How Are Scientists Using Video?

In the video embedded below, I continue my conversation with Eric Brennan, a researcher with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, who recently published a paper in Frontiers in Communication called “Why Should Scientists Be On YouTube? It’s All About Bamboo, Oil, and Ice Cream“.

That paper inspired us to join forces and initiate a video series to answer questions that science professionals may have about making videos. Each video focuses on a different question. In this one, we discuss the different ways scientists are using video to communicate.

In case you missed it, here is the first video in the series: Why Should Scientists Use Video as a Communication Tool?

Mangrove Scientists Gone Wild

What happens when mangrove researchers from around the world get together for a writing workshop in the Florida Keys? For one thing, they learn how to make a video about their research.

I recently attended the Mangrove and Macrobenthos Meeting (MMM4) in St. Augustine, followed by a workshop in the Keys to plan a series of papers about mangroves. At the workshop, I gave a brief tutorial on how to make a video to share science and then challenged the attendees to make a video about mangroves or some other topic of interest.

I began my tutorial with a tongue-in-cheek movie trailer—featuring some of the workshop attendees. I had been filming our drive from St. Augustine to the Keys and our field excursions with my iPhone. I used the footage to create a movie trailer in iMovie for iOS. The idea was to start off my tutorial with a fun example and to show how easy it is to film, edit, and publish a video about an event or other activity using a smartphone.

If you are a newbie videographer, you can use one of the iMovie trailer templates to produce a brief video about an event such as a conference or a workshop. It took me about an hour to create the trailer with the template (most of the time was spent screening the footage and deciding which to use). It’s a great way to advertise an event or to share activities with people who were not able to attend:

One More Freebie

Since I’ve made free copies of my book, The Scientist Videographer, available at Smashwords, I’ve decided to also offer free copies of the original (interactive) version of my book, (readable on iPad, iPhone, & Mac) in exchange for a review.screenshot_book_itunes

Here’s how to get yours: email me at and indicate that you would like to review my book in the iTunes Store. I will then send you the promo code, and you will be able to download the book for free. There is a limited number of these promos, and they are going fast.

Don’t have an Apple device? Consider using this offer to gift my book to a colleague or student who has an iPad, iPhone, or Mac and who has expressed an interest in making videos.

Why am I giving my book away for free?

Well, mainly because I’m not looking to make money with it. My primary motivation in publishing the book was to encourage and promote better communication of science by science professionals. All of the information and tutorials (now numbering more than 100) I’ve created since 2012 are available for free. I wanted to make that information available in a more organized and focused way, so I pulled it together in this book.

I self-published The Scientist Videographer via iBooks Author (which, by the way, is an awesome authoring platform). I’ve depended on word of mouth and social media to get the word out. Book reviews also are really important to encourage people to read my book and to try using video as a communication tool.

If you are one of the many visitors to this blog (about 400 per day) who have benefitted from the information and free tutorials you found here or on my YouTube channel, please help me spread the word by writing a review and telling your colleagues and friends about my offer.