Donald Trump

Someone Turned Donald Trump Into an Ornery Scientist on Twitter

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“What if Donald Trump were a research scientist?” is the sort of question that you’d need some pretty heavy pharmaceuticals to even come up with. And yet a recently launched Twitter account, Donald Trump, PhD, (@ScientistTrump) had adopted exactly that persona, fusing Trump’s proud online bullying and bombast with the nerdy interests, hangups, and obsessions of a stereotypical scientific researcher.

In a pretty Trumpish recent moment, for example, @ScientistTrump took a shot at one of the more famous science communicators around, Phil Plait (a.k.a. the Bad Astronomer):

But a lot of this content appears to have other researchers as the target audience. For example, @ScientistTrump has also covered the dangers of researchers taking reviews of their papers from other researcher too personally …

… the perils of writing sloppy code for statistical analysis …

… and researchers’ love of pointless infighting over whether such code should be written in R or Stata, two of the leading statistical software packages:

Check out the account — Donald Trump, PhD, makes for an entertaining, if terrifying, hybrid. And lurking below the surface of all the silliness and faux braggadocio, of course, is a joke that anyone who has interacted with research academia will identify with. While we’d like to think researchers are objective, rational, reasonable people, in the worst cases they can take on some positively Trumpian characteristics: They can be bullying, close-minded jerks who are utterly resistant to criticism. Sad!

Someone Turned Donald Trump Into an Ornery Scientist