Within 48 hours of debuting with tweets about family, work and his dogs, Venter had pulled in more than 5,000 followers and stirred internet debate over why the 60-year-old was now embracing a technology often used to attack him.
The tweets also raised doubts that the notorious technophobe was writing the messages himself. Science writer Carl Zimmer
— one of only eleven people being followed by Venter — however insisted that the media mogul was writing “with his own voice, in his own way.
Venter appears to have made his Twitter debut some time ago but with the new year many are waiting anxiously for more posts with insight into his maverick lifestyle.
Trump is the Winklevoss of politics
Craig Venter via Twitter
Others claimed that the voice of the tweets, as well as their faltering grammar and punctuation, were unmistakably Venter. “You can tell by the tweets he’s doing it himself,” wrote Hamilton Smith
, Nobel Laureate and colleague of Venter’s.
A spokesperson for the Venter Institute confirmed to CNN the account is genuine.
But there were also signs that the science mogul was still getting to grips with social media. Reports suggested he was forced to quickly delete one post — possibly after Kowalski leapt to his aid once again.
The Institute for Genome Sciences
— a fierce rival of Venter’s — was among genome centers claiming that Venter was guilty of “tweeting-before-thinking” for suggesting that Francis Collins was evil.
The message was apparently removed, but not before someone tweeting as Heather Kowalski implored
: “Venter – DELETE TWEET.” A further post on the unverified Kowalski account later added: “EVERY1: @jcventer was only having a joke pROMISE!!!” [sic].
With apologies (sort of) to CNN and their report on Rupert Murdoch’s use of twitter. Brought to you by FSN – Fake Science News.