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Welcome back to Sofa Science: a laid back, (mostly) unedited chat with other science YouTubers about their career, their opinions on science communication and YouTube, and a bit of therapy thrown in. This time we’ve got Hank Green on the sofa chatting about how he went from scientist to science YouTuber, becoming the boss of a company and how fame has affected him.

Sofa Science is also available in podcast form in all your favourite podcast places.

Remember, it’s low-quality production, high-quality chat.

Questions and time codes:
00:00 Intro
00:30 Who are you?
02:10 Would you call yourself a science YouTuber?
03:10 We go off on a tangent about depressing news and staying aware of current affairs
05:20 How did you get started in YouTube and science?
08:50 Did you ever think I want to be a science presenter when I grow up?
09:52 What did you do after your Biochemistry Masters?
11:37 A family of armadillos enter the scene
15:18 What was the biggest takeaway from your journalism course?
17:50 What’s the jump from writing a science blog to running a hugely successful YouTube show?
19:30 YouTube asked you to pitch an educational course?
20:30 Is $100 million a lot of money in traditional TV terms?
21:12 How do you go from YouTubing on your own to hiring a team with a big budget?
23:10 What was it like becoming someone’s boss?
26:33 You wrote a book about fame. Or is it about robots?
27:50 How has fame changed you personally?
29:03 “Don’t be a super dick” Hank Green, 2018
30:40 Hank hates the word “influencer”
32:18 Reading your book felt like reading a warning to other YouTubers. Discuss.
32:52 What is your biggest fear about how fame will affect you?
35:05 Are there changes you wish hadn’t happened as your career has progressed?
37:25 How do you define success with regards to YouTube?
39:07 How do you think SciShow has managed to be successful for so long?
41:05 What are some videos you wish you could make if you weren’t restricted by your format?
43:11 Do you have annual review meetings to see what’s doing well?
43:45 What video are you proudest of?
45:35 What is your role now within SciShow?
47:06 Is there a video you’re least proud of?
48:00 Hank chats about being ‘aggressively non-sexual’ and why presenters are traditionally attractive
51:38 Do you have any rules about what you make public and what you keep private?
54:16 Why do you wish you could be more public about your life?
56:35 What one thing do you wish the audience knew that you don’t think they know?
58:14 What’s your favourite platform?
Our SciShow Tangents episode:
1:00:00 Do you lurk on other people’s videos?

Hank Green:


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Dr Sally Le Page is a British evolutionary biologist and science YouTuber. The aim of these videos is to bring science further into popular culture by making science videos that make you laugh, make you feel and make you think.
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