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Field Museum Hires Popular YouTube Personality

For Immediate Release
June 3, 2013

Chicago-The Field Museum today announced it has hired popular YouTube personality Emily Graslie as the Museum’s first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent. Graslie, 23, is the star of The Brain Scoop, a YouTube channel that in four months has become the most popular museum channel in the world, with over 2.4 million video views. In addition to its devoted and growing fan base, The Brain Scoop also has been highlighted on the websites of National Public Radio and Scientific American, and was featured on Wikipedia’s front page.

Graslie, a graduate of the University of Montana with a BFA in art, started volunteering at the school’s natural history museum in November, 2010. She worked in a lab where animal specimens are prepared for the museum's collections. Her enthusiasm for the job and skills as a communicator eventually led to the development of The Brain Scoop (named after a tool used in specimen preparation).

Her collaborator and co-writer Michael Aranda, 27, will help produce and edit Field Museum Brain Scoop episodes. Graslie and Aranda visited The Field Museum in April. While there, they attended a special behind-the-scenes event for Museum members and shot several Brain Scoop episodes.

When The Field Museum posted on Facebook that Graslie was in town and would give a tour of exhibitions, over 60 fans showed up, including parents who had taken their children out of school to meet her. She blogged about her Museum visit, “It’s better than a first kiss. It’s better than cake and brownies. I thought I was dreaming. I’m still not convinced I’m not in a coma.”  

Graslie will begin working at The Field Museum July 8. She will produce about 50 Brain Scoop episodes a year highlighting the Museum’s science and conservation work, exhibitions, and other activities. She also will conduct demonstrations in the Museum's public spaces and engage visitors in question and answer sessions. In addition, she plans to go into the field with scientists and will be available to media to share current Field Museum news. 

“We are delighted to have Emily on board. She will be a valuable contributor as we pursue our goal of communicating better to the public and reaching new audiences. We have wonderful, exciting stories to tell and her skills and enthusiasm will bring them to life in a new way,” said Field Museum President Richard Lariviere.

“I am thrilled to be coming to The Field Museum.  When I started volunteering at UM, I never imagined someday I would get the opportunity to work in one of the greatest museums in the world. This is an absolute dream come true!” said Graslie.

​In addition to her Field Museum job, Graslie is a long-distance student working towards a master’s degree in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University. ​

Note: Photo of Graslie available upon request.

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