Sunday, September 01, 2013

IFLS on YouTube

Like, 6.7 million other people, I follow the “I Fucking Love Science” Facebook Page. The host, Elise Andrew, posts links to articles about the latest scientific findings, jokes, quotes from famous scientists, and so on. I think it makes a nice balance to some of the other stuff I see on Facebook.

Now there’s an IFLS YouTube Channel, too, with weekly videos focusing on some of the top science stories of the week. Above is the second in those weekly videos.

There’s so much anti-science nonsense in the world, and not just within rightwing politics and fundamentalist religion. Too many people believe superstitious nonsense despite real science demonstrating the provable facts. Such people aren’t necessarily conservative or religious, but they are too willing to accept things that simply aren’t true and then act based on that.

An antidote to the ignorance is accessible scientific explanation by the people once called “science popularisers” (a field now usually called science communication, and includes scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson). There are a lot of them now, and YouTube makes this science communication very accessible. The new IFLS YouTube Channel is basically just another among many, but given the popularity of the IFLS Facebook Page, it may ultimately reach a lot of people.

I think that making the knowledge we’ve gained from scientific examination accessible is a a very important function of science itself. And when it can be done in an entertaining way, it’s even better.

About this video in particular: I was struck by the bit at the end about the "second death" of Neil Armstrong. I saw the posts on Facebook that Elise refers to and wondered what that was about. For a moment, I thought I was the one who was confused (this was early in the morning, before my first coffee…), but I was sure I'd read about his death a long time before. I then remembered that I'd blogged about Neil’s “first death” last year. Still, it's not the first time that people have been confused about events in the news. I just thought that one was particularly bizarre.

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