Review: Bozeman Science
Bozeman Science is one of those YouTube channels you probably have never heard of that’s managed to become very, very popular. As of this writing, it boasts more than 500,000 subscribers, and its most popular videos (e.g., “A Tour of the Cell”). have been viewed millions of times. It is run by Paul Andersen, a high school teacher and education consultant from Bozeman, Montana (a small US city known as the location of the first contact between humans and Vulcans, at least if you watch Star Trek).
Many of the videos are on subjects relevant to biology: photosynthesis, cellular respiration, gene regulation, gene editing with CRISPR, and so on. Andersen also explores topics in chemistry, physics, statistics, and – especially recently – education itself. For example, one video introduces the educational practice of modeling instruction, where students are asked to develop their own models to explain how a scientific phenomenon works, which they then reason about with other students and the teacher.
These videos do require focused attention and a willingness to research the occasional bit of jargon. Andersen moves relatively quickly through his content, so although a video might only be 5 minutes long, you might have to watch it 2-3 times and consult some additional materials to “get it”. That’s not really frustrating, since Andersen has the calm and confident voice of a good teacher and is easy to listen to.
The videos use plenty of illustrations, and Andersen takes pains to overlay textual corrections to note errors in the original recording. If you’re going to check out one of his videos, I would make it the introduction to CRISPR gene editing, since it remains a very relevant topic and is also a good example of his teaching style.
Andersen relies on donations to support his work, but he does not appear to have plans to turn it into a larger franchise like Khan Academy. As it is, if you’re into science (or prepping for exams), I recommend subscribing to the channel and checking in from time to time for topics that may interest you.