Launched in 2011, Brilliant Botany began as a blog created by Claire Hopkins while studying Plant Science and English as an undergraduate. Initially a platform for Claire to share her contagious enthusiasm for all things plant science, the platform has since blossomed into an all-around plant education brand with its own Next Generation Science Standards compliant programming and even original merchandise.
Most notable, however, is the Youtube series Claire launched in 2013 which consists of 29 original productions to-date. The evolution and purpose of the series is perhaps best described by Claire herself in the following excerpt taken from a guest post she wrote for Plant Science Today,
“I started with very basic topics that I was familiar with, but today my videos involve more research, covering famous botanists, unusual plants, tutorials or whatever I feel like talking about that week. I’m particularly interested in interesting plant physiology, like gravitropism, and connecting science with other disciplines, like history and art. I also aim to bring more women into S.T.E.M., as there is still a dire shortage of women in science careers.”
The videos are concise, well-researched, and didactic without getting stuffy or slow. She manages to interject plant science jargon like xylem and phloem into a sentence without missing a beat or letting your attention wander. Part of her success in that arena may have to do with the typical format of her videos which features considerable time spent with Claire addressing the camera from inside what is presumably her home. The result is the sense that you’re having a friendly chat that just happens to involve being served heaping helpings of botanical knowledge.
Watching the videos, I was thinking that it might be nice to have some episodes take place at botanic gardens, forests, etc; adventures, if you will, out in the field…and that’s exactly one of the directions Claire would like to the take the series. To help her accomplish that, Brilliant Botany has launched a fundraising campaign on Patreon seeking support that will enable Brilliant Botany to upgrade equipment, provide for travel expenses, and generally cover all the incidental expenses that go along with producing this kind of resource.
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