Research: The Kardashian Index to Rate Scientist Popularity

What does it take to be popular? A desire to be the centre of attention, sure, but also people paying attention to what you say. Not everyone wants to be popular, but it certainly helps to be able to get your research seen and heard. This, in turn, helps to get grant money or raise capital via a crowdfunder.

We all know that popularity in the time of the internet can be falsely inflated or even understated. Researcher Neil Hall (Hall, 2014) put together a rather interesting, yet simple, equation so you can dissect it using the number of followers on social media.

Infographic based off Hall’s work. Summarised by Grace Conyers, graphics by Macon Designs.

We have a couple big questions:

  1. How does real world interactions impact the score?
  2. What would you do to increase your popularity if it meant living your dreams as a researcher?


Hall, N. (2014, July). The Kardashian index: a measure of discrepant social media profile for scientists. Genome Biology. Springer Nature.

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