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.
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TGIF because after that cat watching, I am now going to binge watch on yt. Subscribing!
the channels I like aren’t stem-related, but I wish Shanna Malcolm & foxyhotmess had more viewers
I wish it had more engineers on the list. I kind of loved Biology but ended up doing engineering. There is a hugely disproportionate amount of men in engineering.
Are you a woman in the engineering field? Could you start a YouTube channel? Be the change you want to see in the world?
A few girls at school and I have discussed the possibility of stating a youtube channel for our club before, which centers around the ideas of environmental science and environmental activism. This might be the kick we needed to make it happen! =)
I would watch!
If you make it, let us know! I’d definitely watch.
YES I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE THIS GREATLY.
Do it do it do it.
omg omg I’m really really excited to see Emily on Autostraddle! The Brain Scoop has legit been my favorite channel on YouTube since the first episode early this year. And Emily is super amazing and awesome and everybody should totally be following her on twitter and watching the Brain Scoop because she’s so freaking great. And I mean, this is coming from somebody who’s a hardcore liberal arts person and remembered exactly enough science to pass tests in school and then promptly forgot everything.
Well I guess it would be pretty much all the female features writers for The Verge: Adi Robertson, Katie Drummond, Laura June, Adrianne Jeffries, I am sure there is more, but I forget at the moment. They are all write tech, science, book, gaming, music, and/or culture article. The site even did a lovely article on the music of Bikini Kill and the like. It’s the only site, beside Autostraddle that check at least twice daily.
Side note: my gaydar went off for two of them, but Im still too new at using it.
Laci Green’s channel is the best!
Science + Women? Yes please!
But I can’t roll with Laci green. She consigned some racist bull that Tyler oaktree…oakley(?) said a while ago so I’m iffy about her.
Can you link me to an article where you found that? I’d be interested in looking into that.
I can’t find an exact article of the situation I just remember Tumblr pissing itself over her defending Tyler’s crap but here is a list of other not so great things she’s done regarding trans people/cissexism/etc. (http://strawberreli.tumblr.com/post/26631415055/masterpost-why-laci-green-sucks)
I don’t know anything about the blogger but the list is worth looking into and Google is more thorough than I am
your fave is problematic is usually a good place to go for these things: http://yourfaveisproblematic.tumblr.com/post/47302211818/laci-green
Love all of the recent science content on Autostraddle. Thanks for all the new channels!
i haven’t even read this yet but i can’t wait to spend a billion years with it.
Hansen, this list is magic.
As a math person, I’m so excited by this article. My eyes were opened by a fellow runagayheart about the existence of ViHart and now I need to get up on the others listed here.
I just saw Emily’s video on tumblr the other day and was just about to take on the daunting task of finding other women in STEM youtubers (aside from Emily and ViHart), so y’all are awesome for this. And speaking as a bio major, I’m glad you guys included other subjects too because I know it’s pretty easy to find science channels that stick to mostly biology.
Eff Yeah Fluid Dynamics videos make me sad I’m not on drugs right now.
THIS IS SO GREAT! As a woman about to venture into the content-focused youtube arena, this was so applicable and encouraging! Thanks Hansen!
This is an awesome list. I can’t wait to take a study break with one of these.
This is amazing!!
Perfect timing too, because now I know what I’m going to do to procrastinate studying for finals.
Yes! Emily, Lindsay and ViHart are the best! Now I’m off to discover the rest of these channels.
This is so perfect. I’m in the process of setting up my own sciencey themed channel at the moment (hopefully as a gateway to science communication as a dream career) but the whole thing seems so daunting and stressful. But this list makes it seem far less so, so thank you so much!