On April 22 2017, over a million people marched for science around the world. They came for many reasons — to celebrate science; to soak up the vibe; to protest a growing distain for evidence-based decisions within society; to say they’d been there. But if there was an overarching message, it was this: that science matters, and that our collective futures depend on better-informed and educated citizens and decision-makers.
This was a strong message to send. But without researchers who are willing to actively share their science with others, and science-advocates who are willing to encourage, mentor and support them, its a rather empty one.
This is one of the reasons we launched the Science Showcase Video Contest this summer.
Online video — YouTube especially — is one of the most widely used communication mediums around. It’s where people are increasingly turning to satisfy their curiosity. And science is no exception.
Each day, millions of people watch science content on YouTube. And yet, with a notable few exceptions, scientists are not using this medium effectively. In fact, they’re failing incredibly badly at using YouTube to make their science accessible to others.
The good news though is that there are a small number of researchers who are actively developing their video-based communication skills. And these deserve every ounce of encouragement and support they can get.
You can do this by letting them know how much they’re valued, by sharing and commenting on their work, by encouraging them to do more, and by ensuring that their voice is heard.
The even better news is that, through to the end of September, the Science Showcase Video Contest provides a unique opportunity to do just this.
We received 34 wonderful entries for the Contest — all of which can be watched here. Through September we’re tallying the number of times each video is watched, and the most-watched video will win the Eyeballs on Science prize (we also have two additional prizes that don’t depend on views).
If you genuinely care about turning the tide on science in society, please support these researchers by watching, sharing and promoting their videos.
Of course, please push the videos you’d like to see win hard — that’s all part of the competition. But more than this, let these creators know that they are valued, and that you care about what they are doing.
Naturally, there are some videos that are more engaging than others. But — and this is really important — every single one represents someone who has decided to do something to enrich, inform and enlighten others thought science. And for this, every single entrant deserves your respect and your support.
And of course your encouragement, so they go on to make more and better science video content.
You can view all of this year’s contest entries here. We’ll be announcing the contest winners in October. In the meantime, please give them some respect, and share/promote/encourage them for all your worth.