Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop is one of the best human beings on our planet. Her YouTube channel is so entertaining that even though I have very little background in science, I am super invested in what she has to say. She spends a lot of time at the Field Museum of Chicago (where she works as Chief Curiosity Correspondent), and it’s like that dream you had as a kid where they locked you inside the museum at night and you got to run around and look at everything in depth and on your own, but really intelligent people come along to explain things to you. Oh, that was only my dream? Oh, okay.
Anyway, Emily has been dealing with some really misogynist comments on her videos, dissecting her appearance, hitting on her and even claiming she couldn’t possibly have written that Skyrim reference herself (why can’t girls play Skyrim, hmmm?). It’s no secret that STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) largely comprise men and that sexism plays a huge role in the technology industry in particular. So what can we do to encourage female content creators in the STEM fields? Here’s Emily’s answer:
It starts with an acknowledgement from both men and women that these are serious issues that need to be discussed. We can’t idly sit by and tolerate Internet bullying in any form, because that’s what this is, this is internet bullying. Help us make it widely known that this kind of apathetic attitude is detrimental and unacceptable. We need to make sure we’re making it possible for people of all genders to feel acknowledged for their contributions and not feel held back by something as arbitrary as their genetics or appearance.
But how do we encourage more women to be content creators? It starts by supporting our fellow creators, recognize we’re all going to undergo a learning curve in the beginning and to not let it end there because of unnecessary pressure or negativity. In the end, we stay committed to a mission of making quality educational content in order to provide for more women role models to fill these spaces.
This is where our list comes in. I’ve stolen it right off of Emily’s video’s informational section and gone through each one to tell you a bit about it and why you should watch it. Let’s find some awesome new YouTube channels and support women in the STEM fields.
1. Claire, Brilliant Botany
Claire of Brilliant Botany makes weekly YouTube videos bringing you interesting topics in plant science (it is 10,000 times better than you would think). I really liked her video about why she became a scientist. Her passion for plant science and affinity for gorgeous plants in videos makes me really like this channel.
2. Sally Le Page, Shed Science
The first video I watched from Shed Science was one where Sally caught a tiny grass snake and geeked out about how cute it was. The rest of the series is just as delightful.
3. Julia Wilde, That’s So Science
“That’s So Science” is a really great channel for fun scientific facts, like information about coffee, beer and slime mold. Yes, really.
4. Dr. Bondar
Dr. Bondar’s “Adventures in Biology” series has dolphins and flora and other awesome things that make you dream about a nerdy vacation. She also has an approachable and interesting Fracking series, which explains the process of fracking and its effects.
5. Lindsay Doe, Sexplanations
Dr. Lindsey Doe is a Clinical Sexologist. Need I say more?
6. Laci Green, Sex+
Super funny videos about sex from a queer woman! Here’s one with Hannah Hart talking about sex!
7. Annie Gaus, Pick your Poison
Annie Gaus investigates different poisons that will kill you. Yes, it really is that awesome.
8. Vanessa Hill, BrainCraft
To be honest, there’s only one video on the BrainCraft YouTube channel but it’s so. good. that I had to include it. Can’t wait to see what she puts up next!
9. The Penguin Prof
The Penguin Prof is the biology professor I wish I had in college. She makes tutorials and gives historical framework and tells interesting background stories for scientific discoveries that you will actually remember. Here’s my favorite by her, featuring cats!
10. Amoeba Sisters
Basically science + cute = the Amoeba Sisters. Looking for videos about how cells like the common cold work but you want pink and purple and MS Paint-style explanations? They’re your girls.