PBS's It's Okay to Be Smart

PBS's It's Okay to Be Smart

I want to shine a spotlight on my favorite science education YouTube channel, It's Okay to Be Smart, by PBS. Biologist Dr. Joe Hanson has been making these videos for the better part of a decade now. He and the whole It's Okay to Be Smart team are excellent science communicators, making complex concepts fun and completely graspable, with a healthy dose of my favorite flavor: infectious enthusiasm.

In addition to sharing good science, I particularly like his modeling of how to be a good scientist. It's about curiosity, it's about always striving to get closer to the truth, it's about humility, and best of all it's about collaboration. He regularly reaches out to folks who know more than he does, and it hasn't escaped my notice that a lot of the super smart folks he includes are women.

The channel doesn't seem to be specifically targeting a kids audience—these videos are for anyone who's curious about the world.

It's Okay to Be Smart has just debuted a special series I'm especially SQUEEEEEE-level excited about: it's called In Our Nature, and it's about taking a bigger-picture view of how life on Earth connects into complex, interdependent systems. It's in much better alignment with how Wanda and I talk about the natural world than a lot of other kids' science content out there. We're not the sort of folks who'll get super into one particular animal—we get excited about the big picture. Lots of thinking and talking about ecosystems and evolution in our house, variety and balance.

It's been impossible for me to pick favorite videos to highlight here in this post—I didn't even try, I just sorta picked random ones. There isn't a stinker in the bunch.

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