#SoCaltech: Alex Phillips


Science is a lot more than women in white lab coats holding up beakers. On social media, I see a lot of headshots of scientists, but I just don't relate to headshots! Do scientists get dressed up in a suit each day and smile? That's not what science is. Science is being in the lab running a column, being out in the field collecting rocks, going on a boat, working on your computer doing models—and I think that kind of representation is missing from social media. When I looked for an Instagram account posting action photos of women doing all sorts of things in science, there wasn't a single one. So, I thought maybe I should just make one—so I did! When I started last June, I thought if I reach 1,000 followers, I would be proud! Now we have over 30,000, which is kind of amazing. And the cutest thing is that my dad still “likes” every single picture. He’s our biggest fan.

Alex Phillips, a fourth-year geochemistry student, is the founder and curator of the @women.doing.science Instagram account. 

#SoCaltech is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu.