Top 20 fascinating YouTube channels for science junkies in 2018
I have always been fascinated by YouTube. Think about it – you land on YouTube and before you know it, hours have passed; we have all been there! It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for cat videos, exotic recipes, or everyday science applications. YouTube has it all, provided you know where and how to look. And personally, I believe that nothing on YouTube can demonstrate endless possibilities better than the world of science.
That’s right! There are some great science-oriented YouTube channels out there, all of which specially cater to anyone that is interested in the wonders of science. What better way to explore the latest research updates, talks by subject matter experts, and the enthralling mysteries of the world we live in, than through visually engaging videos!
Now, given your packed schedules, I understand that you couldn’t possibly have the time to browse through YouTube hoping to stumble upon relevant channels. So, in this post, I’ve put together a list of the 20 most fascinating science YouTube channels for you! This list has something for everyone – whether you’re fascinated by physics, captivated by chemistry, or astounded by the wonders of astronomy.
For each YouTube channel, I’ve included the kind of topics it covers and also one of its videos. This should help you quickly decide which channels are most suited to you. I hope you enjoy reading this article and find interesting YouTube channels you can subscribe to!
1. Science Magazine (@sciencemagazine):
Embodying the core of science communication, the Science Magazine YouTube channel showcases videos that capture the latest in “scientific news, commentary and cutting-edge research.” The channel hosts more than 500 interesting videos, categorized into playlists covering fields like archaeology, heath and disease, and genetics. Each video – functioning as a visual abstract for a paper published in Science – explains the premise of the paper and highlights its key findings in a creative, visually engaging manner.
2. AsapSCIENCE (@AsapSCIENCE):
Co-created by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, the AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel is surely one of the most fun science-related YouTube channels! Populated with over 250 vibrant and engaging videos, AsapSCIENCE provides a “weekly dose of fun and interesting science.” Every week, AsapSCIENCE shares a video that is focussed on answering a question pertaining to broad topics like health, nature, food, and much more. If the idea of merging science and music fascinates you, then be sure to explore the channel’s AsapSONGS playlist!
3. minutephysics (@minutephysics):
Ever considered breaking down complex physics concepts using animated videos? Seems like an inconceivable feat, right? Well, not for Henry Reich, physicist and creator of minutephysics. With over 200 videos, this YouTube channel has been inspired by the Einstein quote – If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Tackling concepts such as relativity of simultaneity, black holes, and quantum mechanics, the channel offers quick, entertaining explanations of old and new problems in physics using an engaging animated video format. If you’re a physics enthusiast, minutephysics is definitely worth your time.
4. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (@Kurz_Gesagt):
Founded by Information Designer Philipp Dettmer, Kurzgesagt (which literally means “in a nutshell” in German) showcases videos that explain science with “optimistic nihilism.” Kurzgesagt is made up of a small, passionate team that is driven to “make science look beautiful.” They believe that no topic can be boring if you are a stellar storyteller. With close to 80 videos, this Munich-based YouTube channel paints colourful yet informative stories on topics such as genetic engineering, nuclear energy and biology.
5. Veritasium (@veritasium):
Veritasium was created by Dr. Derek Muller, PhD in Physics Education Research and science communicator. Explained best by Dr. Muller himself, the Veritasium YouTube channel provides “science and engineering videos featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science.” Showcasing more than 240 videos, the channel breathes life into topics such as inertia, schlieren imaging, and misconceptions about the universe.
6. CrashCourse (@TheCrashCourse):
Co-created by brother duo John Green and Hank Green, the CrashCourse YouTube channel features a range of bite-sized, easy-to-consume educational videos across various fields. Each video perfectly balances commentary by an expert instructor – the Green brothers and their associates – along with engaging visual illustrations. With over 900 videos, CrashCourse covers topics right from world history and psychology to astronomy and statistics. If you’re looking to do some reading and wish to explore other intriguing fields aside from your own, then CrashCourse could be a great means to test the waters.
7. SciShow (@SciShow):
Created by Hank Green, one of the co-creators of CrashCourse, SciShow “explores the unexpected.” With a special theme reserved for each day of the week, SciShow posts videos seven days a week; resulting in an archive of more than 1,600 videos! The SciShow team – Hank Green, Michael Aranda, and Olivia Gordon – says that “they hate not knowing things" and deep dive into various scientific subjects ranging from astrophysics and astronomy to chemistry and biology. Their playlist dedicated to great minds in science is a must-watch!
8. Numberphile (@numberphile):
Simply put, the Numberphile YouTube channel features riveting videos about numbers. Created by video journalist and film-maker Brady Haran, Numberphile is one of 17 other channels either created by Brady or on which he is a contributor. With over 450 videos, Numberphile showcases insightful commentary by prolific mathematicians and other experts in the field of mathematics such as Hannah Fry, Cédric Villani, and Dr. Holly Krieger. Each of these hosts holds a mathematical lens over topics such as perfect numbers, marriage, crime, sports, and origami.
9. thebrainscoop (@Ehmee):
If you are a history buff and love museums and exploring the beginnings of authentic artifacts, then you simply have to swing by The Brain Scoop YouTube channel. Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum, Chicago, is the writer, producer, co-creator, and host of this channel. In her own words, thebrainscoop was created to give a behind-the-scenes peek of The Field Museum which houses a collection of close to 40 million artifacts and specimens. Through her YouTube channel, Emily aims to “share the work of scientists and the value of research collections with the world.” With close to 200 videos, the channel will take you through the fascinating world of fossils, meteors, the “Rare Book Room” at the Field Museum, and much more!
10. Physics Girl (@thephysicsgirl):
Created by science communicator Dianna Cowern, the Physics Girl YouTube channel provides videos about physics, astronomy, and other science-related topics. What started as a post-college personal project now caters to the needs of varying groups including educators and physics nerds. Housing more than a 100 interesting videos, the channel features DIY (Do It Yourself) demonstrations, expert interviews, physics applied to everyday life situations, and much more! Cleverly explained by Dianna herself, the channel has “physics videos for every atom and eve.”
11. MinuteEarth (@MinuteEarth):
The MinuteEarth YouTube channel was created by a group of scientists, writers, and illustrators, all of whom are passionate about sharing their curiosity with the world. Determined to expand “the world of online stick-figure science explanations,” Henry Reich (creator or minuteephysics) along with his associates Emily Elert, Alex Reich, Peter Reich, Ever Salazar, Kate Yoshida, and David Goldenberg started the channel in 2013. Housing over 150 videos, MinuteEarth addresses several mysteries of the world and science such as why do rivers curve, what are brain waves, and why syrup is sticky.
12. CEN Online (@cenmag):
C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News) is the “flagship magazine of the American Chemical Society.” Their YouTube channel, CEN Online, is an informative resource for anyone interested in chemistry. With an archive of over 290 videos, CEN Online gives you a sneak-peek into chemistry labs around the globe and offers a fresh look at cutting-edge chemistry research. Be sure to browse through their ‘Speaking of Chemistry’ playlist – a video series that sheds light on the role played by chemistry in our everyday lives.
13. World Science Festival (@WorldSciFest):
Annually celebrated, the World Science Festival was created by the World Science Foundation, a non-profit organization. The World Science Festival YouTube channel showcases the gathering of “great minds in science and the arts.” Their goal is to enable a broader audience to engage with scientific discoveries. With a rich archive of more than 950 videos, the channel covers topics such as neuroscience, self-taught robots, hidden dimensions, and more!
14. Talk Nerdy To Me (@HuffPostScience):
The Talk Nerdy To Me YouTube channel is an original HuffPost Science video series. According to the channel’s creators, it is meant to boldly go “where scientists ... have gone before." Hosted by Karah Preiss, each of the videos featured on Talk Nerdy To Me delves into varying science-related topics from the perspective of a layperson. Posting one new video every week, the channel aims to explain some of the most intricate, complex scientific concepts and reflects how these affect our lives.
15. Periodic Videos (@periodicvideos):
Created by Numberphile creator Brady Haran, the Periodic Videos YouTube channel is a chemistry video series run by Brady and professors from the University of Nottingham. The channel hosts a whopping 641 videos and posts new videos every week. One of the channel’s most fascinating features is that it showcases a video for each element on the periodic table. Periodic Videos also posts science news updates, the latest developments in the world of chemistry, and other interesting chemistry-related topics.
16. Reactions (@ACSReactions):
Another YouTube channel devoted to “uncovering the chemistry in everyday life” is Reactions. Created by Adam Dylewski, Director of Programming at PBS Digital Studios, Reactions belongs to the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios. The channel aims to answer “burning questions” on food chemistry, medicinal drugs, the human body, and animals, amongst other interesting topics!
17. Applied Science (@BenKrasnow):
If you’re looking for videos that present interesting science and technology applications, then you will love the Applied Science YouTube channel. Showcasing over 200 videos, Applied Science is hosted by Ben Krasnow, Senior Staff Hardware Engineer at Verily. Every Tuesday, Ben posts a video of an exciting, challenging project he’s been working on. These hi-tech projects could deal with fields like chemistry, electromechanical systems, and electronics. Explore Applied Science to learn how to 3D print your brain, how anti-theft tags work, how an electron microscope was built in a home shop, and much more!
18. acapellascience (@acapellascience):
The acapellascience YouTube channel is suitable for anyone who wants to learn about science through the fun medium of music, particularly “Acapella music.” Created by Tim Blais, who refers to himself as a “science musician,” acapellascience features captivating explanations of science-related topics, such as entropic time, gravity, how humans evolved from single-celled organisms. What makes this channel so unique is that each explanation takes the form of a catchy, perfectly harmonized acapella song - or as Tim likes to call them - musical science extravaganzas!
19. Deep Astronomy (@DeepAstronomy):
The Deep Astronomy YouTube channel is a great choice for anyone looking for space documentaries on YouTube. Founder Tony Darnell says that he has “been in love with the night sky for as long as he can remember.” With over 500 videos, the channel caters to “Space Fans” who are interested in learning concepts and getting first-hand updates about the latest discoveries in astronomy. According to Tony, he tries to present these concepts “in a way that provides some perspective of the importance of astronomy in our daily lives.”
20. Interactive Biology (@Leah4Sci):
Initially created by blogger Leslie Samuel in order to make biology easy to understand, the Interactive Biology YouTube channel is now hosted by Leah Fisch, a professional tutor and advisor. Housing more than 170 videos, the channel deals with topics such as the anatomy of the heart, the pathophysiology of hypertension, Kinesiology, and much more!
So there you have it – 20 fascinating YouTube channels for anyone with a hankering for science and its wonders! What did you think of the list? Have you already bookmarked a couple of your favorites? Do you know of any other such interesting science-related YouTube channels that we may have missed? Tell us in the comments section! We’d love to hear your views and suggestions!