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Women “Fucking Love Science,” Facebook shows

4 mins read

There used to be a day where Facebook was just a social networking site, the perfect tool for procrastination. While a lot of people continue to go to Facebook for these purposes, it has evolved into, shockingly, a potential tool for learning. One of the best examples of this is the group “I Fucking Love Science.” This page, with over 7 million likes in its 16-month history, is the perfect spot for science lovers to gather and learn about new breakthroughs in science (the page has “this week in science” posts that describe new research being conducted); fun science facts and recent species discoveries (there was a recent post about how naked mole rats are immune to cancer and experience very little aging); the truth about common science misconceptions (for example, there have been a few posts about the health effects of caffeine); and even science cartoons and comics.

Although “I Love Science” is one of the most-liked pages on Facebook, it’s run by a single person. This one person also runs three other pages: “Earth Story,” which focuses on geology and the physical aspects of the Earth, “Evolution,” which is mainly about biology, and “The Universe,” about space and physics.

Oh, and she’s a woman.

Surprised? As strange as it may sound, surprise is almost everyone’s reaction when they find out that Elise Andrew, the person behind these pages, is, in fact, a woman. Although Andrews never intended to keep her gender identity a secret, that didn’t stop the outbursts of shock when she posted her Twitter to the Facebook page. A photo was quickly discovered and comments flooded in, some reacting to the fact that a woman is running a science page, some telling her that she’s “actually” attractive, and a few even suggesting she turn control of the page over to a man.

There are those who question whether women are actually a minority in science and engineering fields. There have been studies suggesting that more and more women are getting degrees and, outwardly, the percentage of women in science and engineering seems to be improving.  Unfortunately, it seems that hasn’t changed the male-dominated mindset within the fields of science and engineering. There are definitely female doctors, science researchers, and engineers, but if you ask someone to name three notable female scientists, they probably won’t be able do it (Marie Curie and…). There hasn’t been a widely known female equivalent of Bill Nye or Neil de Grasse Tyson. Women can be in science, but there’s still a barrier to women being leaders in science.

For those who expressed some amount of surprise at hearing that the creator of a page called “I Fucking Love Science” identifies as female, think for a second about why it’s so shocking. Even the reaction of “Oh, she’s a woman?  That’s so cool!” implies that a woman posting about science is something to be surprised about. It seems like a sign that something in our society needs to change.

Additionally, for those people who are really tired of just seeing status updates and pictures on Facebook, go like “I Fucking Love Science” (or “Science is Awesome,” which is the exact same page, just with some censoring in the title) and follow Andrew’s new YouTube channel, which includes a weekly show about new discoveries in science. It’s truly amazing how much one can learn from Facebook.

The Phoenix