University at Buffalo student uses TikTok to spread educational science videos

Posted at 4:35 PM, Aug 23, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ben Rein is a neuroscience student from University at Buffalo spreading educational science videos through TikTok.

“I had no intention to make videos on TikTok at any point,” Rein said.

The 24-year-old University at Buffalo student went viral after a creating that informed the public on how to properly wear a disposable face mask.

"I was actually planning on just sharing this with my friends and family," he said. "I was planning on posting on my Instagram and Facebook."

But a few days later that video had 150,000 views and Rein’s profile, the.brein, gained more than 100,000 followers.

“And I thought if I have this opportunity, I may as well use it to help spread some sort of science communication," Rein said.

So Rein began making videos, answering his followers questions and giving them an inside look into his research.

“A lot of people comment on my videos and direct message me saying, ‘hey, I'm really interested in what you do and I want to know, how did you get there? What did you major in,'" Rein said. "I get all these questions and I think there needs to be more resources available to translate that information into a purely, easily digestible, maybe 60 second clip where someone can watch it, pick it up, and understand what’s going on.”

So Rein created the Aspiring Science Coalition, a group for aspiring scientists to seek new information and network.

“As of right now we have about 275 members. We have people from across the world. I think we have 17 countries represented right now," he said.

Many of these members, Rein said, come from TikTok.

“I’ve never really been interested in that type of media stuff, but I am definitely grateful that it happened the way it did and that I’ve been able to sort of make something out of it.”