Worth a shot
Scientist selfie project challenges gender and race stereotypes
Hundreds of researchers have posted on social media pictures of themselves doing their work in a bid to challenge gender and race stereotypes.
The #ScientistsWhoSelfie campaign on Instagram features photos of researchers doing work-related tasks such as helping sea turtles hatch in the Caribbean, studying the geology of Crater Lake in a US national park, and working under protective clothing in a UK nuclear laboratory.
The selfie movement is part of a research project, led by Paige Jarreau, a science communicator at Louisiana State University, that is designed to see whether scientists can challenge the stereotype that researchers are male and white. Many people fear that this image deters women and ethnic minorities from pursuing a career in the field.
The study will also explore whether selfies can be used to promote public trust in science, at a time when it is being challenged by the rise of populist politicians.
Dr Jarreau said that she has been “very surprised” by the response from researchers since the project started earlier this month. “I had no idea that the #ScientistsWhoSelfie movement would catch on so quickly,” she said.
More than 4,250 posts on Twitter and Instagram have mentioned the hashtag, and more than 270 sci- entist selfies have now been posted on Instagram with the hashtag, she added.
The research project will look at whether scientists should personalise their Instagramfeeds with photos of themselves or keep them purely professional by using images of their