Your careers counselor may have told you what you needed to become a scientist was a general science degree, with ever-increasing levels of specialization until you completed a PhD. According to scientists on Twitter, however, there is something else required to really qualify – having responded to a lot of inane questions and misconceptions about the field you studied. In some cases that involves people who want to tell you they know more about your field than you do, despite not having studied it since high school.
The meme appears to have started outside science, possibly originating with a post by a despairing school teacher, but it didn't take long for scientists to seize on it and make it their own.
From there, as they say, it was off to the races.
For many, here was their chance to vent their frustration about popular misconceptions to a (probably) sympathetic audience.
For some fields, it seems the greatest hazard is having to listen to the same joke over and over again.
See also planetary scientists and references to the seventh planet from the Sun, or astronomers being asked “Are you Sirius?”
Some fields apparently had no official representatives until quite recently.
While some of the tweets are just fun, others hint at more serious matters.
In other cases, scientists just need to save the person they're talking to, rather than a billion people in danger of becoming collateral damage.
That tweet, however, opened the door to the answering of a question many parents have probably been asked (and possibly wondered themselves).
It's true, as you can see here.
You don't have to be a research scientist to play this game, so we felt seen with this one.
Here at IFLScience, however, there is one tweet we can particularly relate to.