For years, YouTube got a rap as the place to watch cats on keyboards and stupid people tricks. Funny? Absolutely. Smart? Not so much. However, there are a number of YouTube creators who are now making savvy, entertaining videos about or inspired by science...and I'm not just talking about obvious choices like snippets from the TED Conference.
Over the last several weeks while prepping for the International Academy of Web Televison Awards, which honor the best in online programming, I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube browsing far too often. Here are just a few of the folks worth checking out. Pieces range from the educational to the wacky to the lovely...
This YouTube channel is from creator Hank Green,who is heavily involved in several different YouTube endeavours, including executive producing The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a sassy online modernized adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Green has a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and a master's degree in Environmental Studies, and the segments on his SciShow channel explain both basic and more involved scientific concepts. Green's casual, entertaining delivery helps the information he delivers about topics ranging from fracking to dark matter to biofilm go down easy, allowing even the science novice to walk away feeling like he or she understands something new.
This one's for those of you who like pretty pictures. UltraSlo features the work of Emmy Award winner Alan Teitel, who with his UltraSlo Studio, creates cool slow-motion videos of nature, explosions and random things like (false) teeth falling into a glass. Many of the videos have a psychedelic quality to them, such as this one of a humming bird, so this is the channel to check out when you feel like chilling for awhile...
Rhett and Link
This award-winning duo comprised of life-long best friends Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal has created or been featured in over 500 web videos, including sketches, non-scripted reality pieces and music videos. In 2009, they were musical correspondents for the Science Channel's BRINK. The wrote songs and made music videos for three episodes, including "Hello (The S.E.T.I. Song)."
I always wanted a science teacher like Steve Spangler. He's done a lot of things - he's a science writer, teacher, and toy designer - but you're probably most familiar with his work with candy. Yep, he's the guy who dropped Mentos into a bottle of soda and created a cultural phenomenon in the early days of online video. Luckily, he's got a whole YouTube channel, as well as a website, dedicated to bringing more wacky experiments to the public.
And if you feel like taking a walk down memory lane, here's the original September 2005 Mentos geyser video: