Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


UBC student science video hits New York Times

Submitted by Tyee staff, 26 Sep 2012


When Megan Callahan, a UBC master's student, took part in a video production workshop, she probably never imagined her video would end up in a New York Times blog and mentioned in USAToday.

But it has.

That workshop was organized and run by Randy Olson. He is a former scientist, filmmaker and, according to the Times, an evangelist for the clear and simple communication of scientific information. He challenges his workshop participants to create a video in three days that explains a complex scientific principle... simply. In terms we can all understand.

Callahan's video, made with fellow students Martha Essak, Colin Mahoney and Yoshi Watanabe, is called "The Domino Effect in Nature." It tries to illustrate how the extinction of species affects other species and, ultimately, humans.

About Callahan and the video Olson said (as quoted in the Times):

Yet every once in a while a student comes along with that knack, and manages to solve the communication challenge elegantly. Last week with the University of British Columbia’s TerreWeb program we had the best group ever. The student teams produced five excellent videos, and one was, to my mind, the best video ever... It’s nothing too flashy, and again, you have to keep in mind they had no budget, no training, little time. But this group had a director -- graduate student Megan Callahan -- with a clear, simple vision built around a concept that resonates — the “domino theory” — which is often mentioned when people talk about the interconnectedness of species.

Have a look for yourself and see what you think. If you liked that, you might this other Olson recommendation as an example of excellent science/environmental storytelling that's not afraid of humour.

Where Do These Videos Come From? From you. You suggest 'em. We select 'em. We choose the ones that best adhere to our tagline: BC news, views, and solutions. Suggest here!

Recent Videos


Vancouver: Hedge City for Foreign Cash?

Vancouver: hedge city for foreign cash?

Submitted by Tyee Staff, 21 Oct 2016


Class Notes on the Future of Public Education in BC

The future of public education in BC, from curriculum, teaching strategies, to politics.

By Tyee Staff, 17 Oct 2016


Uncovering Two Québecs

Uncovering a Québec divided.

By Tyee Staff, 12 Oct 2016


How Trees Young and Old Share and Communicate for Survival

How trees young and old share and communicate for survival.

By Christopher Cheung, 22 Sep 2016


Recipes for Affordable Housing from Cambridge University

Affordable housing recipes from Cambridge University.

By Tyee Staff, 16 Sep 2016


A Hand-Drawn Video History of the On-to-Ottawa Trek

The On-to-Ottawa Trek: a hand-drawn video history.

By Tyee Staff, 7 Sep 2016


First Glimpse of ‘Heartwood’, a BC Forestry ‘Documentree’

‘Heartwood’: A BC forestry ‘documentree’ on the longstanding industry.

By Michael Ruffolo, 30 Aug 2016


A Coast-to-Coast Canadian Summer

A coast-to-coast Canadian summer.

By Tyee Staff, 16 Aug 2016


From Syria to Rio, A Refugee Olympian

From Syria to Rio, the story of a refugee Olympian.

By Tyee Staff, 11 Aug 2016


John Oliver on the Forces and Powers Strangling Journalism

John Oliver on the forces and powers strangling journalism.

By Tyee Staff, 8 Aug 2016


Obama, Clinton, and Trump: Three Speeches on America

Obama, Clinton, and Trump: Three Speeches on America

By Christopher Cheung, 5 Aug 2016


A Look at the ‘Biggest, Baddest’ Bike-Share in the World

With 66,500 bikes and 2,700 stations, Hangzhou, China has the world’s largest bike-share.

By Christopher Cheung, 29 Jul 2016


How Sea Lice Are Killing Young Salmon

How sea lice are killing young salmon.

By Tyee Staff, 25 Jul 2016


Inside the Dark World of Online Harassment Against Women

Inside the dark world of online harassment against women. John Oliver investigates.

By Tyee Staff, 22 Jul 2016


Is Vancouver Really ‘No Fun City?’

Is Vancouver really 'no fun city?' This music video investigates.

By Christopher Cheung, 18 Jul 2016