Elise Andrew at an event for I fucking Love Science
|Born||1989 (age 27–28)|
|Alma mater||University of Sheffield (B.Sc.)|
|Occupation||Blog writer, science communicator and webmaster|
|Known for||Founder of the website and Facebook page "I fucking love science"|
Early life and education
Andrew was raised in Long Melford, Suffolk, United Kingdom (UK). Andrew graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Her undergraduate degree covered subjects such as ecology, animal sciences and evolution.
"I fucking love science"
Andrew started the Facebook page "I fucking love science" in March 2012, saying of the creation that "I was always finding bizarre facts and cool pictures and one day I decided to create somewhere to put them – it was never supposed to be more than me posting to a few dozen of my friends." After the first day of being on Facebook, the page had over 1,000 likes, and passed 1 million likes in September 2012. By January 2015, this had risen to 19.5 million likes.
In March 2013, Andrew posted a link to her new Twitter account on the IFLS page, which used a photo of herself as its avatar. Many Facebook fans were surprised that Andrew was a woman, and responses were a mix of sexist and supportive comments. Computer scientist Diana Franklin noted that even some of the so-called positive responses were sexist, with readers making sexual comments about Andrew. Andrew was baffled by the surprise of her Facebook followers about her gender, as she had made her identity known earlier in photographs and media interviews posted to the page, which listed her in the "about" section since its creation.
In August 2013, Andrew collaborated with Discovery Communications to create an online video series based on IFLS. The series was canceled that same year. The first weekly segment appeared at Discovery's online TestTube network. Episodes were also made available at the IFLS page on YouTube.
Andrew has been invited to speak at engagements around the world including a series in Australia in August 2013 dedicated to IFLS, a science communication program at MIT Museum in September, a science-culture conference in Chile in October, and the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in Montreal in December 2013. Andrew was also a speaker at the Scientista Foundation for its 5 April 2014 symposium at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She appeared at a science and skepticism conference in New York City later that month, hosted by the New England Skeptical Society.
Television personality and comedian Craig Ferguson announced at the 2014 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, US that he would be collaborating with the Science Channel and Andrew on the IFLS television program. Ferguson was meant to serve as the show's executive producer; however, production plans fell through.
In 2015, Andrew was listed as one of Forbes' "30 to watch under 30" in their "media" category.
In June 2015, Andrew was presented with the Stamford Raffles Award for distinguished contributions to zoology by amateur zoologists or for activities outside normal professional undertakings, by the Zoological Society of London.
Criticism and accusations of plagiarism
On 23 April 2013, Scientific American blogger Alex Wild saw that Andrew had used one of his insect photographs without attribution or permission. He determined that 59 of the 100 most recent photographs used by Andrew were not credited to the original source. Wild noted that Andrew "is using [other artist's work] to drive traffic on the IFLS page where it helps sell her own t-shirts." Ultimately, he accused Andrew of infringing the copyright of his photographs and artwork for her Facebook page without requesting permission from the copyright holders.
Astrophysicist and science communicator Brian Koberlein previously stated that, due to its misleading, sensationalist, and click-bait articles, it is clear that IFLS is "just interested in pageviews" and is guilty of "the willful promotion of ignorance."
Similarly, after complaining to Facebook about the uncredited use of his infographics on the IFLS page, Yemeni scientist Hashem Al-Ghaili claims to have been told by Facebook that IFLS was the subject of over 6,000 copyright complaints in 2013.
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- Weisblott, Marc. "Science blogger accused of stealing images". o.canada.com. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
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