Thanks to YouTube it’s never been easier – or more entertaining – to learn about science. The EuroScientist team has browsed some of YouTube’s most popular and emerging science channels to bring you a list of our their ten favourites. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to share your favourites in the comment box below!
Quite possibly one of the most beautifully animated series on YouTube, Kurzgesagt (German for ‘In a Nutshell’) uses clever commentary and stunning digital animation to explore topics as specific and scientific as the functioning of the human immune system to those as broad and philosophical as ‘what is life?’
- ‘The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained’
- ‘Space Elevator’ ‘What is Something?’
- ‘The History and Future of Time’
- ‘Banking Explained’
Brit Lab is a collection of short videos from the BBC. Never afraid to ‘go there’ in the name of science, host Greg Foot once explored the question ‘what does human flesh taste like?’ by – you guessed it – eating some of his own flesh. Regular features include Cinema Science, Secrets of Everything as well as a selection of clips from popular BBC science programmes, including a throwback to retro science with clips from the 1980s programme ‘Tomorrow’s World.’
- ‘What does Human Flesh Taste Like?’
- ‘What Happens When You Are Shot?’
- ‘What Happens When You Inbreed?’
- ‘Why Does Your Voice Sound Different on a Recording?’
- ‘What is Déjà vu?’
It’s no secret that women are seriously underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Now, change is on its way. This is due in no small part to women like Dianna Cowern, A.K.A. ‘Physics Girl.’ Taking to YouTube to share a personal passion for physics, Cowern is clear about her desire to draw more women and girls into STEM via her channel and blog. Using simple experiments to explain complex phenomena, Physics Girl is clearly written and creatively executed .
- ‘Why Do Mirrors Flip Horizontally (But Not Vertically)?’
- ‘Why is the Universe Flat?’
- ‘The Physics Behind a Curve Ball’
- ‘Seeing the Smallest Thing in the Universe’
- ‘Special Relativity and the Twin Paradox’
Asap Science packs a surprising amount of science into each 3 to 5 miunutes videos. Creators Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown take to their whiteboard to tackle burning questions, such as: Will a wingman will help you get a date? What really came first? The chicken or the egg? And, what was the colour of that dress? In addition to their trademark kinetic typography, the AsapScience team regularly tap into their inner geek with science-themed A Capella performances. They also explore ‘science with a social conscience’ through vlogs and interviews on their sister channel AsapThought.
- ‘What if You Stopped Going Outside?’
- ‘Could We Record Our Dreams?’
- ‘Does Being Cold Make You Sick?’
- ‘What if the World Went Vegetarian?’
- ‘Talent vs. Training’
Nerdologia is making science and topics typically reserved for so-called nerds exciting . Host Atila Iamarino is a Brazilian scientist who has an innate sense for communicating quirky science concepts using video and animation. For those who don’t speak Portuguese, just set the subtitles to auto-translate to get the gist of this exciting channel.
Smarter Every Day started as a series of homemade videos for friends and family. Now, it has evolved into one of the most accessible and engaging science channels available. When host Destin Sandlin (a full-time rocket scientist) finds himself stumped by a scientific question, he will do whatever it takes to find the answer: whether it means travelling across the world to meet top researchers, strapping himself into a freefalling helicopter or playing with venomous spiders.
- ‘The Backwards Brain Bicycle’
- ‘Slow Motion Flipping Cat Physics’
- ‘How to Escape From a Car Window’
- ‘Spider vs. Penis’
- ‘What I Learned From President Obama’
Vertiasium explores key questions and misconceptions in science and engineering, To do so, it uses a mix of experiments, interviews and monologues that feel more like one-on-one conversations. Host Derek Muller and his team often travel to remote locations around the globe to produce videos which, beyond their educational value, are masterpieces in their own right (like this one).
- ‘Why Anecdotes Trump Data’
- ‘What Exactly is the Present?’
- ‘The Speed of Life’
- ‘The Science of Six Degrees of Separation’
- ‘What is NOT Random?’
Ever wondered what goes on behind the exhibits at your favourite science or natural history museum? If so, this channel is the right place to go. From its home base at the renowned Chicago Field Museum, Brain Scoop gives us an insider’s view of the museum and the science that makes it all possible. From exploring hidden collections and chatting with in-house scientists to getting down and dirty with dissections in the prep lab, host Emily Graslie sheds light on the oft-forgotten work of curating and the role of field research in anthropology, biology and earth science.
- ‘Where My Ladies at?’
- ‘What the Function?’
- ‘The Replicator’
- ‘Spiders: The First Web Developers’
- ‘Skinning the Wolf’
With over 10 million followers, Vsauce is the most subscribed to science channel on YouTube. Creator Michael Stevens employs scientific and philosophical methods to explore an impressive range of topics. These range from the mysteries of space and the mind to the complexities of language and perception. Vsauce’s videos are for tose who want an in-depth viw as they last an average of 20 minutes.
- ‘The Science of Awkwardness’
- ‘Is Anything Real?’
- ‘How High Can We Build?’
- ‘What if the Earth Stopped Spinning?’
- ‘Why Are Things Creepy?’
With the help of clever cut-outs and stop-motion animation, host Vanessa Hill explores past and present research to tackle some of the most intriguing questions in psychology and neuroscience. Whether it’s exploring psychology in pop culture or the impact of technology on our brains, Brain Craft is refreshingly research-focused, providing insight into the science behind psychology’s most fascinating puzzles and the methods we use to investigate them.
- ‘Is Love All You Need?’
- ‘The Bizarre Ways Your Name Affects Your Behaviour’
- ‘Is This The Most Beautiful Face in the World?’
- ‘How Many Things Can You Do at Once?’
- ‘The Upside of Social Media Narcissism’
Featured image credit: Mars P. (CC BY 2.0)