Recently, @notbrainscience and @emilia.science started the hashtag #YoungMindsNeedMore on Instagram.
Jodi and Emilia are talented scicommers and scientists and do an incredible job at spreading science and accurate scientific facts using Instagram.
So, the question is that: why did they start the hashtag?
Because of Instagram algorithm, which – similarly to all other social media algorithms – rewards “fast” contents, such as reels and short videos. Trendy sounds and reels are encouraged, so that people (especially young people) keep watching them, scrolling through the feed and stay on the platform.
The other scicommers and I know how social media work and are aware of the algorithm, but we decide to keep using Instagram and posting on it because we also see the potential of this platform.
Science and science communication are niches and platforms as Instagram and TikTok allow us to reach a wide public by talking about science and accurate scientific facts. The problem is that our content is not “pushed” by the algorithm. Most of our followers claim to be on Instagram because of science, but what we see is that when we post a science post we have very few likes/comments/shares, while when we post a trendy reel or a selfie our numbers go through the stars.
What we – as scientists, science communicators, educators and parents – ask ourselves if this is sufficient for the future generations.
We are in the privileged position of having an impact on young minds, to show kids (especially girls, first generations students and all the other underrepresented people) that they can become scientists, that there are people willing to share their knowledge for free, that science is fascinating.
But we need your help: show your love for science and your appreciation for our content. Comment our posts/articles, ask us questions, we are more than happy to answer to you!