I recently discovered a website called iBiology, which appears, generally, to be aimed at educating the science-interested public about a wide variety of scientific topics by filming established PhD scientists giving lectures/seminars designed to explain their topic of interest to people who may not have a strong background in science. The iBioMagazine component of the website “offers a collection of very short talks that highlight the human side of research,” so if you aren’t up for watching an entire lecture, you can watch shorter videos that are around 10 minutes long each. If you just browse the site, there are a mix of videos that cater towards a wide range of individuals, from people who have no background in science to scientists who are interested in learning more about a new topic. I think these videos are really great for providing information about some of the specific fields of science that are actively being researched today.
Another aspect of iBiology that I am impressed with is the Getting Inspired section. Whereas the seminars and lectures are focused on explaining scientific concepts, this section focuses on other aspects of science: other jobs besides bench research that are available to people interested in science; how people coming from different backgrounds ended up in science; and “cool science,” which in short videos explains how science is related to everyday occurrences.
I’m really impressed that a website like this exists, because it’s exactly something I’d envisioned either finding or creating at some point! I’d love for iBiology to grow in the future to include more interaction between the public and scientists through the site.
How did I find iBiology? From a friend that posted about a chat with Bruce Alberts that happened last Friday. Yes, the Bruce Alberts who first wrote Molecular Biology of the Cell! (Okay, I admit, I looked that up, but I knew I recognized the name from somewhere!) He was doing a live Google Hangouts chat for an hour on Friday afternoon. The fact that iBiology can recruit such prolific scientists as he really shows the impact that the site is trying to develop. They seem to do these live chats monthly; the next is scheduled for March 6. Unfortunately I missed the chat today, but luckily for me (and you!), the video is available online.