Research Perspectives on TikTok & Its Legacy Apps| Reposting “Till Albert Einstein Is TikTok Famous”: The Memetic Construction of Science on TikTok

Jing Zeng, Mike S. Schäfer, Joachim Allgaier


Since its launch in 2018, TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media applications in the world, being particularly popular among young people. Memetic videos, which often feature lip-syncing, dance routines, and comedic skits, are a defining feature of the platform. This study used quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis to examine science memes, an increasingly popular genre of memes on TikTok, by analyzing 1,368 TikTok videos that feature science-related content. The results of the study uncover the most influential science-content creators, the most prevalent content in science memes, and three vernacular styles of science memes on TikTok. The results expand the existing science-communication scholarship focusing on the context of social media. Understanding the role of memetic science content on short-video platforms, as well as in the youth digital culture in general, also provides valuable insights into how science communicators can better engage with members of the young generation.


TikTok, science communication, memes, youth digital culture, short videos

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