This website is designed to encourage and inform students, teachers, scientists, and other science professionals who are interested in using video to convey information about themselves, their work, or a topic of interest. Here and on my YouTube channel you will find video tutorials, tips, reviews, and other information that will help you plan, shoot, edit, and publish effective and professional-looking videos.

Videography skills will become increasingly important for the scientist of the future to keep pace with the rapid changes in communications technology and electronic publishing. As demand for more accessible and engaging science information increases and as competition for science jobs, research funding, and space in journals becomes more intense, those scientists with multimedia skills such as videography will be at a distinct advantage. 21st century consumers of scientific information, both technical and non-technical, will expect media-rich content, and science educators and researchers must be prepared to provide it.

Learn How to Create a Video

screenshot_iphoneWatch tutorials to learn, step-by-step, how to design and make a video to demonstrate a new method, produce an online lesson, record a screen presentation, and create other communication products. Tap the image to the left to see a tutorial showing how to shoot and edit a video with a smartphone. For more tutorials, see this list by category (or select Tutorials in the Navigation bar).

Now Available: The Scientist Videographer eBookThe Scientist Videographer Book

This ebook is a detailed how-to for scientists, science educators, and students who wish to make their own videos. This electronic guidebook was created with a new authoring platform to combine text, video, and other interactive content to facilitate learning. This ebook shows how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish an effective and professional-looking science video to demonstrate a new method, record an online lesson or lecture, create supplemental online material for a journal article, produce a virtual tour of a laboratory or experimental facility, to raise online visibility—and many other uses.

Read more about the book on this page (or select eBook in the top navigation bar).

Who Is The Scientist Videographer?

cameraoperator_cartoon_klmckeeI am a research scientist who has discovered the value of having videography skills in my communication toolbox—which in the future will be just as important as writing and oral presentation skills are now for a successful science career. I’ve found that video has not only expanded my abilities to explain and share my science with others, it has benefited my career in ways I never dreamed possible. To learn more about what led me to acquire videography skills and why I think it will be a critical communication skill for the scientist of the 21st century, check out my About page. See the links in Other Science Contributions for more information about me and my research.

My Science Videos

Mississippi River Flood of 2011

Public domain image (U.S. Geological Survey)

In addition to science videography tutorials, I have produced and published several peer-reviewed science videos as well as a number of other videos on various science and science-career topics. I provide links to those videos on My Science Videos page to show how someone with no formal training in videography, media, or science communication can produce effective videos to convey a science message. I made my first science video in 2008 and have since published about 80 videos (including tutorials).

If I can do it, so can you.

The Scientist Videographer Blog

For more information, tips, video reviews and general musings about science communication, go to my blog. Here you will find additional material and links to video tutorials and other instructional information. See recent posts below or select Blog in the Navigation bar.

mangroves_K.L. McKee

Recent Posts

What is Watson and What Does It Have to Do with Videos?

This post is part of a series about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential role in science communication. In this second post (part 2), I describe Watson, a computer that was trained to assist in the making of a movie trailer.

artificial-intelligence-elon-musk-hawkingIn the previous post (part 1), I explained that IBM’s computer system, Watson, was used to help a Hollywood film studio make a trailer for the movie, Morgan. But what is Watson? According to the IBM website, Watson is “a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data”. Translating that into everyday language: Watson is a computer that can answer tricky questions like the ones posed on the gameshow Jeopardy!. In 2011, Watson beat two reigning champions, providing answers to Jeopardy! clues—example: even a broken one of these on your wall is right twice a day; correct reply: what is a clock?—and winning $1,000,000 (which was donated to two charities).

Actually, Watson is a cluster of computers (90 servers and 2880 processor cores) running something called DeepQA software. Despite its performance on Jeopardy!, Watson does not “think” like a human and arrives at an answer to a question differently. Tons of information from various sources have been input, providing Watson with an enormous information base to analyze. For the game show, Watson used more than 100 algorithms to come up with a set of reasonable answers to a question. It then ranked those answers and searched its information database for any evidence in support of each answer. The answer with the most evidence was given the highest confidence. When the confidence was not high enough during the Jeopardy! game, though, Watson did not risk losing money by offering an answer.

Despite fears that AI will eliminate jobs or go rogue and destroy humankind, as depicted in the Terminator series, the system is viewed by developers as a way to augment human intelligence and to reduce the time spent on tasks involving large amounts of information. IBM prefers the term Augmented Intelligence (systems that enhance and scale human intelligence) to Artificial Intelligence (systems that replicate human intelligence). There are many ways in which AI can augment information-intensive fields such as medicine, telecommunications, weather forecasting, and financial services. Since the Jeopardy! match, Watson has been used to create cognitive apps and computing tools for businesses and healthcare professionals.

It’s not difficult, then, to imagine AI systems aiding scientific research and especially the communication of those findings in a more efficient way. More and more people are getting their information, particularly about science, in the form of video, but many science professionals have little time or incentive to devote to learning and using new communication tools. A system that can reduce the time involved in making a video and simultaneously enhance the quality could greatly improve communication of science and its importance to society. The first cognitive movie trailer, aided by the computer, Watson, is a “proof of concept” in this regard.

For more information about Watson and preparation for the Jeopardy! gameshow, see this article: Ferrucci, D. et al. 2010. Building Watson: An overview of the DeepQA process. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence pp. 59-79.

This post is part of a series about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential role in science communication. In the next post (part 3), I’ll describe how Watson helped create a movie trailer.

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