I recently deleted all the social media apps from my phone in an attempt to reduce my phone addiction. (Hasn't everyone tried this?) The only one I really missed was Instagram. The platform is by far the most positive and uplifting of the major social media streams. There are also some institutions and artists that post awesome scientific content. Be sure to add these accounts for some educational and inspiring instas.
The official account for the U.S. Department of the Interior provides stunning views of the country's national parks. Many of the photos are from professional nature photographers, including ones whose work has appeared in National Geographic. Others are submitted by park employees and amateur photographers who visit the parks. Prepare to be wowed and add a bunch of national parks to your travel bucket list.
Mike Natter is a medical student and artist living in Philadelphia. His art focuses on the anatomy, health, and disease of the human body. It is beautiful, educational, and often funny. From his feed, it seems like he uses art reinforce concepts he is learning in medical school, which is pretty cool! He also sells prints of his work.
This is probably the nerdiest account on the list... but I promise it is entertaining. Sigma Aldrich posts a molecule of the day, sharing the structure of everything from cancer therapeutics (above) to food ingredients and hormones.
This account posts unaltered photos acquired by the Mars Curiosity, which are available through NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Find out what's happening on Mars, new regional discoveries, and science experiments that NASA is conducting. My only complaint: I wish @marscuriosity posted more frequently!
Michael Peres is a photography professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology who specializes in photos of very small objects. A large proportion of his subjects are scientific in nature-- including the one above (crystals from the medicine bocepriver, a protease inhibitor used to treat hepatitis). He also describes unique methods that he uses to capture challenging images.
Along the same lines, the microscope company Zeiss has an amazing Instagram account. In addition to beautiful microscope images, they occasionally post about new equipment advances. Definitely check it out if you are into that kind of thing!
And these recommendations only scratch the surface. Once you start traveling down the Instagram science rabbit hole, you will find a whole world of amazing science photography. Share some of your favorites in the comments!