Thinking about science videos

The video workshops for 2015 will be held tomorrow. Those of you participating will get a chance to try your hand at making a very short film. To do this well takes skill and practice. Below are listed a couple of interesting links that you may find useful.

First, have a look at this recent article on “What makes a popular science video popular?” Bear in mind that popularity doesn’t always equate with quality.

Then try this short video, made by Nature to explain epigenetics. Science writer Ed Yong recommended it on twitter. 

The Royal Institution now has a video channel – the RI Channel. As well as recordings of Christmas lectures, there are also lots of other short scientific films. Have a look at some of their collections – or a nice new ExpeRImental series they’ve been making to get kids interested in science.

Update Fri 6th March: Here are links to a few more examples, some of which I mentioned in the video workshop:

Simon Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorem (superb, IMHO).

A couple of films by Geoff Marsh – one featuring his granny, and one about how to see around corners (Geoff had access to animation techniques that you are unlikely to be able to achieve, alas).

This week’s Horizon by Helen Czerski on Climate Change.

Dr Michael Moseley on Pain, Pus and Poison

Update Sat 7th March: I keep coming across or remembering other examples of that I wanted to share.

First, this 15 min profile of pioneer computer programmer Grace Hooper (recommended on Twitter by Simon Singh). It’s simple in construction but very well made. See if you can work out what makes it work.

Physicists and chemists seem to like short, snappy videos. Check out Sixty Symbols (physics) or the Periodic Videos (chemistry). Is it a format that works for you?

And this is a bit of fun – the 5 min trailer (with lots of ‘mistakes’) for Demo, a a teacher training film about the use of scientific demonstrations. Made by Alom Shaha (who taught on our course in recent years) and Jonathan Sanderson.


About scurry1963

Scientist and science blogger. Find me on Twitter at @Stephen_Curry or read my blog at
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