If you haven’t heard of the Facebook page and website I Fucking Love Science, then you’re definitely missing out on one of the best parts of the internet!
Elise Andrews began this project in March of 2012 as a way to share science-related posts with her friends through Facebook. Andrews awoke to find her page had garnered 1,000 likes overnight.
Alien DNA found in Marijuana, Not
Andrews used an interesting post on IFLS to test user behavior. The website posted an article with the headline “Marijuana Contains Alien DNA from Outside of Our Solar System.” The admins were amazed to see how many people jumped on the Facebook page to weigh in on this amazing discovery. The problem is that the discovery was fake, and anyone who read the article through to the end would have been informed that it was a test to see who would comment before reading.
As it turns out, a lot of people like to weigh in before they’ve actually read the article they’re discussing. This highlights one of the biggest dillemas facing the scientific community right now: the tendency for misinformation and misunderstandings to spread more rapidly than real science.
And that’s why we need people such as Elise Andrews. Andrews is not only passionate about her chosen career within the sciences, she has the uncanny ability to help others share in the excitement. IFLS reminds us that science is a daily part of our lives, and that all of us have benefited from the hard work of scientists throughout history.
It has been a runaway success ever since, now boasting over 20 million likes on Facebook. Fans can also head over to the IFLS website where they can read up on the latest science headlines, or purchase merchandise.
Elise Andrews is one of our Fantastik Favorites, not because of her quick rise to success, but because of what her site and page are doing for the sciences. There’s a huge gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness—largely because scientific information is steeped in a language that many don’t know. IFLS helps to bridge that gap.
Elise Andrews, Creator of IFLS
Andrews is a master of social media communication. Using eye-catching photographs, memes, and interesting headlines, IFLS posts often catch widespread attention. Andrews uses her platform to teach others about the scientific method, share news from the scientific community, and even teach her users to be a little more responsible in their reading and sharing habits.
Bad Press and Haters: Andrews Called into Question
As with anyone in the public eye, Andrews has received her fair share of negative publicity as well. In an August 2015 article by Yvette d’Entremont on Skepchick.org, Andrews is painted as a cyberbully who had Facebook pages shut down by encouraging her members to report them to Facebook for abuse. Additionally, original admins from the site have come forward to claim that Andrews did not create the Facebook page as a lone endeavor—which she is often credited as doing.
There are some issues with d'Entremont's article, however. The biggest is that the author has her own website devoted to sharing scientific news, which is plugged at the bottom of the article. This plug is sandwiched between the original article and a response by Andrews.
The problem here is that d’Entremont didn’t bother to fact-check the article before publishing, claiming that she didn’t want to give Andrews the chance to manipulate the information. Instead of writing an article based from her sources and Andrew’s response, she chose to publish first and go back to include the response at the bottom of the article.
Honestly, this seems like a shameless attempt at self-promotion on the part of the author. It appears that she is attempting to discredit her competition while also using the notoriety of IFLS to gain attention for her own science-related website.
But this is speculation. You can read the article, entitled Pop Sci to Pop Sigh: I Fucking Love Science Ex-Admins Speak Out, and decide for yourself what you think to be true.
No matter what, it is certain that Andrews has managed to bring science into the realms of pop-culture. In a world where politicians actively deny global warming, this is a good thing. It may also inspire younger generations to pursue a career in science.
That is why Elise Andrews is one of our favorite people. That, and she has partnered with the science channel to curate amazing scientific content for her web readers. We highly recommend that you head over to the IFLS website to see what all the fuss is about for yourself.