And your bird can science: thanks and farewell Matt Wilkins

In early September, Real Scientists was curated by Matt Wilkins (@mattwilkinsbio), evolutionary biology postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Matt wasted no time in getting down to business, sharing plenty of pics of cute birds…

… and slotting in the odd Monty Python reference which never goes astray!

Matt kindly agreed to fill out our post-curation interview, and his answers are below.

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

It was really great, and super exhausting!

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

Yes, but it’s really encouraging to find so many people engaged and excited about your research!

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?      

The highlights were having people retweet one of my tweets and say–Hey, ya gotta get over here to @realscientists…this dude’s talkin’ about bird songs and spider sex!

There weren’t really any lowlights to speak of. It was a pretty great week!

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

I wish I had more time to talk about my spider work. There was just too much to cover and I got busy at the end of the week.

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

I had a story arc, starting with where I grew up, how I stumbled into science…following my PhD and my postdoc work…the transition from birds to spiders. I also worked in a few soapbox issues of mine, stirring up some discussion about the lack of probability in secondary education, and suggested that if PhD students commonly repeated a study in their first year, it could help train students more efficiently & aid in the replication crisis in science. I mostly stuck to the overall format, but I left myself room to go with the flow of the conversations.

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

If you’re like me, you’re gonna worry about whether you’re doing it “right.” Just recognize that some people are gonna love whatever topic you choose, and others couldn’t care less. If you put yourself and your work out there in an authentic way, you’re doing it right!

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

I really enjoy @am_anatiala, @Ibycter, @rattlesnakeguy, @alongsidewild, & @savethefrogs, and for #scicomm discussions @iamscicomm, @kirkenglehardt & @aaronhuertas

Thanks once again Matt 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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