Fighting anti-science scaremongering, Upworthy-style
February 5, 2014 3:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for links to pithy and readily engaging videos and/or infographics that present positive, optimistic, even inspiring, pro-science perspectives on any topic or area of controversy in which otherwise intelligent, well-meaning people might find themselves unwittingly supporting unscientific, pseudo-scientific, anti-scientific or technophobic viewpoints -- e.g. defenses of GMOs, vaccines, and "conventional" medicine, and educating against the naturalism fallacy and scare-mongering against "artificial chemicals," and psychiatric medication, etc.

I'm looking primarily for compelling video content that grabs the viewer pretty quickly. A long-ish video could work if there's a particularly pithy, impactful part viewers could be advised to skip to (and then hopefully go back and watch the whole thing.) Text content could also work, if it's presented in a visually interesting way.

What I'm finding out there are tons of "takedowns" of pseudo-science that have a argumentative, snide or outright derisive tone, and while those can be fun and cathartic for the like-minded, I'm looking for more positive, hope-inspiring takes on the subject -- more "yay science!" than "boo, stupid people." Content that paints a picture of all the great things we can do, all of the suffering we have -- and can continue to -- prevent, if we only embrace reason, skepticism and the scientific method, aside our suspicion of expertise and specialized knowledge, and abandon our fears of change.

[Note: I'm not looking for an argument on any of these issues. There are many, many forums on the internet for debate on such topics, so here, I'm just looking for help finding the materials I'm asking about.]
posted by patnasty to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Science is real.
posted by superfish at 3:18 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Neil deGrasse Tyson's Star Talk. NdGT on The Colbert Report.

Star Talk is about 30 mins each but between the topics and guests like GZA, Anthony Bourdain, and Jim Gaffigan they are very fun and easy to watch. Some topics are more general science than others but really, searching YouTube for Tyson will reveal tons of great stuff.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:35 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

A good, clear, non-judgmental vaccine infographic.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:40 PM on February 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

I second Star Talk.
posted by Mblue at 4:36 PM on February 5, 2014

Bill Gates has a really nice whiteboard video on vaccines - not so much on safety as on the value of them as a humanitarian thing.
posted by lakeroon at 6:36 PM on February 5, 2014

The very nature of what you seek is not scientific. Upworthy-style emotional appeals and razzle-dazzle are not science; the same techniques promote all manner of quackery equally as well. Any video involving application of the scientific method will work: make a hypothesis and test it:

Bill Nye the science guy (and his experiments on Almost Live)
Mythbusters (to some degree)
posted by flimflam at 7:11 PM on February 5, 2014

I think that Michael Shermer's Baloney Detection Kit might fit your criteria, though it is 14 minutes which may be longer than you are hoping for. He starts with the statement:
"I'm often asked 'Why should I believe you skeptics' and my answer is 'You shouldn't. You shouldn't believe anybody based on authority or whatever position they might have, you should check it out yourself", and we call this generally our Baloney Detection Kit inspired by Carl Sagan's idea that there's a lot of baloney out there and we need a kit to detect it, and that kit is called science and that's what science does best."

posted by gubenuj at 8:02 PM on February 5, 2014

If you are specifically looking for stuff to share on Facebook there is this.
posted by K.P. at 2:45 AM on February 6, 2014

I immunise is quite well done.
posted by scruss at 5:12 AM on February 6, 2014

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