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Cambridge University Science Magazine
Disclaimer: The contents of this article represent opinions and views shared on Twitter, and do not necessarily constitute peer reviewed scientific research.

With many restrictions on social mixing having been lifted across the world, one might have expected a lull in social media activity during the month of June. For those involved in science, however, this has not been the case. Instead, many causes have continued to be debated on Twitter, with this platform consistently serving as a powerful outlet for key voices involved in the practice of scientific research, communication and policy. For example, recent news of the “freeze” on H1B immigrant visas in the US has resulted in a storm of opinions on the impact it would have on scientific research. Many pointed out the severe loss of productivity and output that would result from lack of immigration to the US, whilst others chose to focus more on the impact on the people behind the science.

Twitter also provides us with a reminder of the mental health issues being faced by many in the scientific community. Whether that be a direct result of the recent state of affairs, or longer-term issues surrounding academia, a scroll through social media shows us that such issues are commonplace in this vein of work.

Nevertheless, resources are available to those in need. Although Twitter is not necessarily a platform for psychological support, it can be useful in providing visualisations, vocalisations or contacts regarding wider issues in the world of science.

Amongst all the issues facing the academic community, many scientists are keen to remind the public that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, advising against dangerous complacency at this time. For example, a thread by Max Roser, researcher at the University of Oxford and founder and editor of Our World in Data, explains graphically why the coronavirus still looms large over the world. Google search statistics, whilst not providing empirical evidence for cases of the virus, do suggest that people are worrying over symptoms whilst in their bed at night.

All in all, while the scientific community vocalises its anxiety over the many problems at large in the world (exemplified by the behaviour of the ‘Lego Grad Student’), strange and wondrous things are still being discovered and discussed - like how ‘flying’ snakes manage to remain airborne.

Adiyant Lamba is a news editor at Bluesci.