Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Live science from a researcher near you

YouTube is famously popular. Who hasn’t gotten links to hilarious, pathetic, or just plain strange YouTube videos in their email?

The National Science Foundation, Public Library of Science (PLoS), and the San Diego Supercomputer Center have teamed up to launch what bloggers and journalists are billing as the “YouTube for Scientists.” In SciVee, scientists can upload multimedia video podcasts that are associated with papers that they have published on PLoS. SciVee is structured to build communities among scientists through communication and discussion surrounding shared research interests. The SciVee “About Us” (http://www.scivee.tv/about) page has an excellent graphic that demonstrates their mission well:

I have watched a couple of videos on SciVee. There are not many, however this resource has only been available for about a week. Time will tell whether scientists will find this method of communication useful and comfortable. From what I have seen, there are differences in presentation quality and approaches. Some have chosen to give a straightforward lecture, while others have used photographs, slides, music, and animations to illustrate their paper. For example, in a video linked to a paper entitled “Order in Spontaneous Behavior” by Alexander Maye, Chih-hao Hsieh, George Sugihara, Björn Brembs, I was able to see video of a fruit fly glued to a mechanism that measured head movements. This video illustrated the author’s device much better than a written description.

I am interested to see how the scientific community takes to this new dissemination medium. I hope the Eckerd community will check it out and leave me some comments.

SciVee (http://www.scivee.tv/)

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