Hey all - Mitch, Greg and Jess here from AsapSCIENCE. We work full time creating videos about science on YouTube, in the hopes of getting as many people as possible interested! We started about 3 years ago as a pet project, and have been blown away by the response. So happy to be part of a movement where science is a popular part of culture.

We just released a book and are really excited about it! You can check it out at http://asapscience.com

Ask us about science communication, being YouTubers, releasing a book or ANYTHING ELSE!

Social media proof: https://twitter.com/AsapSCIENCE/status/578635465659666432

EDIT:

Thank you all SO MUCH for the questions. We're heading off to a book signing right now, but will come back and answer more as soon as we can, so keep them coming! We've had a blast and appreciate all the support. Go forth and do science :)

Comments: 158 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Universu12 karma

What are your favorite books?

asapscience15 karma

Mitch - 1984. Harry Potter was also a massive guilty pleasure I only started reading as an adult. Got through them all in a few months, which was easily the most I've ever read in my life! Greg - A Fine Balance Jess - Too many to choose from! However, she does run our AsapSCIENCE Book Club if you're interested in joining!

noitingocatem3 karma

Greg- A Fine Balance

Are you talking about the one by Rohinton Mistry? If so, that book is soo good. Gosh I might've cried after finishing it.

asapscience5 karma

That's the one! -Greg

Frajer11 karma

What's your favorite scientific fact?

asapscience25 karma

If you think about it, the brain named itself. /r/woahdude - Jess

The_Nim9 karma

HEY! thanks for doing this! i really love your channel andhave wasted countless time watching your videos My questions are: how much time and effort went into the periodic table song? and how many takes did you need to do to get it right? what kind of effort went into writing your book and will it be available in chapters stores or other book stores? Thanks again for doing this AMA! -Nima

asapscience10 karma

The periodic table song took a lot longer than expected. Especially because the filming of the video was extremely intricate as well. We have practised it extensively in order to sing it live and can now recite it in our sleep. The book took 1.5 years with a lot of research and intense editing. We also had to learn how to animate on a static page while making the images and text feel kinetic and fun. We are so proud of it now, but the process was extremely hard!

-Greg

joshywins8 karma

What was your first experience of the beauty of science?

asapscience13 karma

I'm not sure when or where it first occurred to me, but I've always had a fascination with the stars. Not even in the sense that I wanted to study them, but it just triggers such a sense of wonder in me - sometimes even sadness. I think about how much is out there that I'll never know, and it drives me insane! How many scientific breakthroughs I might miss, or not being here as we begin to explore further into space. But it's also such a beautiful reminder of how small we are - it puts things in perspective for me. We're just this tiny little speck in space, amongst this vastness. That sounds sad, but it can take away a lot of my daily stresses and reminds me that there is so much more to life. Surely learning about the universe...all this STUFF is the ultimate fulfillment for our minds.

This past summer we were out in the Canadian north on a lake staring at the stars in wonder, when a bunch of loons started calling. Their echos would travel across the entire lake as they called out to each other. I do a fairly decent loon call, and after they had gone silent for a good 30 minutes, I did mine. Instantly they started calling back from a distance! We were all so shocked and in awe, so we waited another 30 minutes and did it again. Low and behold they started responding. It was just incredible. All this while staring out into space and I just felt an incredible connection with something. All this kind of stuff links back to science for me. Science is everything :) -Mitch

iiunikittyii7 karma

What happens after you die?

asapscience5 karma

Wish we knew! :)

BennyBXB7 karma

You guys are great. How much inspiration did you take from Minute Physics?

asapscience8 karma

Minute Physics was a huge inspiration to us! The channel taught us how simple drawings and visual learning cues are extremely important when explaining science. Henry was a big part of how we decided what our aesthetic was going to be.

miss_r7 karma

Love you guys! So, massive YouTube channel, a new book.. What's next?! AsapSCIENCE movie? Because that would be rad.

PS - Your coming out video was one of the most touching pieces of content I have seen on YouTube. Nothing but love and support for you both!

asapscience9 karma

Hmm what's next..."AsapSCIENCE: The Musical" maybe?? Haha. To be honest, our hope is to think of some new and exciting ways to share science that connects with people - both those who already love science, and those that think they don't! We've been approached about moving into 'traditional media' but really love working on YouTube (and the internet in general) and the freedom that comes with making videos we want to make, without the pressure of an outside entity.

And thank you so much for commenting about the coming out video! Hopefully it has had a positive impact on others as well. Our sexuality has nothing to do with how good we are in science, BUT, we think it's important in any field to have representation across the board (gender, race, sexuality, etc.), and be proud of who you are. Plus, before we released that video every comment was basically "ARE YOU GAY?!?!" haha, so at the very least it helped clear up our comment sections. -Mitch

Mvsdance6 karma

What would happen if I only ate cheese for a year?

asapscience8 karma

Writing this down on our list of videos to make in the future, this is hilarious!

Blackblazerus6 karma

Hi guys who is the cleverest person you have ever met ? also thanks for doing this AMA

asapscience10 karma

Bill Nye really lived up to all our expectations of him. In person, he's very quippy and intelligent and tells funny stories. He also really knows his stuff about science! Cool guy. - Jess

Moosemalk6 karma

With the ever rising of technology replacing more and more jobs, will we ever surpass the equilibrium point of amount of goods that can efficiently made and the amount goods that can be bought from people with jobs? A dramatic example: If tomorrow we replaced 50%-60% of the work force with automation, would we have to work to live anymore? or would society crumble into and economic super nova?

asapscience9 karma

This is such a fascinating question, and something we think about a lot. It also reminds me of this video by CGP Grey, take a look:

https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU

joeobrown6 karma

hello! any collaborations with other sciencey youtubers coming up in the near future?

asapscience11 karma

Right now we don't have anything scheduled, but we've had so much fun working with others like Jake of Vsauce 3 and iiSuperwomanii that we'd love to do more! We'll be travelling to Japan and Korea in a few months and would love to meet some creators there, so fingers crossed! -Mitch

thecescshow5 karma

Hey guys. Big fan. Was there any topic or burning question that you really wanna tackle but you didn't because there's just not enough info about it?

asapscience6 karma

There are many videos that we start writing that just never come together! Either because we can't find enough about it, or we feel bored with them. It can be frustrating when you start down a path, researching, only to find out it hasn't been answered/researched yet! Then you're just left in perpetual wonderment. Which is surprisingly frustrating, especially in a world where most everything else can be answered with a quick Google search! -Mitch

crrb5 karma

Hi fellow Torontonians--what's the best thing about living in Toronto?

asapscience4 karma

We love living in Toronto and are proudly Canadian. Some of our favourite things about living Toronto are its incredible multiculturalism, its great food scene, and being able to bike everywhere. We can't wait for summer days on the island! - Jess

The_Nim5 karma

would you ever do a "superhero special" episode, which would go into the sciences of heros?

asapscience6 karma

Yes! This is a brilliant idea, we are adding it to our list now!

ramenmustachio4 karma

Hey guys, I'm a huge fan! I was just wondering how it feels to start vlogging? I'm considering doing it, but I don't really think my life is that interesting. Would you recommend it?

asapscience3 karma

It's been fun! To be honest, we spend MOST of our life sitting at our desks doing research, which is pretty boring, But with the book coming out, we knew there would be a bunch of fun stuff to document, both for personal records but also to share with our followers!

We've also always had this idea that AsapSCIENCE comes off as 'all knowing' and we really dislike that. We want people to see that we're fairly regular guys, who just happen to love science. A lot of people see science as some sort of exclusive club for the 'smart people of the world' but it's really not true. If you're interested, you're welcome! And the hope is that we can engage some people who wouldn't otherwise watch a science videos - but maybe they would connect with us as people, and then slowly find a way to love it, as we do :) -Mitch

marzeepan4 karma

What advice do you have for a couple of science nerds who want to start their own science channel on YouTube?

asapscience7 karma

Make sure you are passionate and have the ability to keep going even though the feeling of success and pay off may take a long of time. Make sure your content is consistent and also accurate. Ensure it is something that you can have fun doing regardless of how many views the videos may get. Also, START NOW, it is really easy to think of reasons to postpone, you can always improve your channel as it grows.

-Greg

swiftskill4 karma

What sparked your interests in science?

asapscience7 karma

I was lucky to have an amazing science teacher who made science engaging and practical. She always went out of her way to make it accessible and used a top down approach to ensure that even as teenagers we were able to relate and realize how important and fascinating science is. From that point forward, science was always my favourite subject and in university both Mitch and I were always obsessed with our degrees and could not wait to get to class every day to learn something new. #keeners

Hosko8174 karma

In your Opinion, why do you think there is such a large "science backlash" going on currently? It seems that things like evolution, climate change, vaccinations etc.. should be commonly accepted in this day and age.

asapscience6 karma

We live in a world where we are able to share and communicate science with exceptional ease, compared to the past. But, it also means that everyone can communicate their opinions with exceptional ease! Even though the noise is louder than before, and we're all yelling across the internet now, I feels like the tide is changing, and the 'backlash' only serves to bring to light important issues. -Mitch

DadImInSpace3 karma

What would you have done if you didn't study science? (as in, what would have been your second choice)

I love you guys so much! I look forward to every video that comes out on asapscience and asapthought. And I can't wait to buy the book! :)

asapscience3 karma

Greg: I have a Major in Biological Science and a Minor in Studio Art, so if I did not study science I would have likely pursued visual art (i.e. both painting and sculpture). Here is a link to some of Greg's art:

http://gregorybrownart.tumblr.com/

Mitch: Is an extremely talented musician, so he would likely have pursued that fully as well, here is a link to his music.

http://www.mitchellmoffit.com/

Painisberg3 karma

How long did it take you to prepare and record the Element Song?

asapscience3 karma

A really long time!! Especially because I had make the instrumental track from scratch too (obviously following the original song, but I mean I made that specific version on my computer). Then after many many tracks of recording, and finding as many related objects for the video, it was finally complete! -Mitch

noitingocatem3 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA! My question is do you guys ever feel the need to compete with other science channels? Like for example if, suppose, you are the Krusty Krab and SciShow is the Chum Bucket would you ever feel the need to get "better business"?

asapscience4 karma

Not really at all! The community as a whole is super supportive of one another, and it's not like people can't watch multiple channels. I think because we're all routed in science and education, it all feeds back to the same goal/manifesto of hooking people on science! -Mitch

sciencetourist3 karma

Why did you start making videos about science?

asapscience6 karma

After graduating university, we both went through the "what do I do with my life" crisis. I went off to teacher's college where I was taught how to engage students of diverse backgrounds and experienced first hand the power of YouTube. Technology was obviously becoming an extremely important part of education so a YouTube channel about science was a natural idea for us. We also wanted to make sure we were able to stay up on contemporary science, so we started it as a pet project for ourselves to make sure we were life long learners.

-Greg

Anmar77793 karma

Hello ASAP,what do you think of others in the same line of work (roughly) as you like Brady Haren or CGP Grey?

asapscience3 karma

It is really awesome to be a part of a community of people who are trying to make science accessible and highlighting why it is so fascinating. Everyone has their own style and techniques which ensure that any viewer can find a place that works for them to have their curiosity nurtured. Also the nature of YouTube makes it easy for people to not feel as though they need to "compete", you can subscribe to many channels and watch a variety of videos. We also find Brady Haren and CGP Grey extremely inspiring.

CaptSealLion3 karma

Who/what is your favourite YouTube channel (other than yourself, of course)? And also, what inspired all of you to teach the general public about important scientific facts?

asapscience4 karma

We are pretty avid YouTube consumers and love a wide array of channels like iiSuperwomanii, VSauce3, Chescaleigh, Laci Green, and VFiles. As far as inspiration, we were curious about the way that science can feel intimidating to people who don't know a lot about it, and wanted to bridge that gap between layman and scientists by making it fun and entertaining. - Jess

iiunikittyii3 karma

Are you making anymore songs? The Science love song was touching and was amazing for Valentine's Day (Btw do you have sheet music or something for the song) and the NEW periodic table song is an amazing song to learn your elements with great images!

asapscience2 karma

We will be releasing another song soon! We cannot tell you exactly what it will be about as it is TOP SECRET! We actually do not have sheet music as we write the songs by ear. We usually start with the lyrics and create a melody after. BUT, you can still sing The NEW Periodic Table Song acapella and learn the elements that way!

Mitchs_Frog_Smacky3 karma

Would you compare your take on sharing science to the ones of Beakmans World or Bill Nye the Science Guy?

asapscience2 karma

I think stylistically AsapSCIENCE is a bit different; we're not as big, bold and overt as Beakman or Bill Nye were. However, we are definitely interested in the same core ideas: presenting science in a way that breaks it down into simpler terms and makes it fun and relatable, with the ultimate hope of feeding the world's curiosity. As Canadians we never actually watched Beakman's World, but from watching YouTube clips it seems so good. Sup Paul Zaloom? - Jess

MoCJones3 karma

Hello, I work for Mad Science, program that teaches students ages 4 to 13 about different areas of science, such as Physics, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Lab Equipment. I love you're channel and try to ask my students to watch your channel! What are some experiments or subject matter that you can suggest to present to students?

asapscience6 karma

When I was a teacher I found so many of my students responded positively when learning about space exploration! I had them research the pros and cons of being a part of the controversial Mars One project and decide if they wanted to go (a lot said they did, lol, OH KIDS)! I always think it is important to teach kids how to properly use lab equipment, but also increase their specific skills in order for them to be creative and confident with their own experiments. If you can get them to this stage, they are able to be open with their own curiosity and fail and succeed with little guidance. This would allow them to feel like true scientists. Teaching is the most important and hardest job in the world, it is a constant evolution. Always reflect on what works and what doesn't and continue to grow. What you are doing is awesome and the best job in the world!

-Greg

Wild_Pants3 karma

Hey guys, big fan of your work, keep it up! I have a couple of questions for you. How hard was to start a YouTube channel from scratch? On the other hand, do you plan to release more books? Or your primary goal will be uploading videos?

asapscience3 karma

It wasn't too difficult, though we never really knew what to expect! Part of it was the fact that, after university, we wanted to keep in tune with the science world and not lose touch. But of course, we also had a passion for science communication so it became a pet project for us, and less of an attempt to 'be a YouTuber'. In fact, when we first began we didn't really understand what it even meant to be part of this crazy YouTube culture.

With regards to books - we're not sure! Hopefully people enjoy this one, and perhaps there will be more, but ultimately we love being on the internet and think it offers such a unique opportunity to spread science! -Mitch

ExtraAndroid3 karma

LOVE your channel; I watch it religiously! Do you guys have any memorable blooper moments from making your videos?

asapscience2 karma

Our biggest bloopers have involved forgetting to press record on a camera or forgetting to turn the microphone on and then having to re-shoot. WHOOPS. If you're interested, we made a blooper video to accompany our Yawn-O-Meter. Check it out! - Jess

jedbolt953 karma

Are your degrees relevant or helpful to making your videos?

And how do you guys go about researching for your videos? You uploaded the blue and black dress video pretty quick after it got big.

asapscience3 karma

Our degrees are extremely relevant as they taught us how to effectively research science. They also nurtured our curiosity which lead to our passion and obsession with knowledge. The research for the videos is the longest part of the process, taking anywhere for 2-5 days. The dress was the fastest video we ever created as we had already done a video on optical illusions which used similar scientific theories the we also used to explain the dress. It is pretty crazy now to think that our most viewed video was the one that took the least amount of time to produce! :)

-Greg

The_Nim3 karma

what would happen if i only ate a big mac every day?

asapscience5 karma

Bad stuff. Not recommended. - Jess

KcEdwards013 karma

What is the best opportunity you've been given from the Youtube channel? Besides being a part of an awesome community of people!

asapscience2 karma

We have had so many awesome opportunities like the ability to publish a book and meeting Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye.

Although, the most exciting opportunity for us is having a YouTube channel and platform where people return week after week to learn about science. It is an honour every time we hear that we have helped get people interested in science and we will continue to innovate and make our channel interesting so we can enjoy the opportunity of creating science content.

-Greg

iiunikittyii2 karma

Have you ever met a fan during your daily activities?

asapscience4 karma

Yeah! We get stopped on the street occasionally and love meeting fans. If you ever see us, please say hello!

The_Nim2 karma

whats the hardest video youve ever had to make?

asapscience4 karma

Definitely our video on Morning Wood ;)

mwhoda2 karma

Hi! You guys are so awesome! What would you say is the most important thing to remember when studying science?

asapscience1 karma

When you are studying science, always think about what you are learning, and how it applies to your life or the world around you. It will help you better understand scientific concepts and allow you to reflect on the world in a different way. On top of that, I used to be a teacher, and it was always important to design questions in which you tested in the students ability to apply their knowledge (so doing this while studying can help you on tests / exams).

-Greg

to_lazy_2_think62 karma

Hey there guys! I hope you're having an awesome day. My burning question for you guys is "If you guys could be any real animal what animal would you guys be?" P.S. Can I have a snapchat shoutout? (Directed towards LazyKittens.)

asapscience3 karma

Greg would be a whale. (No surprise there.) Mitch loves dogs but thinks he would be a cephalopod of some sort. I think maybe I would be a owl. - Jess

poopyface052 karma

I really love you guys and I've been a subscriber since a year before you even showed your faces! I've spent countless hours watching your videos and yours is maybe my favourite channel.

Question: Will you do a video on languages? Languages are really interesting to me and I'd love to see one from you!

asapscience3 karma

We hope to! We'll be travelling to Japan and Korea and may and hope to meeting up with some local creators! Perhaps we can do a video on AsapSCIENCE surrounding language! -Mitch

Testudinaes2 karma

I love your channel whats your element?

asapscience4 karma

Potassium, because the element symbol is K. It is quirky and always throws everyone for a loop.

JesusHMacy2 karma

What is your opinion on the Reptilian Shapeshifters?

asapscience4 karma

Hmmm... ¯_(ツ)_/¯ - Jess

The_Nim2 karma

what is your favorite place to eat?

asapscience3 karma

I absolutely love Korean food, and have a favourite place in Toronto! -Mitch

iiunikittyii2 karma

Do you guys have any words of wisdom to share?

asapscience3 karma

Nike got it right: JUST DO IT!

We often find ourselves repeating that when people ask for YouTube advice, or any sort of life advice. I constantly ask myself 'what's the worst that could happen?' and the answer is usually..not much! We actually have a chapter in the book that talks about why time feels faster as we age, and a (theorized) part of it is the fact that we just generally have less novel experiences as we age. We already know how to do most everything (walk, talk, we're good at our jobs). But if you can force yourself to 'just do it' when something new comes along - whether it be learn a language, start a YouTube channel, change your job, etc. - it all becomes so memorable and the new experience sticks in your mind. And, time feels slower overall!

You only have so much time on this planet, so take advantage of it! -Mitch

the_curious_person1 karma

Hey guys, love the channel. Great work! How do you come up with the topics you want to talk about in your videos? Also, I'm curious about your opinion on life in other parts of the universe, do you believe that extraterrestrial life is out there? Thanks!

asapscience2 karma

When we started, a lot of it was pulled from our own experience and education! But as we built a following, we started to ask "Got a burning question you want answered? Ask!", and from there grew a list of 1000's we've slowly been working our way through (or at the very least, many episodes are inspired by these questions, and morph into something else).

With regards to ET, I think there must be something out there! In what shape or form, I have no idea. Will we/they ever make contact? I'm not so sure either - but if it's going to happen, I hope it happens while I'm alive! -Mitch

1748531 karma

Hi! I love your YouTube videos! I was actually introduced to them on reddit, and I've been a huge fan ever since! I've seen nearly all of your videos, and I have to admit that, as someone that normally considers himself straight, you guys are now my secret gay crushes. I have a few questions for your guys.

  1. How long does it take to make one video? It seems like quite a bit of work goes in to them.

  2. Do you plan all of your drawings out ahead of time or do you draw a few things while you're making them and only choose a few?

  3. Do you have any plans to translate AsapSCIENCE into other languages? I know you're Canadian, and there are lots of French speaking schools and communities in Quebec that could benefit from your work. I'm a Spanish speaker, and I when I went to school in a Spanish speaking country I noticed that lots of times Spanish speaking teachers don't have as many resources available to them on the Internet.

  4. Do you have any plans to expand AsapSCIENCE to any other mediums, like podcasts? I know you've already published one book, will there be more?

Thanks a ton! I'm a huge fan of you guys and what you do!

asapscience3 karma

Thanks for kind words and all the questions!

1) We generally say that each video takes about 4-5 days, which is why we aim for weekly videos. Some, that are simple explanations of biological functions may be shorter, while others, which may require us reading a book or pulling together a lot more sources may be under construction for a while! But ultimately, we try to get one out each week!

2) We plan them all! After having the script in its final form, we each come up with/brainstorm our own storyboards, and then come together to pick our favourite ideas. Everything you see in the video is everything that was drawn.

3) We have a pretty amazing translation team who helps us caption our videos. And we'd love to one day actually have the videos dubbed in many other languages, but it's complicated when we can sometimes barely keep up with making the videos! haha

4) As it stands, we've got the channel, the book, we've done some TV stuff in Canada - but I think our goal now is to evolve the channel and think of some new and creative ideas there first! After all, that's where it all began!

-Mitch

iiunikittyii1 karma

If you guys could change your name to anything what would it be?

asapscience2 karma

ASAPScience (lol)

iiunikittyii1 karma

Which if you guys (Mitch, Greg, or Jess) do you think can survive a Zombie Apocalypse (The type of zombies in your book 😉)?

asapscience3 karma

Probably Jess, she is very resilient! Mitch and I would probably die first but we would be really good zombies! :)

Thatcraftingfox1 karma

Who came up with the idea of doing science videos?

asapscience3 karma

We both did as we wanted to stay involved with science. It started as a pet project and a way for us to become life long learners. We never expected it to grow to the size it is now and are so honoured to know that people find them inspiring and educational!

CrappyPunsForAll1 karma

I'm in a physics class right now with a great teacher. My table mates constantly talk shit about how "nobody cares." They don't do assignments when they're given time, then complain about not getting enough time. The teacher is very lasseiz faire and is still engaging, and I enjoy the subject.

How can I get them to care/respect the subject? What got you from that "eh" stage into "whoa. This is crazy cool."?

asapscience3 karma

Everybody is different! What draws somebody to one subject and not another is a complex issue, but ultimately I think it comes down to relatability. What do your friends enjoy? Is there some way to explain the science behind those things? The funny thing is, science IS everything. Not in a cheesy way, but basically everything and everything around us has an explanation behind it. And people tend to listen when you can find an experience in their life that they connect with.

Having said that, not everybody is willing to go to the same depth/investment to learn more about every subject. Maybe showing your friends the multitude of amazing science videos on YouTube would peak their interest! -Mitch

saintenitouche0 karma

Hi handsome genius² Your book launch on line...What a take-off!!! I'm still flying. Q: Winter, summer, i'm stuck with static electricity all over me, on my skin, in my hair, on my clothes even in my (so lonely) bed. Humidity, antistatic stuff and spray, moisturizer, nothing works. How can i get rid of this attraction? Am I too attractive? Save me. Good succes and lot of fun tonight at N&BNYC. ♥ ♥

asapscience3 karma

You are simply too attractive! But seriously, I am unsure! -Mitch