Of Schemes and Memes Blog

Science as seen on screen – part IV: Nature YouTube Video Vote

The fifth post in our mini-series on science as seen on screen.

Throughout our mini series, we have been considering what makes a great science video. We’ve looked at the history of science on screen, considered how to present science online, and have gathered some top tips on how to make a science video.

Armed with this information, we encourage you to help us in our efforts to judge the best Nature Video. We’ve collated four of our favourites from the Nature Video YouTube channel, selecting them for a variety of reasons, not simply how popular they’ve proved to date.

We invite you to tell us which one deserves the title of Best Nature Video!

And the nominees are…..

Lego Antikythera mechanism:

The Antikythera Mechanism is the oldest known scientific computer. Built in Greece around 100 BCE but lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. However, it wasn’t until a century later that its purpose was understood: it’s an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. 

In 2010, to celebrate the launch of Digital Science, a new division of Macmillan Publishers that provides technology solutions for researchers, Nature Video and collaborators built a fully-functional replica out of Lego. 

Bat Sense:

This stunning slow motion footage shows how bats use echolocation to find water. We know how bats echolocate to hunt insects, but this is the first study to show how they recognise large, flat objects like ponds. Moreover, by testing young bats that had never encountered a pond or river before, the researchers showed that bats seem to have a built-in ability to recognize these important features of their environment. Read the original research paper here.

The First Britons:

A haul of stone tools unearthed from a beach in England hints that humans were living in northern Europe far earlier than we thought – and in a cold climate. The finding suggests that the first Britons were a hardy bunch, able to thrive in Scandinavian-like conditions.

The Barefoot Professor:

Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman has ditched his trainers and started running barefoot. His research shows that barefoot runners, who tend to land on their fore-foot, generate less impact shock than runners in sports shoes who land heel first. This makes barefoot running comfortable and could minimize running-related injuries. Read more here, and find the original research here.

Please make your vote here….

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Votes will close at 5pm on Monday 28th March


  1. Report this comment

    Barbara Ferreira said:

    These are all great videos, thanks for sharing. If I were to vote on the science, I would probably have picked the bat sense one. It is incredible that bats try to drink from a shinny surface thinking it’s a lake! But given that the vote is supposed to be given to the best video, I really had to choose the Antikythera mechanism one. The first time I saw that a few months ago, I couldn’t believe they had built a replica of the entire think out of Lego and made it work! I think the video is amazing because they explain exactly how the machine calculates the position of astronomical bodies and determines when eclipses are occuring. An excelent example of how to present great science on screen.

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    Laura Wheeler said:

    Thanks Barbara for your thoughts, it’s great to get an idea of what people are thinking and the reasons for their choice!  

    It has also been a very difficult decision for me.  In fact I love them all.  We have had many tweets from readers who are also struggling to make a decision, so you are not alone.  I won’t reveal my choice just yet, I don’t want to skewer the results – but it took several attempts at watching each video over and over to finally make my decision!  


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    Eva Amsen said:

    That was hard – they’re all so different! I like both the Lego one and the barefoot professor, but choosing between the two is like comparing apples and oranges.

  4. Report this comment

    Laura Wheeler said:

    Voting has now closed- thanks to everyone who voted!  Keep your eyes peeled for the results! 

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