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The Best Science Media on the Web Read more

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This project was successfully funded on February 16, 2013.

The Best Science Media on the Web

About this project

UPDATE! We've got a stretch goal now! $8,000 and we include VIDEO!

What is this?
There is a lot of good radio about science on the web. A lot. Every day, the world wakes up to several days worth of audio to listen to. You could spend several lifetimes listening to it all. (And if you’d like to try, maybe start here for an introduction to the notion of time, and why that wouldn't be possible.) So, where do you start?

Well, for words about science there's the annual "Best Online Science Writing" (formerly Open Lab). Those are a wonderful way to find some of the best written stuff out there. So, we thought we'd do the same thing for audio.

With that, welcome to Science Studio - the best multimedia on the web. This year we're focusing on audio pieces - all the best sciencey stuff that filled your ears this past year. In the following years we’ll expand to things like animations, data visualizations, videos and interactive graphics.

How does it work?
We're looking for the best radio, podcasts, one-off recordings and anything else that talks about science. You can send us your favorite pieces, by you or by someone else. They should be no more than 20 minutes (excerpts from longer pieces are allowed), and should have been published in 2012. The nomination form is here.

We'll take those nominations and send them to our panel of judges. The best will be put into the Science Studio 2012 collection, which will be released in October 2013 (or sooner for you, if you gives us $20 or more).

Wait so, what actually IS it?
Ultimately, Science Studio will be a home on the web for the very best multimedia. The full collection will honor those who produce all sorts of science content, whether it's a video by Vi Hart explaining the hexaflexagon, a Story Collider podcast about a man who discovers he has a hole in his brain, or this Radiolab exploration of what makes us bad. Taken together, Open Studio will represent the best of what's out there - neatly tucked into a simple, usable interface on the web.

The result will come to you both on the site and as a podcast. Next year, we’ll be bigger and better. But we’ll need your help to get there.

Who are you people anyway?
Science Studio comes to you from Rose Eveleth, Ben Lillie and Bora Zivkovic.

Rose Eveleth is a freelance producer, designer and media consumer who's dabbled in nearly every form of science story telling there is, including hand modeling. She’s produced audio pieces for the New York Times Science Section, NPR, Scientific American, The Story Collider and Scienceline, and graphics and multimedia for OnEarth, Scientific American and Nature.

Ben Lillie is the co-founder and host of The Story Collider, a live event series and podcast of true, personal stories of the effect of science in people’s lives. He is also a Moth StorySLAM champion, has a PhD in high-energy theoretical physics, and is a Contributing Editor to

Bora Zivkovic is the Blogs Editor at Scientific American, co-founder of ScienceOnline organization that organizes its legendary annual conferences about all aspects of intersection between science and the Web, co-founder of aggregator of science blogs, and editor of Open Laboratory - the annual anthology of the best science writing on the Web.

Our judges will be producers and science writers of all stripes.

Where is my money going?
Every dollar you send our way goes right into making Science Studio happen. Specifically:

  • Podcast hosting: We’ll be putting the audio on SoundCloud. Their professional account is €500/year ($666)
  • Website design and maintainence: We have a wonderful design company willing to build our site at a discount. Even with that, the total for building the site and hosting is around $1000.
  • Professional fees: From the editors putting together the audio, to graphic design to project logistics, it’s going to take several talented professionals to make this happen. We have a generous grant from the National Association of Science Writers to cover most of this, but need to raise about $2500 more to break even.
  • Thank you gifts for our judges: We expect to needing 10-15 judges to sort through all the submissions. Even a modest thank you (to some wonderful people otherwise donating their time) will end up costing us about $1000 total.

If we go past our goal by a bit we can use it for some nicer thank you to the judges. If we go far past it we might be able to include video this year rather than next.

I have more questions!

Email us! I'm at, or check out for more information about how to nominate your favorite podcast.

I'm sold, I'll donate!

You're the best! In return, you'll get not only the warm fuzzy feeling of helping our dreams come true, but also some really cool stuff with our logo on it, designed by the talented Maki Naro, books, and you could even learn how to make your own podcast!


Risks and challenges

Once we have the funding, this is pretty straightforward to produce. Honestly, the biggest challenge we’re worried about is getting too many submissions to sort through. If that happens we’ll have to find a way to crowdsource the first round of judging. That might delay the project a little bit, but is also pretty easily doable. And if we do have that problem, well, it’s a great problem to have.

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    Hand written thank you card featuring a Science Studio logo (by cartoonist Maki Naro), or art from our introductory animation.

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    Everything above and stickers/buttons with the Science Studio logo.

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    Everything above and pre-screening of the best-of podcasts

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    Everything above and a notebook featuring the Science Studio artwork.

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    Everything above and a custom printed USB key with the podcasts on it

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    Everything above and a copy of either Reality Radio, Telling True Stories in Sound, or The Best Science Writing Online 2012.

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    Everything above and a special thank you on our website and at the end of the podcast.

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    Everything above and one podcasting lesson with Rose.

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Funding period

- (30 days)