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Video and in particular Youtube with its massive reach on the web, is an increasingly useful medium for communicating science.

And students from the University of Auckland competing in the inaugural Comvita Video Challenge have provided evidence of that, going to great efforts to produce slick little videos communicating, in this case, the science behind natural health products like manuka honey, broccoli, Propolis, Omega 3, olive leaf complex and green tea.

As a judge of the competition, which saw $5000 go to a team looking at the health benefits of omega-3 fish oil, I was really impressed at the innovative choices the teams made to communicate the science.

The great thing about the Omegamation video was that it managed to get the message across in a little over a minute – other videos submitted in the competition ran to over 3 minutes. At a workshop on making short videos I co-hosted for the students in Auckland a few months back, I showed a few of my favourite science videos, few of which went over the two minute mark. If you can’t communicate a scientific concept in less than two minutes via video, its really worth considering whether this is the right medium if you are looking to reach a broad audience.

Congratulations to the winners and the runners-up, who looked at the beneficial properties of green tea and picked up $2000 in prize money.

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