The Brain Scoop

You know Emily Graslie, right? Emily has a YouTube channel called The Brain Scoop, which started at the University of Montana Zoological Museum and has since moved to the Field Museum in Chicago. If you don’t already subscribe, I highly recommend that you do. Emily’s job title is Chief Curiosity Correspondent, but really what she does is education and outreach. My favorite videos are the less scripted ones, the ones where the education happens informally. (I tend to like the dissection ones because I’m… gross? I find them really, really interesting. Example: The Wolf series. There are plenty of non-gross ones, too.)

Last year about this time, I was researching educational YouTube videos in preparation for my own video project. I stumbled on the Vlogbrothers channel. This is where The Brain Scoop started, in this video here. Even though I have had absolutely nothing to do with Emily’s success, I feel sort of invested and proud. I’ve been there since the beginning.

But then there’s this video, which makes me even prouder:

Way to go, girl, and keep it going.

I know that YouTube is supposed to be a community, and that the internet supposedly sparks conversations, but I rarely read comments myself for these very reasons. This video dovetails nicely into a conversation I picked up from Andromeda Yelton about women in tech a few weeks back and continued in various places, including Jason Griffey’s blog. I had some strong Feelings about this conversation at the time, but was unable to communicate them accurately. I’m continually turning all of this around in my head, trying to find my way through the gendered expectations of me related to all the different things I do in my life. Unrelated to libraryland I’m in a local band where the singers vs. musicians break down into clear gender lines. I straddle the line, occasionally singing, always playing. The unspoken assumption that as a female in the band I must be only a vocalist is pervasive. People are surprised to find that I mostly hang out in the back with the men, and I take 99.9% of the solos. It’s tricky business, walking the line of gender issues. I’m so glad to see people talking about it publicly.

It’s the end of the semester and you should really go check out The Brain Scoop with a cup of coffee and a cookie or two, just keep an eye on the Grossometer.

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