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Verge Science just won a Webby Award

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We’re looking forward to another banner year of science stories

The jury is in, and we’re pleased to announce that Verge Science has won a Webby Award and a People’s Voice Award in the Science & Education (Channels & Networks) category. We started the Verge Science series on YouTube less than a year ago, and we have been stunned to see how quickly it amassed an audience of more than 750,000 subscribers.

We’re incredibly proud to see that our series has earned a seat at the table with some of the best science video journalism out there. Alongside today’s award, we thought we’d look back at some of our favorite work and consider a few things that make for a good Verge Science video.

88,000 tons of radioactive waste – and nowhere to put it.

First, we have the distinct joy of working with some of the very best science reporters in the biz. The video above was a collaboration with reporter Rachel Becker, who wrote both the video script and an in-depth report, which chronicled the nerve-wracking quantity of radioactive waste stranded at a decommissioned power plant near San Diego. Every video we’ve put out has been informed and improved by our team: our reporters, Rachel Becker, Angela Chen, and Loren Grush, and our directors, Alex Parkin and Cory Zapatka.

Tiny meteorites are everywhere. Here’s how to find them.

Second, wherever possible, we try to break off a small chunk of an experiment we’re exploring and attempt to do it ourselves. It makes the videos more active and adventurous; there’s no better time to report on and explain an experiment than while you’re carrying it out. We built a whole miniseries around this philosophy called “Trial & Error,” and the video above is our first episode. It’s about hunting for tiny meteorites on the roofs of Brooklyn. The experiments never go quite as planned, but they never bore us either.

We met the world’s first domesticated foxes.

Third, our general rule is to follow the science as far into the future as it will allow. This video about domesticated foxes is our take on a famous science story that began in the Soviet Union nearly 60 years ago. We gave it our own gonzo-esque spin (that’s me locked in a cage with said foxes), but we also focused on what a celebrated, historic science experiment can still offer today. The result is a deep dive into fox genetics and the future of domestication, and it’s one of our most popular videos to date.

Is gallium nitride the silicon of the future?

Fourth, we wanted to stay true to our YouTube-y roots. Big, far-flung documentaries can be exciting, but sometimes what a story needs most is some quality time spent tinkering in our studio and digging into a story there. Studio stories give our reporters a chance to connect with the audience in an intimate setting, and let us get visually experimental in a controlled environment. This story about gallium nitride combined a bit of the “gadget teardown” format (though carried out a bit more violently than usual) with a broader exploration of how the materials we uncovered will shape the future of gadgets.

Test-firing a new rocket engine (and watching it explode).

Finally, we’re all about how messy science can be. The space industry, for example, often feels like one massive “Trial & Error” series, and we try to get as close to the action as we can, because it’s never totally clear what we might see (or not see, in the case of an infamous NASA launch). Above is a favorite story of ours from the early days of Verge Science. It captures the madcap fun of trying to keep up when your story’s subject really won’t cooperate.

It’s been a wild ride, and we’re looking forward to another year of ambitious and experimental video journalism. Thanks to everyone who has watched, subscribed, and made Verge Science the go-to destination for science storytelling that it is today.

Update 4/23: Just one more! We couldn’t resist adding another one of our favorite videos, about the future uses of gallium nitride, to the list.