YouTube educational channels (TEDs) are a great source of information for those seeking to expand their knowledge.   

Thanks to the YouTube generation, millions of people worldwide now have instant access to educational channels, which are enriching for those seeking to learn informally // Credit: Spencer E Holtaway
Thanks to the YouTube generation, millions of people worldwide now have instant access to educational channels, which are enriching for those seeking to learn informally // Credit: Spencer E Holtaway

Social media is undoubtedly the most prominent way in which the general public can gain access to the very latest science. Aside from news channels and journals, YouTube provides a much easier way for us to let a little scientific spark into our every day lives.

Technology, Education and Design (TED) is a popular channel with nearly 3 million subscribers and is undoubtedly the most well known educational channel. Although it has an array of topics and lecturers, with videos ranging in length and style, the selection could be overwhelming for the average viewer. However, there are many others lesser-known channels on YouTube that can be explored, and are definite to brighten up any rainy afternoon.

Although the name may not seem like the obvious choice, Vsauce’s videos are entertaining and provide a huge amount of information. While the channel isn’t ‘classical’ scientific knowledge, if there is anything on the weirder side anyone wants to get engrossed in, such as the science of the friend-zone, this should be the first port of call.

Fourth year Business student Rachel Kearney was asked whether she ever watched scientific videos online, and her reply came as a surprise. I try and watch a TED video every night! She enthused, There are topics spanning many subjects, I can find a video no matter how much time I have. They make great conversation starters and keep me up to date with the latest matters.

‘Reactions’, another channel that for many is still unknown, but can get viewers hooked on, has simple videos that answers a lot of queries people often wonder about. For example, ‘The Chemistry of Sriracha’ contains all anyone could ever care to know about their favourite sauce, from the chemical reaction that causes such a delicious burning sensation to how they make it remain vibrantly red.

The recent increase in the accessibility of science and the variety that there is to be immersed in via YouTube is amazing. Shunning Netflix and checking out what can be learnt on YouTube should be considered an option, if any rare spare moment online comes around.

By Bethany Williams