SciCast Blog

Science video – ideas, techniques, sources, uses


Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched a competition asking young budding film-makers to make creative and engaging short films that explore contemporary bioethics issues in medicine and biology.

The competition, called Box Office Bioethics, is open to students in the UK and Republic of Ireland, where they can enter as individuals or in teams in three categories: Year 11 and under, Years 12 and 13, and Undergraduate.

Winners will receive coveted prizes, including £200 in gift vouchers and the film being screened at the council’s annual public lecture.

The deadline is 24 February 2012.

For more details and information on how to enter the competition visit: and


Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting emails asking us about SciCast 2012 and we think it’s time to announce the sad news: there will be no SciCast Awards 2012.

Although we’ve had some extremely gratifying interest in SciCast, unfortunately it hasn’t been enough to fund SciCast 2012. However, we’ll bring you word of regional competitions inspired by SciCast as we hear confirmation: so far Richmond and North Somerset are still happening, with other possible events in Wales, Durham, and elsewhere.

We want to warmly thank the hundreds of people who’ve submitted films to SciCast this year and over the last five years. You’ve set a tremendous standard each year, and every film we’ve received has helped ensure that our winners are truly worthy.

Thanks again and huge congratulations to all of you!


60_seconds.jpg60 second Science is a competition that invites budding film-makers to make a 60-second film which explains a science concept or phenomena. Entry is free and open to everyone!

Now in its third year, this competition will recognise and award International entries (or outside Australia) with cash prizes in four different categories:

(1) OPEN: any age, for non-school-age entrants, professional, amateur film-makers welcome

(2) PRIMARY/JUNIOR/ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Students: first 7 years of schooling, not counting Kindergarten


(4) LOTE: a film with spoken soundtrack in a language other than English, but with English subtitles

The films must be 60 seconds or less, including credits at the beginning and end, which will be judged by a prestigious panel of International scientists, film-makers and multimedia experts. There is no limit to the number of films you can submit, but it must be original work and filmed in 2011.

The registration deadline for 60 second Science 2011 is October 14th, 5pm (your timezone). Once you’ve registered, you must submit your film online by October 28th, 5pm.

The full rules for the competition, tips on the film-making process, and lots of previous entrants and winners to inspire you, visit the website:


And the winners are…


Huge congratulations to the winners; we’ll be in touch with the teams very soon (next week! Promise!) to work out how to send you trophies.

Commiserations to all the other nominees, but our thanks and congratulations to you for reaching the final stage, and setting such a magnificently high standard. It’s been a terrific year.

(We’ve just realised that we can’t change the graphic on the front page until next week. D’oh!)



We’re proud to announce the Nominations for the SciCast Awards 2011!

Congratulations to the worthy nominees, but also to the hundreds of people who’ve submitted films to SciCast this year and over the last five years. You’ve set a tremendous standard — every film we’ve received has helped ensure that our nominees are truly worthy.

We’ll be announcing 2011 winners in a little over a week’s time; keep checking!


The next post to appear on this blog will announce the Nominees for the SciCast Awards 2011. Before that, I want to say a few words about this year’s Awards Ceremony:

There won’t be one.

Previously, we’ve held events at the IET and the Royal Institution, big glossy red-carpet parties that have been huge fun, and have given us a fitting opportunity to celebrate the makers of the best SciCast films.

If you’ve been following along with SciCast’s own story, however, you’ll know that our principle funding concluded last year, and since then we’ve been running on the last dregs of cash (plus a welcome injection from our stalwart friends at the Institute of Physics) whilst we try to secure funding for 2012 and beyond. Most of you had already guessed there wouldn’t be an event this year, and indeed we’ve said as much in previous blog posts. However, there’s always been just that little bit of hope, so it was time for us to be unequivocal.

We’ve had some extremely gratifying interest in SciCast and all is not lost… but we don’t have funding for an awards ceremony this year. It’s not going to happen.

For our worthy nominees: we’re sorry. We wish we could treat you to the same fantastic experience your predecessors have had, tell you how awesome you are face-to-face, and show your films on the big screen to let you see the effect they have on other people.

For everyone else: please help us make the nominees feel special. Watch their films, leave comments, tell your friends about them, cheer the teams on.

Thank you all for your understanding.


STEM TM Logo.jpg

TeachMeet is an organised — but informal — meeting for teachers and other education professionals to share their ideas and experiences of what works in practice. Share good practice, discuss practical innovations and contribute personal insights in teaching with technology.

Currently, the STEM Clubs Network is hosting events across the UK. If you’re a teacher and enjoyed making films for SciCast, why not share your experience at a STEM TeachMeet in your area?

The events are open to anyone and free of charge.


Looks like we have some problems with our video hosting this morning. As in: it doesn’t work.

Turns out the whole hosting company has dropped off the web, which usually means alarms are going off and dozens of engineers are battling to solve whatever the problem is. Let’s give them some time before we panic.

[update: oops, forgot to mention this was fixed. You worked that out for yourselves, right?]


dc-badge.gif There are quite a number of SciCast-related competitions spread around the UK and the world. Some we know about, but most forget to tell us. Perhaps they think we’ll get all stroppy with them, we’re not sure.

The latest one we’ve heard about is going on right now in Dubai, organised by Dubai College. They’ve a bunch of pages about their competition starting here; looks like they’re using exactly our rules, only entering and judging via a YouTube channel.

Best of luck to all entrants — we hope the organisers will get in touch and tell us how it’s going.

For the avoidance of doubt, however: the Dubai College competition isn’t an official SciCast affiliate, and we’re not involved in their project. They’ve used part of our graphics on their YouTube page, but that’s nothing to do with us.


Here’s where we’re at:

  • Physics judging is underway, with results from the IOP’s panel starting to trickle their way to SciCast Orbiting World Headquarters. Woohoo!
  • We’re chasing the last few details for the last few films, then we’ll put together shortlists for all the other categories.
  • We’re hoping to announce the category nominations on Friday 3rd June.

If you started submitting a film but haven’t actually, you know, sent it in yet, you still stand a very slim chance of making it into this year’s competition if you upload it right now. If you’re having problems with the upload system, email us. Immediately!

You’ll noticed that we’ve not yet published any 2011 films, thanks to our last-minute and entirely unplanned switch to a completely different film archive. We’ve still a little work to do making sure all the previous films are there — at last count we had 50 films still to post. Many of these are films that broke, didn’t display, fell off, were mysteriously deleted from, or plain didn’t work in our old archive, so you’ll be seeing them for the first time.

So: enjoy the new old films, and we’ll get the new new films on the site just as soon as we’ve caught up.

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