An eight-year-old girl has co-authored a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Annals of the Entomological Society of America, making her possibly the youngest scientific author in history. Sophia Spencer’s story, and her collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Morgan Jackson, is a tale of the positive role social media can play and the inspiration a lot of us could use right now.
Spencer is fascinated by insects, but when, aged seven, she started at a new school her classmates teased her about her love of bugs. Spencer’s mother Nicole was worried her daughter would lose her passion, and reached out to the Entomological Society of Canada, hoping contact with a professional would maintain Spencer’s enthusiasm.
The society emailed an anonymized version of the message to its 350 members and sounded the rallying call on Twitter.
Scientist after scientist replied, using photos of their beloved insects, videos, paintings they did as children, open letters, and …