Audubon’s Aviary: The Final Flight: From the New York Historical Society comes this online exhibit of John James Audubon’s watercolor illustrations of birds, which appeared in his work Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1838. This website accompanies a three part exhibit at the New York Historical Society, which showcased Audubon’s work in chronological order. Visitors can explore this collection in a variety of ways. Visitors new to Audubon’s work may want to start with Explore, where one can view paintings that Audubon composed of specific species, annotated with insights about Audubon’s artistic process. These annotations centers on Audubon’s later work, which was featured in Part III of the exhibition. Visitors interested in Audubon’s earlier work can view select materials from Parts I and II of the exhibition through a series of links on the right side of their browser. Meanwhile, visitors can view the entirety of the Historical Society’s collection (including materials featured in all three exhibit installations) in the Gallery. Another highlight of this website is the Video section, where visitors can view a captivating ten minute video that places Audubon’s paintings alongside footage of the bird depicted in the painting. Finally, those wishing to learn more about how the birds that Audubon depicted sound in nature can do so through Bird Calls.
BBC Radio 4: The Infinite Monkey Cage: From BBC Radio 4 comes the Infinite Monkey Cage, a “witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists’ eyes.” Hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince, this podcast features lively discussions with guests scientists about a variety of ways that our everyday lives are shaped by scientific phenomena. As of this writing, the most recent episode centers on science’s “epic fails.” The hosts explore erroneous aspects that were originally part of some of the most famous scientific theories, and discuss the ways that mistakes can actually be beneficial to science. Other recent episodes include an exploration of the the science behind sleeping, a panel discussion with a chemist and solar scientist about the elements necessary to create the universe, and a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes in length; visitors can download and listen to current and past episodes on this website.
Open Educational Resources (UMass-Dartmouth): An increasing number of educational resources are available via the public domain, providing instructors with unprecedented opportunities to incorporate a diverse range of primary source material, textbooks, open courses, and more into their classrooms. This abundance of materials, however, can present instructors and librarians with a new challenge: how to discern what materials will be relevant and useful in their classroom or educational institution. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has created this guide to Open Educational Resources to help. Here, visitors will find an extensive list of resources organized into five categories, including For Educators, For Learners, and Image and Video Resources. Lists are accompanied by short video tutorials designed to familiarize visitors with open educational resources and the role of these resources in both the classroom and in the broader academic community. One video in the For Educators section depicts faculty perspectives on the specific distinction between Open Education Resources and Open Access. While aimed specifically at those working in higher education, instructors and librarians in all settings will find material of use in this research guide.
World Science Festival: Video: Since 2008, the World Science Foundation has sponsored the World Science Festival, a series of lectures, panel discussions, performances, and debates that aims to “produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries.” The Festival has featured a diverse collection of guests, including Anna Deavere Smith, Philip Glass, Stephen Hawking, and Oliver Sacks. On this website, visitors can check out dozens of videos created through this project. Many videos take the form of ninety-minute panel discussions, allowing visitors to hear multiple perspectives on a range of engaging issues. For example, the most recent video features a geneticist, a synthetic biologist, an ethicist, and a philosopher/bioethicist in conversation about the ethics of altering the humane genome. Another recent panel features actors, directors, and writers discussing the process of capturing important scientists and scientific discoveries in film and on stage. Visitors can watch most recent videos directly from this website, while the complete archive of World Science Festival videos is available on the organization’s YouTube page.