Wired on the emerging science video websites: see one, do one, teach one

Wired has a nice piece on Video Sites Help Scientists Show Instead of Tell by Alexis Madrigal focusing on the high-end, non-youtubish, let’s-build-the-pro-network-of-video-geeks-in-the-labs-out-there approach of JoVE. Video players mentioned on the pop side: LabAction and PloS backed SciVee. The real question of this niche market is: In order to penetrate the mainstream science audience what is the proper mix of anti-Web 2.0 professional science rules and Web 2.0 techniques science video site builders should apply. Profit is not on the agenda yet.

“Highlighting little tricks in a video that might not be apparent in a paper can save an enormous amount of time,” said Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, whose University of California-San Francisco lab has posted a video about “cortical neurogenesis,” or the growth of neurons in the cerebral cortex. “There’s an old adage in medicine about learning: See one, do one, teach one. It carries over to the research lab, too.”

Sharing those little tricks with scientists everywhere is the idea behind the Journal of Visualized Experiments, an all-video scientific journal that launched its microfluidics-focused eighth issue in early October.

Dry, jargon-laden scientific papers can leave out what scientist and blogger Attila Csordas calls “the tacit dimension” on his blog.”

Mr. Madrigal has chosen a good post of mine to refer as that early post, Science: video protocols can help to share the tacit dimension was the starting point in 2 respects: a., in the comment section Moshe Pritsker introduced JoVE one month later to the blogosphere, so I could spend the same day to cover it instead of hanging around in Cambridge with my girlfriend b., at the same time the idea of LabAction was born.

I finish the post later, just let me get the breakfast and go to the lab first…. ok, I am here again.

2 more problematic points:

“The expensive and time-consuming alternative (of online science videos) has been to visit the lab where the experiment was done, to get a demonstration.”

Do not forget about the good side of frequently visiting other labs: it is a way to contact real time with other researchers and share tricks and ideas at first hand, not at first site. To learn how to communicate…is a growing demand amongst researchers.

On the other hand there is no existing solution of how to videopublish original research. JoVE is perfect, when it is about teaching and demonstrating standard, routine techniques, but to find a way of recording first ever experiments, that is another story. This idea pushes toward some sort of Industrial Camera Recording system, which is problematic from a personal point of view. To get constantly video recorded in the lab is no good and kills creativity (best thought are coming from weird spontaneous moments in the kitchen during lunch, in the lavatory…anywhere ). But we can imagine an industrial camera system focused only to the setup (the bench, the hood, the FACS machine, the plate reader, the centrifuge) but not to the lab people, or to every available lab space.