British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Updates to the BUFVC Gateway

The BUFVC Moving Image Gateway includes over 1,250 websites relating to video, multimedia and sound materials. These have been subdivided into over 40 subject areas. To suggest new entries or amendments, please contact us by email or telephone or visit the Gateway at

Arts Council Podcasts
A series of six audio podcast magazine programmes, released monthly from July 2012, exploring the innovative use of digital technology in the arts and cultural sector. Each programme focuses on a particular theme, covering the following six areas: User generated content, social media and audience curation; Digital distribution and exhibition; Mobile & location-based technology and gaming; Data and archives; Business models; and Education and learning. The podcasts, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Arts Council’s iTunes or Sound Cloud channels, feature interviews and discussions with experts and contributions from audience members and are all accompanied by downloadable transcripts.

How Stuff Works
The brainchild of former North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain, this site uses various media, including podcasts and videos, to explain how things work. It is essentially a popular science site but contains a great deal of high quality educational content and has now expanded to cover non-science subjects. Searching is made easier by a clear interface in which categories with their various subdivisions are simply displayed: the Engineering Videos page, for example, features categories such as Robotics, Buildings and Structures, Materials Science. The site’s videos and podcasts are supplemented by a number of blogs.

Maison Française D’Oxford
The Maison Française D’Oxford is a research centre associated with the University of Oxford and specialising in the humanities and social sciences. The website offers over 450 podcasts, some of which are in French and some in English, which take the form of lectures, discussions, conferences and interviews, covering literature, politics, philosophy, history, languages and the problems of translation, amongst other subjects. The range of material – anything from the management practice and theory, through lectures on Leibniz, Spinoza and Rousseau, is broad, though particular attention is given to French – British inititatives, collaborations and exchanges of ideas: such as these talks on English and French Positivists or this lecture about French and British contributions to analytic philosophy. The podcasts can be downloaded or streamed and are free to listen to.

This video sharing website is primarily aimed at science researchers but would also be of interest to university students and teachers: the content ranges from highly specialised articles from academic journals to elementary science videos. With its tagline of ‘Making Science Visible’, SciVee aims to enable its users to upload, view and share science videos and also to combine and synchronize video with documents and posters so that “the relevant parts of the article appear as the author discusses them during the during the video presentation”. The founders of the site – Professors Phil Bourne and Leo Chalupa from the University of California – call this ‘Pubcasting’ and ‘Postercasting’. Videos and articles on the site can be searched for by subject, or according to the scientific journal in which the article appeared. The focus is on the sciences – astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, genetics, engineering, physics etc. and the medical sciences are strongly represented too, but there is also material on psychology, geology, information science and the social sciences. Unregistered users can watch content for free, while in order to be able to upload and synchronize videos you must register: the aim of the site is really to build an interactive and growing community. The site is user-friendly, innovative, has a strong focus and is well worth exploring.

The Thirst Podcast
Ed Fraser, a graduate of the Department of Philosophy at King’s College, London, co-hosts this podcast with colleague Rob Horwood. The episodes are divided into two main sections: the first, Bottled Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, consists of two five part series. Series 1 covers epistemology and metaphysics – looking at questions of free will and determinism, the mind and the brain and the ontological argument, amongst others. Series 2 tackles ethics and politics, justice, the global poor and the justification for political authority. The second section, Pint-sized Philosophy regards contemporary issues through a philosophical lens: Considering Twitter and Freedom of Speech asks whether or not offensive tweets should be censored. The presentation is engaging and light-hearted in style: the format based on the idea that Fraser is teaching his friend about philosophy. The end result is clearly-presented, informative and of interest to the general listener, as well as philosophy undergraduates or those considering studying philosophy. Each podcast comes with a list of suggested further reading and the series is also available on iTunes.

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