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Tweeting Science: HuffPo Takes Santa Clara Prof Nationwide

Follow her, and learn about yourself.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr. Sunwolf of Santa Clara University was named one of the top 30 scientists who tweet. NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman reports. (Published Friday, Jun 15, 2012)

    We all know celebrities on Twitter – heck, you probably follow some yourself.But how about neuroscientists?

    Turns out, some of them have big followings, too. And, according to the Huffington Post, one of the “must-follow” scientists is a Silicon Valley professor.

    Dr. SunWolf is her name, neuroscience in 140 characters or less is her specialty.  She’s on the HuffPo list, and while you may not expect it upon walking into her SCU office, you get the idea that she’s a force on Twitter pretty soon after she starts talking.   

    “It’s better than blogging,” says Dr. SunWolf, who tweets under the handle @thesocialbrain, “in fact, twitter is one of the most wonderful ways to learn about stuff without taking a course on it, or buying a book on it.”  This from an author of multiple books.  She says when she lectures, “students tune out right away.”  But, when she tells stories, “I’ve got ‘em.”

    So, she tells stories, and posts articles, on Twitter, typically sending out her tweets at around 4:30am – the better to reach her international following.  A following of actors, musicians, and scientists, that’s nearly 12,000 people strong. 

    And she’s something of a Twitter purist.  When I first suggest that we do the interview over Twitter, she declined, because “I don’t just talk on Twitter – my followers know they’re gonna get links, and information, not just talk.”  In fact, if you’re all about chatting on the site, she won’t follow you.  She’s picky, and wants solid information in return for her tweets.

    If you want to know what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan, or the cast of “Jersey Shore,” you know whom to follow.  But if you want to know what your boyfriend is thinking, or why men and women have different brain reactions to similar events, the pick here is Dr. SunWolf.  She promises to hook you with a catchy headline.  If you want to follow where the link takes you?  Go for it.

    Scott, with far fewer degrees, is also on Twitter: @scottbudman