A Long Melford woman’s social networking page showcasing weird and wonderful facts has become a global internet phenomenon.
Elise Andrew, 23, set up an account called “I F*****g Love Science” on Facebook while studying Biology at Sheffield University last year.
Posts showing the lighter side of science with jokes and pictures proved an instant hit as fans of the page snowballed.
Miss Andrew, who lived with mum Nicky, stepdad David and brother Jack Dunhill, 14, at The Green, Long Melford, for 13 years, said: “It was just a bit of fun but it exploded very quickly – I had 1,000 fans within the first day and 50,000 in the first month.
“It has just been going for a year and the page has more than 4.5million fans, with posts reaching 70million a week.”
She was inspired to start the page by a fascinating fact from one of her degree lectures.
“I remember learning that there was a protein in humans called Sonic Hedgehog,” said Miss Andrew, who also has a younger sister Danielle at Sunderland University.
“I thought ‘Why doesn’t everybody know this?’ and I want to inspire in people what I felt then.
“I didn’t like science as a child, it was when I went to West Suffolk College to study forensic science that I got really interested,” she said.
“I hope that the page brings people round to the idea that this stuff is amazing and makes them want to learn more.”
As for the page’s name, Miss Andrew said it was necessary to convey her strength of feeling for the subject matter.
“I don’t like science, I f*****g love it, and the name portrays that it is not serious,” she said.
“Science can be very stiff, complicated and boring but I really don’t see it that way.”
While she admits the “full-time job” of managing the page impacted on her studies at university, Miss Andrew landed a job in Canada in marketing and social media for science publishing group Labx Media at the start of the year off the back of her hugely successful page.
She moved over and has settled in Midland, 90 miles north of Toronto, with fiancé Jake Rivett, formerly of Great Cornard, who is hoping to secure a visa allowing him to stay in Canada before the couple are married in Suffolk in September.
“I met Richard Dawkins, the biologist, and physicist Michio Kaku last year. It is just a bit scary,” she said.
Miss Andrew was thrust even further into the spotlight last month after she set up a Twitter page and promoted it through the science Facebook page, prompting thousands of comments on the fact that the page’s founder is a woman.
The story was picked up by American news network CBS, Cosmopolitan magazine and The Guardian, sparking debates on sexism and gender stereotypes on message boards.
“I never realised people would care so much about who was behind the page, I thought it was just about information,” she said. “It seems so ridiculous.”
Miss Andrew’s family are fully supportive of her online venture and newfound fame.
She said: “They are all really proud of me and are as gobsmacked by it all as I am, to be honest.”