Journalism,  Real Scientists,  Science journalism

53 free ways for science journalists to brush up on their science… and counting

This is a list of FREELY AVAILABLE basic science primers, courses and videos that science journalists can take to brush up on their beats/niches/topics of interest.

NOTE 1: MOOCS = Massive open online courses = free, short, online, provided by universities to give you a primer in the basics of a scientific topic of study. Both MOOCs and the Coursera courses will use Youtube videos so don’t eliminate them on that basis.

NOTE 2: Coursera courses vary in length and whether you get a certificate at the end and are offered at different times so some of the ones listed below may drop off and on again depending on when you click through and there may be a ton of new ones I have not seen yet. I will try to update as much as possible.

NOTE 3: Crash Course, Sci Show and The Brain Scoop are all awesome and worth watching and are all due to Hank Green’s obsession with educating people about science.

NOTE 4: I hope to keep updating this list so if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments below. Also please remember that this is a HUGE task so I am going to endeavour to do it bit by bit. It will take time.

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Massey University, New Zealand: Agriculture & the world we live in

ANTHROPOLOGY: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Macquarie University: Becoming human – anthropology

ASTRONOMY:

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Curtin University: Discovering the Universe
Introduction to astronomy – Duke University via Coursera
Analysing the universe – Rutgers University via Coursera
Galaxies and cosmology – California Institute of Technology via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s Astronomy/Astrophysics/Space series

CHEMISTRY: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Swinburne University of Technology: Chemistry- building blocks of the world
Introduction to chemistry – Duke University via Coursera
Advanced chemistry – University of Kentucky via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: Crash Course series on Chemistry
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OUTUBE SERIES: Curtin University’s Chemistry tutorials
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OUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s series on Chemistry

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Macquarie University: Climate change
MOOC via Open2Study: Water in a thirsty world
Global sustainable energy – past and present – University of Florida via Coursera
Energy, the environment and our future – Pennsylvania State University via Coursera
Climate change in four dimensions – University of California via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: Crash Course on Ecology

FORENSICS AND CRIMINOLOGY: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Griffiths University: Understanding the origins of crime

HEALTH, PSYCHOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT: 

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Gowrie Education: Early Childhood Education
MOOC via Open2Study: Food nutrition and your health
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OOC via Open2Study w/ RMIT: Foundations of Psychology
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OOC via Open2Study w/ Flinders University: The human body as a machine
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OOC via Open2Study w/ University of Wollongong: Understanding common diseases

Antibiotics – Stanford University via Coursera
Introduction to genetics and evolution – Duke University via Coursera
Useful Genetics Part 2 – University of British Columbia via Coursera
Drugs and the brain – California Institute of Technology via Coursera
Computational neuroscience – University of Washington via Coursera
Medical neuroscience – Duke University via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: Crash Course series on Biology
YOUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s series on Biology

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMPUTER SCIENCE: 

Android app development – University of Illinois via Coursera
Computer networks – University of Washington via Coursera
Introduction to communication science – University of Amsterdam via Coursera
Discrete interference and learning in artificial vision – Ecole Centrale Paris via Coursera
Introduction to computational arts – State University of New York via Coursera
Cryptography – Stanford University via Coursera

PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING:

MOOC via Open2Study w/ Swinburne University of Technology: Basic Physics
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OOC via Open2Study w/ Swinburne University of Technology: Mobile Robotics

Nanotechnology and nanosensors – Technion (Israeli Institute of Technology) via Coursera
Fundamentals of electrical engineering – Rice University via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s Fundamental Forces of Physics
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OUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s series on Physics (bigger, more broad than first series above)

STATISTICS AND MATHEMATICS: 

Mathematical Biostatistics Bootcamp – John Hopkins University via Coursera
Unpredictable? Randomness, chance and free will – National University of Singapore via Coursera
Calculus: single variable – Pennsylvania State University via Coursera

YOUTUBE SERIES: Curtin University’s Math Tutorials

GENERAL SCIENCE/TOPIC CHANGES REGULARLY: 

YOUTUBE SERIES: Curtin University’s Interactive Science Experiments
YOUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s Experiments
YOUTUBE SERIES: SciShow’s Great Minds series
YOUTUBE SERIES: The Brain Scoop

TWITTER ROTATIONAL ACCOUNT: RealScientists

Remember, if you have any additions, add them in the comments. For Youtube series, give me the playlist links, please. What courses etc have you taken before? 

Photo credit: Chris Devers via photopin cc

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

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