Hello everybody! Jac the research officer here. For this post, we are going to take a break from all the cool things that we discover along the Petai trail and talk about, well, talking about science. As we all know, telling stories about biodiversity is not the easiest thing to do, even though it seems effortless. So, to help us along with the guiding process, I would like to introduce to you all some of my favorite science youtubers, and why I love them!
First up is Emily Grasilie from The Brain Scoop. She is a science communicator and Youtube presenter, and currently works as the American Field Museum as their first ever Curiosity Correspondent. What I love about her is her incredibly infectious energy and relaxed, conversational tone when she presents about all the weird specimens she has at the museum, which tends to make the viewer feel excited about whatever she is talking about purely because… she seems excited too. I personally think she manages to pull off such great energy because she really is genuinely very passionate about whatever she is talking about, and she always draws her audience’s attention using emphasis when she speaks (“Sometimes they are called… THE WALKING ARTICHOKE or anteater pinecones, because basically thats what they look like.”). Plus, she makes great use of her hand gestures when describing a specimen at hand to point out all their crazy features and how they work, so in a sense she makes her dead specimens come alive through her actions and descriptions, which in turn also work because they tend to be delivered in the form of simple and funny comments. So if you are incredibly excited about nature and think you are or can be as cute as Emily, I do suggest you look at her video on Owls and Romantic Ants. A warning though; some of the brain scoop videos can be a bit gory because she taxidermises some animals, but the three in this post are gore-free. I promise.
Next we have Zefrank1, who runs an incredible nature narration series called True Facts. Not much is known about Mr Zefrank other than that he has a soothing voice that rivals the legendary Sir David Attenbrough, but what we do know is that he spices up his presentation with a descriptive language that borders on the ridiculous. In a manner, Zefrank makes fact so much stranger than fiction, and the resulting hilarity makes the whole package work. His sarcasm and jokes are what make information stick, and he is not afraid to make relatable comparisons between animal and human behavior to get the audience to understand how and why animals do certain things. It may not be possible for us mere mortals to write a script as golden as Mr Zefrank, I am certainly going to try. For more inspiration, I suggest you also listen to his take on the Anglerfish and Chameleon.
Last but not least, I would like to give you all a throwback to the 90s, where one of the best science presenters took to the air. I know he’s not part of youtube formally, but Bill Nye the Science guy is a tough act to follow, even today. Bill Nye really appeals to me even now because he makes complex things simple. This particular episode about biodiversity sums up everything about all our process keywords like ecosystem, biodiversity and the idea of scale when it comes to such keywords. What is amazing is that it is simple enough for kids to understand, but it does not sound dumbed down. Bill Nye episodes are also interesting because he has a segment called “Consider the Following” (at 9:11), in which he actually deals with more controversial issues on an equal level with his audience and actually asks for opinions while effectively introducing his own. This is fun because it gets people thinking, which in turn gets them involved with the information being presented. Another thing I like about Bill Nye episodes is that they run along themes that he comes back to often to broaden the viewer’s understanding, and to re-enforce the main message, like in this episode where the emphasis falls on how everything is connected. This makes the whole episode seem neat, and this would work nicely for anything that has to be presented in a continuous time block, like our walks! For your viewing pleasure and daily dose of nostalgia, I suggest you watch all of the Bill Nye episodes on youtube. ALL OF THEM.
Aaaaand that is it! These are all my favorite science presenters on youtube. But before I go, I would like to leave with you a clip from my favorite comedian on one of my ex-favorite nature presenters Steve Irwin:
R.I.P Steve. While your exploits thrilled us, touching everything dangerous is generally not an example most of us can (or should!) follow.
If anyone has any comments or questions, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! Just put a “To Jac” in the subject header and I will try my best to answer any queries you all may have. Till then, happy guiding! (: