Cool science stuff on the Web

A miscellaneous compendium of sites where people are doing interesting things with science communication. Please feel free to suggest sites to add to this list. We’re looking for creative attempts to popularize science rather than informational sites.

The Story Collider, a collection of true, personal stories about science started by two physicists.

The Lab Grammy Song Parody of the Year, an award given by the journal BioTechniques for the best pop song parody submitted by a lab. One of my favorites is the Lady Gaga parody Bad project. Pay particular attention to the costumes. There is also a Lab Grammy for the best educational video.

In the Pipeline, chemist Derek B. Lowe’s blog on pharmaceutical chemistry (and other things chemical).

Dance your PhD, a contest sponsored by Science, AAAS (publisher of Science), and HighWire Press — which challenges scientists around the world to explain their PhD research in dance. You can see the 2014 winner, a dance about plant-soil feedbacks after a tornado, on YouTube.

XKCD takes on the Up Goer Five Challenge: an attempt to describe the parts of a rocket carrying a payload in the 1000 most common words in the English language.

XKCD’s 1190th strip, TimeA movie with an extremely slow frame rate created by updating a frame every 30 minutes for five days and then every hour for 118 days,

A Journey through the Chromosomes, an exciting video journey through the chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA that make us who we are. The Royal Institution of Science.

Metaculus, a site started by two physicists that crowdsources predictions for the near future. The questions that are raised are mostly techie and the participants mostly male.

Brusspup. an amazing collection of optical illusions and science. Creator is under deep cover. See also Michael Bruch’s website, which explains how some of the illusions work. Others remain mysterious.

If the Moon were only one pixel, a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system.

Voices of Science, a collection of audio interviews with British scientists telling the stories of some of the most remarkable discoveries of the past century. See also: Oral History of British Science. Recommended by Teresa Wong, graduate student in earth and planetary science.

Creature Cast, the unexpected world of biology, often in animated cut paper. From the Dunn Lab at Brown University.

Oxford Sparks, an animated series of adventures in science starring your little green guide, Ossie. From Oxford University.

BioVisions at Harvard University. Most famous for this video of the cell.

A Virtual Quantum Physics lab by the University of Vienna.

The Puzzling Stack Exchange, a Q and A site for those who create, solve and study puzzles. You can sign up for a weekly email.

The Wayback Machine, an archive of old web pages for those annoying times when you forget to pay for your domain name and they put it up for sale and block your access to your own content.

And, of course, Retraction Watch. Sigh.

 

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