Youtube a Science Communication World at your finger tips.

I’m sure like me, many of you have spent minutes, hours or even days procrastinating on Youtube. And what a wonderful medium it is, I myself love to watch video of classic football goals (European football), music videos and science videos. Science videos you say?… Yes! that’s right, communicating science through engaging videos is become more common place every day.

A recent article published on The Guardian website goes in to detail about how Youtube is popularising science. The ability for mediums such as Youtube to help everyday people to access interesting, new and engaging science ideas and information that have previously been limited to scholars and academics in dusty journals and manuscripts is helping break down the barriers of science phobia.

A number of extremely intelligent and engaging top scientists (and your everyday Joe) a creating Youtube video that attempt to explain scientific theories and paradims in a snack size bite. I guess one of the biggest challenges is filtering the good from the bad.

You might associate people like Sir David Attenborough, David Suzuki, Al Gore and Richard Dawkins (to name a few) as the pinnacle of science communicators. But the ability to convey scientific knowledge in a bit size video is bringing a vast array of fantastic science communicators to the forefront including Brian Cox and James Grime just to name a few!

Here are a few videos direct from Youtube that often help turn complex and scary concepts in turn a medium that is accessible to the masses.

Professor Brian Cox on the nature of forces:

James Grimes explaining why the difference between transitive game and non-transitive game (rock, paper, sissor).

A censeus of marine life video, which is close to my heart and I think is really interesting, so if you have a moment check it out!

And another mathematician Vi Hart that tries to explain pi

There are heaps of amazing and interesting videos that attempt to explain different scientific theories, some are good some aren’t so good. The biggest difference between this form of communication and classical videos and filming of science. Like a blog, youtube videos are a medium that must be sort after by the viewers, rather than something that is pushed down your throat (like the mainstream media). As a consequence you are indeed preaching to the converted. But, as these presenters become more popular (like Brian Cox) they become more ingrained in our the everyday media and thus can really help break down some of these scientific barriers and educate a broader audience.

I’d love to see some of your favourite youtube science videos!

Has anyone managed to make there own Youtube clip? Maybe this is something that future Science Communication students can endeavour to do?

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Awesome videos Skip!
    I haven’t made any video’s, but one of my friends is pretty into it, recently he put a GoPro camera on the front of his helicopter, not very science or communicationany, but it’s cool!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Y0hWBpKsc&feature=relmfu
    skip the description, it goes for a few minutes.

  2. Skip Woolley
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Yeah there are some great videos out there, and as you might have noticed with Paul and My video they are extremely fun to make! I recommend getting your hands dirty and making some!