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After you read the article, be sure to check out the actual scientific paper that resulted from this experience by Morgan Jackson. It's interesting to read (or read some, and scan.) If you've never read an academic paper before, they can be pretty dull and take forever to get to the point, but remember, this is an analysis of what happened, not just a "feel good" news blurb.
Here's the conclusion to the paper:
In conclusion, rarely are entomologists provided a stage with an audience of a million people, yet when offered one, it's clear they can use it to make a positive impact. By encouraging a young girl's love for insects and entomology through an outpouring of community support made possible via social media, entomologists and insect enthusiasts not only made a difference in the life of that one girl, but spread their influence and enthusiasm across the globe and into the homes of hundreds of people who may have felt similarly alone or ostracized. It's impossible to know or predict the long-term effects this tweet, the hashtag, or the resulting network of social media-mobilized insect enthusiasts will have on entomology, but in the present, we can appreciate and take pride in the fact that when asked what was happening, we responded as one to engage with the world about our love for insects.
This is absolutely the best thing I have read EVER! WTG Sophia!
I met a little girl in the park a few years ago and she was just like Sophia. She shouted out to apparently no one in particular "Look how cute these baby spiders are!" I climbed the ladder and was at her side in seconds. We bonded... eventually I had to climb down and let her play with my kids... lol I sought out her mother and we had a conversation... same thing as Sophia, this kid loves bugs and loves studying and learning about them but the kids at school thought she was weird. I told her I get that all the time myself. There is something to be said for being weird and eventually those people come to me to learn.