we are, Carolyn’s Twitter account is a goldmine. She’s also a Carl Sagan fan. But who isn’t right?
10. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Speaking of Carl Sagan, how can you have a list of Twitter intelligentsia and not include Sagan’s heir apparent, Neil deGrass Tyson? This entry may be the most obvious of the ten, but Neil’s work on Cosmos and his decades of science promotion and public education earn him a spot on this list. With over 10 million followers, Neil is one of the world’s leading proponents of reason and the scientific method. His books, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Welcome to the Universe have brought science to the layman in a way Sagan would be proud of.