- A female science Tiktoker has asked viewers to stop tagging Hank Green in her content.
- She said she has a PhD in physics, which is more relevant expertise than Green’s.
- Green has previously said he feels “weird” when he gets asked to weigh in on other creators’ videos.
A TikToker who says she’s a materials physicist is asking viewers to stop tagging science influencer Hank Green in her content.
On December 13, @ash_phd described a nuclear fusion experiment as a “massive, massive breakthrough for clean energy,” and said she’d be “shocked” if it didn’t win the Lawrence Livermore National Lab staff a Nobel Prize.
The next day, @ash_phd posted a follow-up video and replied to a comment from a viewer who had tagged Green.
“If we could just simply stop doing this, that would be nice,” she began.
“Does Hank Green have a Ph.D. in physics?” she asked. “No, he does not. Do I have a PhD in physics? Yes, I do.”
“In fact, it’s actually in a focus of high-pressure materials, which is exactly relevant to that video,” she continued. “If you have a question, ask the creator,” @ash_phd told viewers. “Don’t tag Hank Green saying ‘we need Hank Green to explain,’ because you don’t.”
The user did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, and Insider was unable to independently verify her credentials.
Green, who has a BS in Biochemistry and an MS in Environmental Studies, is a hugely popular creator who makes scientific content for his 7.3 million followers — typically reaching hundreds of thousands or millions of views on frequent videos. (He’s also brother to New York Times bestselling author John Green).
He has previously addressed the fact that commenters tag him in other creators’ videos.
“If you see somebody with a video on Tik Tok, and they’re explaining some delightful facet of our universe, and you’re like ‘is that for a real?’ You might have an impulse to say, ‘hey, @hankgreen, is this real?'” Green told viewers on February 8. “Before you do that, can you check and see if that person actually knows more about that topic than I do, which is not unlikely considering, you know, we all have our expertises and mine are limited.”
Green said he was “very happy” to have established “some amount of credibility” in the space, but added, “There are many, many people who know more about the things they know about than I do. I think it can feel a little weird to them to see me getting tagged in their comments when they know more about a thing that I do, and I think that I feel a little bit weird about it, too.”
Other women TikTok creators in the science space have also said they deal with commenters deferring to male opinions.
Science vlogger Charlotte Moore-Lambert responded to a comment on one of her videos tagging Green in November 2020. “Please don’t do this,” she said in a TikTok discussing instances in which viewers have tagged male creators to corroborate her videos.
“If you want to check my facts,” Moore-Lambert told viewers, “Please do that. You should absolutely do that on your own. Or ask me and I will double and triple-check my facts. Please do not summon the men, especially ones who already follow me — it doesn’t feel good.”
Gender bias in STEM is a well-researched phenomenon. A 2019 study found that scientists — regardless of gender or subject specialty — unconsciously associate science with men. Unesco data found that between 2015 and 2018, men were invited to speak on scientific panels twice as often as women.