Contents

NOW AVAILABLE IN iTUNES STORE    WATCH MEDIA TRAILER

Videography skills will becThe Scientist Videographer Bookome increasingly important for the scientist of the future to keep pace with the rapid changes in communications technology and electronic publishing. As public 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 scientists must be prepared to provide it.

The Scientist Videographer is a detailed how-to for scientists, science educators, and students who wish to make their own videos. The author has combined text, video, and other interactive content to create an electronic guidebook to science videography. This ebook shows how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish an effective and professional-looking science video to:

  • Produce multimedia content for Websites or science blogs
  • Demonstrate a technique or experimental protocolbookquote_bird
  • Show “broader impacts” of research in grant proposals
  • Create supplemental online material for journal articles
  • Create a video abstract to submit with a journal article
  • Produce online lessons or courses
  • Film lectures, class field trips, or other activities
  • Prepare outreach materials
  • Explain current events or discoveries
  • Show off experimental facilities or scientific equipment
  • Illustrate technical, teaching, and/or communication skills
  • Prepare job interview/promotion materials
  • Raise visibility in the scientific/education community
  • Promote a positive public image of science and scientists

This ebook is a must-have for the current generation of science students as well as established scientists who wish to add video to their communication toolbox. By following the instructions and tutorials included in this ebook, anyone can quickly acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to create their own science videos. This ebook is chock-full of tutorials, tips, examples, and exercises designed to get you started in science videography. It is written especially for those scientists and students who want to use video in their teaching or research but cannot afford or don’t have access to a media specialist. The use of inexpensive hardware, software, and accessories is emphasized to allow video creation without breaking the bank.

The information in this book is not just for scientists, either. If you are an educator, consultant, resource manager or entrepreneur and need to learn how to create a video, you will find that the instructions in this ebook are readily transferable to other fields and different objectives.

The Scientist Videographer, which is available in the iTunes Store for $14.99, can be read on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac (running OSX10.9 and with iBooks 1.0 or later). To download to your device, you first need to get the iBooks app (available in the App Store) and then search for the title, The Scientist Videographer. Once downloaded, you will have access to all the included interactive content as well as hyperlinks to additional online material. If you prefer, you can first download a free sample, which includes the book’s media trailer and first Chapter. Then if you decide to purchase, it’s easy to update to the full version.

A text-only version of The Scientist Videographer is now available at Amazon for Kindle. If you prefer to read on your computer, you can download a Kindle reader to your PC here.

A text-only version is also available at other major retailers via Smashwords.

Recent Posts

Use Video To Tell Interesting Stories About How Science Works

When I first began making videos in 2008 about my scientific research (published on the U.S. Geological Survey’s YouTube Channel), my objective was to more widely report the findings of my projects and to help advertise my journal articles. For example, the video “Chasing the Mud” was designed to explain how I and colleagues studied the effects of the historic 2011 Mississippi River flood and to summarize the results of our paper published in Nature Geoscience. When I was interviewed by a news agency about the paper, I provided the link to the video, which the journalist then embedded in the news article. The video, which has had almost 12,000 views, thus served to augment the academic article in a format that was more accessible to the general public.

However, beyond reporting the results of our study, that video also featured the unique wetlands we visited during our sampling surveys and showed how we used a helicopter to access remote study sites in the Mississippi River Delta Complex. In later videos, such as this one about a study conducted in mangrove forests in Belize, I often emphasized my experiences doing fieldwork and the methods required. In other words, these videos showed the viewer how science gets done and some of the interesting places where scientists work.

Since those early videos, I’ve tried to encourage colleagues to make videos highlighting interesting aspects of their work and to avoid boring the viewer with a lot of data. Another point is that you can make a video about your work even before the final results are in or before you publish the paper. For example, you can make a video about why your research is important to society, to describe your field of research, obstacles you’ve overcome, your unique research setting or methods, or to overturn stereotypes about scientists. All such videos can be done without research results and are likely to be more interesting to the average viewer.

A recent essay and video illustrate my point nicely. Adrian Smith, who studies ants, filmed himself being bitten. In the video (see below), he basically answered the question as to whether it would hurt to be bitten by a trap-jaw ant, which can shut its jaws “faster than almost any other recorded animal movement”. In the essay, Smith said that this experience changed his outlook on communicating science. He realized that, by mainly focusing on conveying the results of scientific endeavors, he had missed opportunities to tell more compelling stories about his experiences doing science. By emphasizing a fascinating observation or answering a question that viewers might have, it’s possible to reach a wider audience and interest them in your research topic. His video below shows an example of this approach.

You, too, can take advantage of this approach and make a video about an interesting or inspiring aspect of your scientific research. Below, I repeat a list of suggested topics to use as the focus of a brief video.

  • Share your joy about doing science.
  • Describe what you like most about being a scientist or your particular science discipline.
  • Talk about a challenge that you faced and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a failure and what you learned from it.
  • Show where you work (laboratory or field) and explain what you like about it.
  • Demonstrate your passion for your scientific topic and why you think it is important.
  • Describe how your curiosity led you to a discovery.
  • Talk about scientific integrity and how you strive to avoid bias.
  • Point out the challenge of finding sufficient funding to conduct your research.
  • Show how your research is helping a local community cope with a health or environmental issue.
  • Have citizens, resource managers, farmers, doctors, or other end users of science information describe the importance of your research to them.
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