Emily Graslie

Award-Winning YouTube Series: The Brain Scoop

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In 2013, Emily created the educational YouTube channel The Brain Scoop with the goal of sharing the behind-the-scenes work of natural history museums with the world, via short, entertaining, and informative videos. Since then, Emily and her team have created 200+ episodes that have been viewed more than 26 million times; 45% of the channel’s audience lives outside of the United States.


The Brain Scoop reaches and inspires a wide variety of audiences


When the Field Museum was founded in 1893, the incandescent lightbulb had been around for little more than a decade and it would be another ten years before the Wright Brothers achieved the first powered flight in an aircraft. 126 years ago it would have been impossible for the Museum’s founders to know just how dramatically and swiftly technology would change the capabilities for natural history museum science and research to be conducted, and be shared with the public.

Today, The Brain Scoop reaches beyond the steps of the museum, Chicago, and Illinois: 45% of the program’s views come from outside of the United States. Worldwide reach gives the show license to focus on big picture and global-impact issues, aiming to get viewers to think about the planet and its cultures as interconnected environments.

(See: “What Fossils Reveal about Today’s Climate Change”)

In more than 200 episodes, Emily and her team have taken a multifaceted approach to telling stories about museum work. The team makes complex topics relatable by tackling them from multiple angles: a video aimed at answering the nuanced question “What is a Species?” was paired with a more digestible (literally) exploration in “The Taxonomy of Candy.” As a result of these efforts, the audience spans a vast age demographic: 73% of viewers are aged 18-34.

Brain Scoop videos are created in the spirit of showing what is possible, real, and happening in the world of science, both in the lab and in the public realm. This includes celebrating scientists and their fields while also not shying away from addressing topics like harassment, which prevents some women and minority groups from feeling welcomed in STEM (see: “Where my ladies at?”). The success of this candid approach towards communication is reflected in the comparatively higher percentage of the channel’s views — 40% — that come from women and girls.



viewership by Women & girls









Closed Captioning, Subtitles, and Accessibility


Thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers worldwide, many episodes of The Brain Scoop are available to watch with captions. 90% of the videos are available with English captions; 72% with Spanish; 54% with Chinese (Traditional); 53% with Czech; and 36% with German. In total, 33 languages are represented.

To check if a video has captions in English or another language, hover your cursor over the video and click the gear ⚙icon on the lower righthand side. Then, scroll up to “Subtitles/CC” to see a list of available languages.

Emily and The Brain Scoop team are always eager to bring on more volunteers to help with captioning videos so that no interested viewer has to be left out due to language barriers! To learn more about how to contribute translated content to The Brain Scoop, check out YouTube’s help page on the topic.

In addition to YouTube’s ‘Community Caption’ program, The Brain Scoop is also a member of the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), supported by the United States Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

The DCMP provides free, high-quality educational media designed for students with disabilities, as well as their parents and teachers. Around 1/3 of The Brain Scoop’s videos are a part of the DCMP’s library, with more being added on a regular basis.

The Brain Scoop is proud to make inspiring science content accessible to as many people as possible.


Top 5 Languages Captioned

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