Neurobiologist using Instagram to educate the public about ‘amazing’ neuroscience

Andrew Huberman
Andrew Huberman, professor of neurobiology (Norbert von der Groeben / Stanford Health Care )

Neurobiology professor ANDREW HUBERMAN has set out to educate the public about exciting discoveries in neuroscience using Instagram.

Huberman’s sights are high: he pledged to post on Instagram one-minute educational videos about neuroscience an average of five times per week for an entire year.

His efforts have garnered about 8,000 followers so far. Many come from Spanish-speaking countries, so Huberman started posting his videos in both English and Spanish.

He told Scope writer JENNIFER HUBER, “My Spanish is weak but it’s getting better, so I’m also out to prove neural plasticity is possible in adulthood. By the end of the year I plan to be fluent in Spanish.”

So far, his most popular video series is about the effects of light on wakefulness and sleep.

“It’s turned out to be a lot harder to explain things in 60 seconds than I initially thought,” he said. “I have to really distill down ideas to their core elements. Many professors are notorious for going on and on about what they do, saying it in language that nobody can understand. My goal is to not be THAT professor.”

He added, “I’ve also learned that I don’t blink. Sixty seconds goes by fast so I just dive in and rattle it off. After a couple of weeks, people started posting ‘you never blink!’ — so now I sometimes insert blinks to get them to stop saying that.”

Read more in Scope, published by Stanford Medicine.