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Publication . Preprint . 2022

“Wissenschaft fürs Wohnzimmer” – two years of interactive, scientific livestreams weekly on YouTube

Nicolas Stoll; Matthias Wietz; Stephan Juricke; Franziska Pausch; Corina Peter; Jana C. Massing; Miriam Seifert; +4 Authors
Published: 03 Oct 2022
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

AbstractScience communication is becoming increasingly important to connect academia and society, and to counteract fake news among climate change deniers. Online video platforms, such as YouTube, offer great potential for low-threshold communication of scientific knowledge to the general public. In April 2020 a diverse group of researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research launched the YouTube channel “Wissenschaft fürs Wohnzimmer” (translated to “Sitting Room Science”) to stream scientific talks about climate change and biodiversity every Thursday evening. Here we report on the numbers and diversity of content, viewers, and presenters from 2 years and 100 episodes of weekly livestreams. Presented topics encompass all areas of polar research, social issues related to climate change, and new technologies to deal with the changing world and climate ahead. We show that constant engagement by a group of co-hosts, and presenters from all topics, career stages, and genders enable a continuous growth of views and subscriptions, i.e. impact. After 783 days the channel gained 30,251 views and 828 subscribers and hosted well-known scientists while enabling especially early career researchers to improve their outreach and media skills. We show that interactive and science-related videos, both live and on-demand, within a pleasant atmosphere, can be produced voluntarily while maintaining high quality. We further discuss challenges and possible improvements for the future. Our experiences may help other researchers to conduct meaningful scientific outreach and to push borders of existing formats with the overall aim of developing a better understanding of climate change and our planet.

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