As you may already know, I believe that social media can be a valuable tool for scientists. Despite being a major source of procrastination, it helps to spread news, ideas, and innovations whilst it allowing scientists to interact with a wider audience.
Therefore, I’ve decided to showcase some of my favourite tweets each month (until I get bored of doing it). Most will probably be related to science, agriculture and the environment, but there may also be the odd one that just made me laugh.
Here are my favourite tweets from February:
This is entirely true; I’m tired of hearing people obsessing over money. Once we deplete the finite resources we are over-exploiting and people start dying, will money still matter? Soil in particular is a huge experiment gone wrong and we are losing it at a frightening rate. If we don’t have soil, we don’t have food.
I read this tweet whilst struggling with a cold and it resonated with me on so many levels.
George Monbiot again; I’m clearly a fan. The Oxfam scandal was disgraceful, however, the actions of a few (disgusting) individuals should not take away from the fact that Oxfam have done so many positive things, and the majority of staff wouldn’t dream of acting in that manner.
Food security is something I’m becoming quite passionate about, and a common misconception (which I used to have myself!) is that food is cheap. Not necessarily true; we pay for it twice, and a recent report by the Sustainable Food Trust found that for every £1 we spend on food, we’re also spending a further £1 in externalities (e.g. through taxes etc.). Furthermore, we need to ensure that the foods that remain affordable are healthy and allow low income families to have a healthy diet.
This is something I’m big on (see my previous post about reusable coffee cups!) and it’s cool to see that by making that small change you’re not only protecting the environment but saving yourself money! However, there are still a lot of plastic containing products which haven’t yet hit public attention, but I’m optimistic that they will as there seems to be a momentum to remove single-use plastic as much as possible.
Farmers Guardian published a news article about my last blog post; I’m really happy (and shocked) that this happened so thought I’d stick their tweet about it here.
Michael Gove is undoubtedly a slimy character who will step over people for his career. However, slimy or not, I have to admit he appears to be doing a good job as environment secretary (at least we hear from him unlike Leadsom, even if a lot of it will turn out to be lip service!). For the first time in decades (perhaps longer) he is bringing up subjects previously ignored such as the importance of family farms and rural society, and he appears to be fighting to ensure Defra are heard. This is reassuring as Defra are the most affected department due to Brexit due to hundreds of pieces of legislature and the huge amount of CAP payments we’ve been receiving from the EU (£3.1bn a year!).
This made me laugh as it does seem to be very true of most politicians, particularly since Brexit.
Last but by no means least, are a few of the tweets surrounding the current USS strike. I am in complete support of this strike, and as someone hoping to embark on a career in academia after I complete my PhD, it is frightening that yet another of the few benefits University staff receive is being depleted. I will not earn a proper living until I’m almost 30, I currently have next to no pension, yet I’m now being expected to pay for a deficit I’ve played no part in contributing to. It is even more infuriating to see that there are investment staff within the USS earning more than £1 million a year; no-one should earn that, least of all ‘suits’ who don’t make a difference. Oh, and to make things even worse, despite claiming there is a £6bn deficit (which there isn’t, this is just an estimation based on risk so it’s ridiculous they keep using this figure), the chief executive of the scheme gave himself a pay rise of £82,000 a year. I wonder if he can sleep at night knowing he’s contributing to the inevitable brain drain that will occur within academia if things continue.
The researchers and support staff attempting to cure disease, mitigate climate change and solve the food security crisis amongst other things are the people who should be earning lots, not the privileged ‘fat cats’ who have no idea what a real work ethic is.
Anyway, I could continue ranting but won’t in this post; perhaps I’ll dedicate an entire post to this at a later date!
It hasn’t snowed where I am but this made me laugh; us British really are hopeless at coping with any slight weather event!