Vanessa Hill is a science educator and film maker from Australia. She created the YouTube channel BrainCraft, which features videos on the workings of – you guessed it – the brain! In a collection of short, informative videos, Vanessa explains a range of psychological and biological phenomena, such as how memory works, why we feel lonely or how sugar affects the brain. Best of all, she manages to explain complex processes in a way that is easy to understand for everyone. Her channel has attracted over 335,000 subscribers and her videos have been viewed over 15 million times.
In this video, which features L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate and Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, Vanessa explains how the manipulation of telomeres may allow us to prevent aging.
2. Amoeba Sisters
Amoeba Sisters is the YouTube channel of Pinky and Petunia, two single-celled amoebas with a passion for cellular biology. Written, animated and voiced by Sarina Peterson and Brianna Rapini, two sisters from Texas, these quirky cartoon cells explain everything from enzymes and biomolecules to natural selection and gene expression. Aimed at a high school audience (one of the sisters is a high school teacher), Amoeba Sisters make cellular biology fun and engaging.
Here are Pinky and Petunia explaining different types of cells and their component parts.
3. Brilliant Botany
Did you know that sunflowers are actually made up of hundreds or even thousands of tiny flowers called florets? Or that roses have been around for much longer than humans? These are the sorts of discoveries you can make on the Brilliant Botany YouTube channel, hosted by Claire Hopkins. Concise and informative, Claire’s videos are essential viewing for anyone with a love for the natural world.
Watch Claire tell the story of roses:
4. Alex Dainis
A doctoral student in genetics at the University of Stanford, Alex Dainis is also an enthusiastic science communicator. She initially created Bite Sci-zed, a weekly science series that tackles a variety of scientific questions in 3-minute-long chunks. Her channel has now expanded to cover a variety of topics, mostly focusing on her life as a grad student in a laboratory, but she also explores the challenges faced by women scientists.
In this video, Alex explains the CRISPR-Cas-9 technology and its uses.
5. Vintage Space
Created and hosted by Amy Shira Teitel, and attracting over 100,000 subscribers, the YouTube channel Vintage Space explores almost every aspect of space flight history. From explaining to why we can’t see stars from the moon to how airplanes and space shuttles fly, Amy provides a comprehensive and animated guide to a number of intriguing space exploration questions.
If you ever wanted to know about the best kind of rocket fuel to use to propel a shuttle to another planet, Amy is here to help:
Can you think of any other YouTubers we should know about? Share your thoughts @4womeninscience.