Science across the universe: thanks and farewell Paul Sutter

The week of August 10-16 saw astrophysicist Paul Sutter take the reins of RealScientists. Bringing a characteristic enthusiasm for communicating science and some epic “Dad jokes”, it was a rollicking ride through our wondrous universe.

Paul, have you even met us? We flipping LOVE SPACE.

We also love scientist comedy.

BOOM. TISH.

We also loved this unique description of using Twitter for science communication:

 

Paul kindly answered our curator exit survey, so here’s how he felt the experience went down:

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

It was amazing! I had so much fun interacting with everyone, and I enjoyed the discussions, comments, and curiosity from the audience. I’ve honestly never used twitter as much as I did last week – I think I wrote more tweets on realscientists than I have in my entire life on PaulMattSutter!

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

It was daunting at first. I’m not used to my notification tab blowing up like that. I would make one comment and suddenly have a dozen responses…do I try to respond to all of them? Do I favorite them all? I would have to let entire conversation threads pass by without my input because I was dealing with other subjects…I’ve never had to do that before!

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

“The biggest highlight by far was creating the #MyScienceStory thread. It’s still going strong as people share the spark that got them into science. It’s very inspiring!

The lowlights? Watching in horror as a lame joke/pun climbs to become one of my top tweets…”             I didn’t really have any expectations going in, but there were some topics I wish I could’ve covered in more depth. There’s just too much going on in space!

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

I had a few ideas for topics, and for the most part I ended up talking about them, but mostly it was spontaneous day-to-day. Someone would ask a question or make a comment that would lead down a half-day path. Some topics would peter out pretty quickly, while others would unexpectedly blossom.

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

Just go with the flow and listen to the audience. They’re very curious and enjoy interactions rather than being lectured to. And if you raise some subject that seems to spark an interest, keep going!

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators? What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

Besides the jerks – which are obvious and easy to ignore – there are some people that really want to dig down into a very technical topic. I found it very difficult to balance: I want to satisfy their curiosity, without turning off the rest of the audience…”

People interested in astrophysics are probably already following the biggies – Nye, Tyson, etc.

Thanks once again Paul from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from his week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.

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