The eyes of the world have been on the Vatican this week, and even many non-Catholics shared the excitement of the announcement that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been chosen and is now to be called Pope Francis. While many are rightly interested in his social views, there's a tidbit in his biography that may interest geeks around the world; the new pope appears to have some geeky tendencies, though Twitter may not be one of them.
Before joining the Jesuits (an order known for promoting education), Bergoglio had earned a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. His formal education not only includes seminary, but also a degree in philosophy and a doctoral study in theology. He taught philosophy and literature at the university level and has written books.
There is an ongoing debate about the relationship between Christianity and science, with people wondering how to balance faith and facts or what to do when science seems to contradict the Bible. While the new pope is likely to be very occupied with social issues such as helping the world's poor, his history of interest in science is also promising.
When it comes to modern technology, the Tweeters of the world may be disappointed to hear that the Twitter account reported to belong to Bergoglio is likely fake. The Vatican's official Twitter handle, @Pontifex, is back in use; the temporary message of “Sede Vacante” (seat vacant) is gone, along with all of the previous Tweets. The first official Tweet of the fresh @Pontifex was simply, “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.”
Mashable's Chris Taylor reports that, at 132,000 Tweets per minute, Tweets about the pope constitute “the second biggest Twitter event of all time.” The biggest was last year's Obama victory tweet, and as Taylor says, “If a new pope can't beat that number, we doubt anything will for some time.”