So full disclosure, I have been a bit negative recently. It's something I've noticed in myself, and I think it's something that others have started to notice as well. But really, it makes sense.
In an effort to ensure that people aren't misinformed, I obviously write articles that point out when there is inaccurate, sensationalist, or poorly explained science. I don't, however, write an article when someone does something right—when someone writes a clear, accurate, and well weighted article—I don't do a post that says "so-and-so summarized this research appropriately."
Because that's kind of boring and not terribly necessary.
However, this is a bit of a problem, because it makes people think that everyone is full of horribleness. And that's simply not the case. True, we may share good articles from other people, but that's not the same thing as saying, "this person is doing it right."
So I am going to do that today.
Of course, the people you will see listed below are not perfect, but then, no one is. In fact, there are a number of articles that I have written (and that others have written for Futurism) that, for one reason or another, were poorly executed. Which is why you always, always have to be skeptical. Don't ever rely on one source, and always scrutinize the evidence.
That said, in my years as a science communicator, I have become familiar with a number of individuals and organizations, and these people (I feel) consistently communicate accurate information. They do good things. And on the odd occasion that there is an error, or something needs clarification, they correct it or try to clarify. If you called them out, I am fairly certain that they wouldn't respond by sidestepping the issue, launching personal attacks, or unleashing hounds upon you (though the last one would be kind of funny to watch).
So if you are nerdy, if you like geeky things, or even if you just have a passing interest in science, here's who to follow.
Note: I will probably forget a number of people, and I will probably encounter a number of other awesome people as time goes on. This list will grow. Please comment with any suggestions.
- Nature News and Comment - Science and tech news from Nature, an international science journal. Good for popular science news and research.
- Universe Today and Fraser Cain - Space and astronomy news. Good place if you want a plethora of information on all things space. Lots of awesome contributors, and Fraser is a king on Twitter.
- Bad Astronomy and Phil Plait - Another awesome place for space and astronomy news. Phil is also fantastic at debunking bad science and photoshopped space images. Another great on Twitter.
- One Universe at a Time and Brian Koberlein - Yet another awesome place for space and astronomy news and research (can you tell what my primary interest is?). Brian also covers issues related to science communication, send him your questions over on Twitter.
- Starts with a Bang and Ethan Siegel - More space and all of those glorious science things. Lots of contributors from a number of scientific backgrounds, and also on Twitter.
- Veritasium by Derek Mueller - Videos covering all things science. If it is STEM, it is fair game. Derek explains physics concepts, delves into chemistry and engineering, and pretty much does it all.
- Physics Girl by Dianna Cowern - Experiments, explainers, and (like Derek) pretty much all things science...with a physics focus, of course.
- Minute Physics by Henry Reich - Animated videos that explain physics concepts. Art + Science = Awesome. The idea isn't that every video is 60 seconds exactly, but that the science is explained in just a few minutes (don't be pedantic).
- Vsauce by Michael Stevens - Uses science to answer questions on human behavior, our senses, culture, art, physics, and a host of other science topics.
- AsapScience by Mitchell Moffit & Gregory Brown - Animated videos that explain some of the most puzzling (and interesting) science questions and hypotheticals.
- Smarter Every Day by Destin Sandlin - Destin, as he explains it, explores the world using science. It's pretty straightforward, and he's pretty awesome.
- It's Okay to be Smart by Joe Hanson - Science videos backed by PBS Digital Studios. They have some awesome animations and graphics, and Joe delves into a host of STEM topics. He's also rather funny.
- SciShow by Hank Green (and others): Huge (mammoth, really) production that focuses on all things science. They have a new video pretty much every day, which allows them to latch on to current events really fast.
- Numberphile by Brady Haran: A ton of interviews with mathematicians and other videos that focus on the numbers that make up our universe.
- Compound Interest by Andy Brunning - If you love chemistry, this is the place for you. Andy makes a host of infographics on things like the chemistry behind fireworks, body odors, and more pleasant things (like flowers).
- RobotHugs by RH -RH has, hands down, some of the best comics on mental health that I have ever seen. Most of you are probably familiar with the "If Mental Illnesses Were Treated like Physical Illnesses" comic. That's RH. A lot of the comics also deal with issues related to sex, gender, and sexuality, so fair warning.
- xkcd by Randall Munroe - Randall makes comics that answer the most absurd hypotheticals that you can think of. Like, what would happen if everyone on Earth jumped at the same time? They are glorious. A lot of his stuff is also just random jokes and other funnies. Good times, in any case.
- Futurism and Hashem Al-Ghaili - Hashem is the original "This Week in Science." He makes infographics and images that contain interesting science facts. He also posts recent news and research.
Links to a Free Education
Do you want to get a free education? Of course you do. Here, you can find lectures, textbooks, and a host of material that is available from universities and scientists...and it's all free.
Free Online Courses:
- World ScienceU: Brian Greene
- MIT Free Access to Course Content
- Stanford's Free Online Courses
- Harvard Open Courses
- Open Culture
- Khan Academy
- Duolingo: Free Language Courses
Free Games/Interactive Databases:
The Most Epic Science Graphics, Videos, and Interactive Features
If you really just have a passing interest in science, and you don't want to devote yourself to following specific individuals on a daily basis, below are some of the best one-off videos, graphics etc. that I have stumbled across.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson: Most Astounding Fact
- The Pale Blue Dot
- Balloons in Cars
- The Pale Blue Dot: Remastered
- Dance Your Ph.D.
- 60 Second Adventures in Thought
- True Science of Paralle Dimensions
- Feynman on the Scientific Method
- Feynman on the Character of Physical Law; Feynman on Scientific Method is a shortened version of this.
- The Scale of the Universe
- Google’s 100,000 Stars: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Super Planet Crash
- Galaxy Size Comparison Chart
- Size of the Universe
- If The Moon Were a Pixel
- Mass Energy Scale: MinuteLabs
- Zen Pencil: Pale Blue Dot
- Chris Hadfield: An Astronauts Advice
- The Oatmeal: Nikola Tesla
- The Oatmeal: Mantis Shrimp
- Science News Cycle: PhD Comics
Non-Science Things That Will (probably) Make You A Better Person:
- Depression: Part II (Hyperbole and a Half)
- Language, Grammar, and Pedants: Stephen Fry
- TED: School Kills Creativity
- The Other Public Humanities