|Science Sunday making waves on Google+|
In academic circles, Allison Sekuler is known as associate vice-president and dean of graduate studies.
But after hours, she spends her time curating one of the fastest-growing Google+ circles on the web.
"I view it as an intersection of art and science," says Sekuler, one of the founders and main curators of the Science Sunday page. "My motto is, 'science is everywhere and in everything.'"
Her aim is to unite research news, science, art and photography into one stream, while offering users a simple yet visually stimulating learning environment.
The rules for submitting content to the page are simple: no profanity, and no lewd content. Otherwise, Science Sunday is interested in everything from photos and academic journals to video links, movies, memes and science-related puns.
In the nine months since founding the page, Science Sunday has gleaned more than 10,000 followers. The hashtag #ScienceSunday was trending on Google+ for several weeks in June, and Sekuler's page is being considered for Google's Suggested User List.
Last month, Sekuler and her fellow moderators (Robby Bowles, Rajini Rao and Chad Haney) were nominated for a "Spirit of Google+ Award" for Best Business Page. Science Sunday lost the award to NASA (yes, that NASA), but she still views the experience in a positive light.
"It was an honour just to be nominated," she says. "It was a really interesting experience."
Growing up in a tech-friendly household was a huge advantage for the future professor of psychology. Her family had a teletype machine in their home long before the advent of personal computers.
Sekuler learned to program at an early age using a paper card system, and would often connect to the mainframe at Northwestern, where her father worked, to play games or simply interface with the computer.
From that point forward, she was hooked on new technology. When Google+ was launched last June, Sekuler immediately jumped on board.
"I call it the 'Intellectual Facebook,'" she says of the site. "I still use Facebook, but to find out what old high school friends, aunts and uncles are doing."
In recent months, Google+ has quickly become one of the most talked-about social networking sites in the world. The platform currently boasts more than 250 million registered accounts worldwide, and recently trumped Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest in a "customer satisfaction" survey conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Much like other social networking sites, Google+ users can upload content, connect with other users and join various networks and communities.
For those with a Google+ account, simply post anything related to science and tag it with #ScienceSunday and +ScienceSunday, and curators will evaluate your post.