Our Most Kempt-looking Curator: Thanks and Farewell to Zen Faulkes

The brilliant Zen Faulkes tweeted for @RealScientists for the week of the 27th July. If you’d like to know more about Zen’s background and his answers to our insightful intro post questions, try this link here.


If you would like to recap the amazingness that was Zen’s week at the helm of RS, you can see his collection of tweets at this link.

In continuing good form, Zen answered our outro questions with style and grace.

How did you find your week as a curator?

Extremely enjoyable. It’s a very responsive group of followers. Even things I tossed off in passing, which I expected to vanish into the void, got a lot of favourites and retweets. It definitely made me want to up my game: be funnier, be more active, use more photographs.

Were there any lowlights?

On Thursday, I tried to document a collecting trip to South Padre Island for animals. That didn’t work as well as I wanted, because the sun was so bright that it was hard to see my smartphone screen. Somehow, I hit the wrong place on my phone and I tweeted a lot of stuff to the wrong account. Ooops. I posted the pictures later, but it wasn’t the same. I wanted to capture some of the flow.

It can be a shock talking to 12,000 people. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

It never got unmanageable. I almost wonder if it should have gotten unmanageable if I’d done a better job as curator in sparking more conversations.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I had thought about discussing Hispanics in science. I am at a university, The University of Texas-Pan American, with about 85% Hispanic students. Further, that university is being abolished and replaced with University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Politicians keep talking about that institution attracting Hispanics and Latinos from South and Central America, so I thought I might discuss that. But didn’t get to it.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

Just generic advice: pay attention.

We really want RS curators to show people a rounded view of life as a scientist. Other than yourself of course, are there any other people/accounts that people should follow if they liked you and what you covered?

There are not a lot of invertebrate neuro people on Twitter, although Erin McKiernan (@emckiernan13) and Björn Brembs (@brembs) talk a bit about that, but more about scientific publishing and open access (which I am also interested in). Some fellow invertebrate fans are Lindsay Waldrop (@InverteNerd), Miss Mola Mola (@MissMolaMola), and Rebecca Helm (@RebeccaRHelm).

What TV show do you think everyone should go watch right now?

Legend of Korra and Doctor Who came up a few times during my curation, and I love them both. But I think more people should watch Person of Interest. No other show is more in tune with the times, and making such smart comments on the “surveillance society”. And it has a wicked dry sense of humour.

Thank you, Zen! We loved having you curate RS. If you’d like to follow Zen, he tweets @DoctorZen.

PS. Best socks, ever! 


Sarah Morgan

I'm a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I work in the meld space between compulsory education and tertiary scientific research; we develop teaching modules using the real research stories around us in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease field. Engagement is the name of the game - creating opportunities for teachers, students and scientists to interact, and enrich learning on all sides. Scicomm is my passion, though I come from a molecular genetics research background.

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