“No one Deserves to go through life not being able to see their worth”
– Anonymous (found on a lost page of a diary in Davis, California, USA, 2019)
What is #UniqueScientists and what can I find on here?
We are a team of scientists striving to encourage the celebration of diversity in science by highlighting the journeys of #UniqueScientists from all over the world. The #UniqueTeam is fueled with a passion to highlight the diverse faces and stories of scientists that give their heart and soul every day for a better future. Our mission is to embrace diversity and share the #UniqueJourney of any scientist who wishes to share their tale with the world. And, that is exactly what you will find on here: stories.
Almost daily, you will find on spotlight a brand-new journey. The story of a unique scientist who has shared a little bit about their lives with the hope to inspire current and future generations to follow their dreams. Our vision is to create an atmosphere that helps others realize that their self-identity should never be a determining factor in the career you choose. #UniqueScientists is more than a group of scientists sharing their stories. #UniqueScientists is a movement and a force that welcomes the journey of every scientist and uses it to empower a brighter future.
Why should I care about this?
While most of us are familiarized with terms such as diversity, inclusion, and equity, we still often encounter cases of human biases and discrimination even from the most scholarly-educated professionals. Despite years of scientific and technological advances, the image of how a scientist ‘should’ behave and look like continues to follow an archaic description that I see no need in describing here. Science communication facilitated by social media platforms is currently one of the many ways that scientists use to showcase their research, passion, inquiries, opinions, and overall life. It exposes the real life of diverse scientists – their drive and struggles – and it humanizes the experience of research as a profession. Thanks to the internet, scientists from all over the world can be interconnected within the scientific community, but also with those that are not familiar with the profession. Showcasing the diversity that exists within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is a critical factor that opens the doors for communication with the public and, when done correctly, can be an incentive to younger minds interested in STEM to follow their passions.
Wait, can I be a #UniqueScientist?!
How to know if you are eligible? Your answer must be a ‘YES’ to the following questions:
- Are you a human?
- Are you a scientist or science communicator (or have you been, or will be)?
We all have #UniqueExperiences that have led us to the path we chose and continue to walk. Not two scientists have the same story – and that already makes you unique! We think diversity is part of what makes us great and we want to increase the visibility of the many faces in STEM by highlighting the work and diverse backgrounds of different scientists around the world.
History and the logo…
On May 25th, 2019 Efra Rivera-Serrano (@NakedCapsid) tweeted a selfie while at the gym showing off his tattoos with the words “Time to destroy the stereotype of how a scientist ‘should’ look like. #BeYourself”. Despite all the positive feedback, one professor responded with “Not necessary. We have something called ‘etiquette’ and ‘good laboratory practice'” along with a picture of a picture of a messed-up bent fork with the caption “Just Because You Are Unique Does Not Mean You Are Useful“. [Click here to see the famous tweet]
The archaic biases presented by the professor implied that some people (including scientists) still believe there is a certain way by which scientists have to look and behave. Efra decided to call out this act of discrimination on Twitter and requested diverse scientists that don’t ‘fit the average expectations’ to come out and tweet under the hashtag #UniqueScientists. Hundreds of scientists posted their stories, their journey, what makes them unique. As a consequence, Efra decided to build a team of passionate scientists and develop a platform where diversity in science is not only represented, but embraced and celebrated. Two weeks later, #UniqueScientists became a reality. Nonetheless, to always remember that being unique is a reason for celebration, we decided to merge the concept with the best biological fork: the semi-conservative DNA Replication Fork! We hope you join our project and become inspired by the uniqueness of these scientists that wake up everyday to ‘do science’ and contribute to a better world.
– Efra, a proud bent fork who also happens to be a #UniqueScientist
Interested in helping us out?
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
- Consider submitting your story! We are always looking for new scientists to highlight!
- Consider serving as a #UniqueAmbassador!
- Running this program costs money and we do this completely out-of-pocket. Check out our #HelpUs tab for other ways you can support this movement, such as: