Sit Back And Watch Some Science Videos!
With 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, you would really be hoping to that there is more to life than cat videos!
Well if that is what you are hoping, then you have some seriously good luck because if you look for it you can find some seriously good quality, interesting science & skeptical content!
I have been mining one of the biggest sites on the internet (avoiding too much of “the sewer of the internet” – YouTube commenters) and struct plenty of gold. Here’s my roundup of the best science videos on YouTube! Please let me know if I’ve missed anything & share your favourites below.
In alphabetical order…
Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station hit YouTube success of EPIC proportions recently with his release of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (above), a music video recorded in space. But that’s not all he’s done, he also can tell you all about “The Space Toilet” and more.
There are a mix of Crash Courses across science and the humanities. With Biology, Chemistry and Ecology presented by Hank Green. Hank will show you all about “Water — Liquid Awesome” (above) and will inform you “That’s Why Carbon Is A Tramp”.
Not a scientist, but one of the world’s most accomplished magician and mentalist, Derren Brown, has a collection of videos that’ll make your jaw drop and teach you all about our psychology! You never quite know the extent of our suggestibility and predictability until you watch some of Derren’s work. Derren tricks woman into thinking she’s dead (above), he guesses people’s professions off the street and tricks shopkeepers into letting him pay with plain paper.
On the Numberphile channel Brady Haran has put together dozens of amazing videos all about numbers, how they work and how they relate to the world. You can find out “How Pi was nearly changed to 3.2″ (above) or that “Infinity is bigger than you think” or get an intro to “Safe Cracking with Feynman”.
Founder & creator Henry Reich of MinutePhysics describes it as: “Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science” and he’s pretty spot on. Watch MinutePysics and you could see anything from “The True Science of Parallel Universes” (above) to “Immovable Object vs Unstoppable Force”. Now so successful that it’s been translated into Spanish and they’ve launched another channel called MinuteEarth (in both English & Spanish too!).
Based out of the University of Nottingham and with a host that looks like your hollywood mad scientist, The Periodic Table of Videos have produced a video for every single element on the period table and have continued with many more videos since. They’ve done an episode from within the UK’s Gold Bullion Vault (above) and show you what happens to a cheeseburger dipped into hydrochloric acid!
Psychologist, magician and skeptic Richard Wiseman is the guy who will prepare you for all your party tricks and help you understand our feeble brains! You can watch “10 More Amazing Science Stunts” and will really test your attention to detail with the “Colour Changing Card Trick”.
While Scientific American are a big magazine, they have a relatively small YouTube presence. But they’ve put a lot of work into some really great videos lately that definitely makes them worthy of this list. Above is a recent video of “Virus vs. Superbug – Fight!” and they have other great videos in their Instant Egghead playlist like “Why Do Paper Cuts Hurt So Much?”.
Although they’ve gone quiet recently, The Science Channel is a long running YouTube channel that covers more hard science with videos like “‘The God Particle’: The Higgs Boson” (above) and a great primer on “The Electromagnetic Spectrum”.
SciShow discusses science news and history and concepts. They “go a little deeper…without going off the deep end. Well, most of the time anyway”. They cover things from “How Week Works” (above) to “The Science of Lying”.
Smarter Every Day explores the world using science, that’s pretty much all there is to it! With videos such as “Slow Motion Flipping Cat” (above) to “Poop Splash Elimination” you can really have some fun with these Smarter Every Day science videos!
Based out of Australia, Veritasium is a science video blog featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science. Watch videos from “Can We Go The Speed of Light?” to “Trees are Freaking Awesome”.
For his day job Vi Hart is a professional mathemusician at Khan Academy. But his (not-so) secret super power is his YouTube science videos fully equipped with notepad doodling and more! He’s uploaded videos ranging from the the very meta “5 Reasons We Like 5 Reasons Videos” (above) to the very informative “What is up with Noises? (The Science and Mathematics of Sound, Frequency & Pitch)” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_0DXxNeaQ0].
With the tagline “Our World Is Amazing” Vsauce explores everything from “What If Everyone JUMPED At Once?” (above) to “Is The 5-Second Rule True”. Vsauce wasn’t originally as scienc-ey but has definitely become so. It’s been so popular that now there’s even now a Vsauce2 and Vsauce3.
The Royal Institue of Australia strives to bring science to people and people to science by highlighting the importance of science in everyday life. Their “Week In Science Vodcast” is a fantastic resource if you want to get caught up with what’s going on in the world of science in just a few minutes. It’s by no means exhaustive (as that would be virtually impossible) but provides a great summary of some things worth knowing.
There are so many…
I know I’ve missed some, but I’ve certainly given you a great procrastination resource with this list alone!
[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by exalthim]