Some of you already know emily Graslie, the CCC (understand Chief Curiosity Correspondent) of the Field Museum in Chicago.
She has been hired at the Field because of the success she met while creating the Brain Scoop on Youtube. Emily is a American science communicator, which means she shares her passion on science museums online, on her Youtube channel. She has also been awarded Best Celebrity Nerd for 2014 and is a true feminist [she receives ton of sexist comments because she is a woman making videos on science… – Editor’s note]. All of this actually made it impossible for me not to meet her while I was in Chicago for business.
What is the Brain scoop now as you’re a in-house correspondent? Do you still keep your freedom of speech?
The Brain scoop concerns all science that happens in an institution. I mainly work with collection managers and curators, and the program shows the collection that is not on display at the museum, not what is happening backstage [with some exceptions though – Editor’s note]. My challenge is actually twofold: I know the museum’s team challenges and their concern but I also have a good relationship with the audience. People already know most on the things that are on display in the exhibits. They don’t need me for that. I want to satisfy both the curators and the public. The great thing is that at the Field Museum, I don’t have any approval process. The content is completely editorial but I usually go back to the scientists for fact checking to make sure I don’t miss out anything.
How the Brain scoop is perceived internally by the curator and the scientific staff?
Today you cannot stop people talking about you [when you’re an institution – Editor’s note] on social media. Therefore, scientists and institutions need to take that opportunity. Furthermore, the National Science Foundation gives grants to scientists whose research has broader impacts and does not only advance knowledge but also benefits society.
Brain Scoop already had a fan base but when the Field Museum hired me, they have opened a new channel to talk to this specific audience. Although, I try to satisfy as many curators as possible and talk of their researches [the Field museum employs about 100 research scientists and associates – Editor’s note], as they can all easily contact me to either promote their grants or research.
What’s your audience like?
My audience is mainly interested in collection based topics and animals, as you can see in my video: “Where do you get all these dead animals?”.
40% of the audience comes outside of the US and the rest, which is from the US is mostly from California and New York City. In this way, it is pretty close to the audience of the Field Museum which is mainly touristic. People who watch the Brain Scoop like science and knowledge, and not specifcally museums. They are mostly between 16 and 21 years old and I have quite a handful of early to mid 30s (maybe do they watch the video with their children?). Finally, 40% of my audience is female. Usually on other scientific channels on Youtube, you’ll have more about 80% male and 20% female. Maybe has it to do with the fact that I am a woman and that we are not many in that field?
All of this show that science can be just as engaging and fun as any other topic.