It is easy to get into “follow-overload” on Twitter. There are plenty of people eager to be seen as “the specialist” on a subject. One way to ensure that you are following valuable Twitter accounts is to mimic an academic research trick of finding the one or two well-known specialists in the field you are interested in, combing their footnotes for the sources that they found helpful, and then reading those. Likewise, on Twitter you should find those with a reputation for knowing their subject, and if they are offering you some great content, look at who they follow for more good suggestions.
Below are three Twitter accounts that I follow and find insightful and educational in the arena of science.
Neil deGrasse Tyson – @neiltyson
A regular interviewee on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. His newest book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, came out in February (2012). He is a science icon and has appeared on shows like The Big Bang Theory and Stargate: Atlantis. He’s also on my “top ten people I want to have a beer with list” (and yes, I’ll buy).
Bora Zivkovic – @BoraZ
A visiting scholar at NYU, Bora Zivkovic is the blog editor at Scientific American (his blog at SciAm is “A Blog Around the Clock”), and is a chronobiologist, biology teacher, and an organizer of the ScienceOnline conferences. His tweets and interviews with other scientists are always insightful, and where else can you read about whether “Sponges have Circadian Clocks” or on “The Secret Night-life of Fruitflies“? He is an avid promoter of science blogging and active on Google Plus.
Karyn Traphagen – @kTraphagen
Blogging at Stay Curious, Karyn Traphagen is a “knowledge and learning addict,” promoting the “wonders of our world and universe.” She has been a regular participant of #NASATweetup, tweeting on the #GRAIL mission and the #MSL Mars Science Lab. She’s the Twitter voice of NC Museum of Life and a blogger for their Science Animal Dept blog. She’s been a guest blogger for SciAm, she’s the Executive Director of ScienceOnline, and active on Google Plus. Full disclosure: I’ve known Karyn for several years now and we have had a beer together. Also, as her friend, I am now one-degree removed from Neil deGrasse Tyson.