Science and Creativity from Studio 360: the art of innovation. A sculpture unlocks a secret of cell structure, a tornado forms in a can, and a child's toy gets sent into orbit. Exploring science as a creative act since 2005. Produced by PRI and WNYC, and supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Recently in Science and Creativity

Your Brain on Drugs: Creative?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The association of art with altered states of consciousness goes back a long way. Archeological evidence of fermented beverages and some of the oldest musical instruments were found at the same 9,000-year-old site in China. Do alcohol and marijuana improve creativity?

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A Dance Piece That Takes You Inside The Heart

Friday, March 14, 2014

If you’re one of those people who’s shy about audience participation, you should steer clear of Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects’ “4Chambers.” Or better yet, don’t. One of the dancers will pull you in, and take you on an intimate trip through a metaphorical heart. “I love it when people come in ...

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Seeing Sound: Synesthetic Art

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pharrell, Kanye West, and Billy Joel have it. Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige say they do too. In recent years synesthesia — a condition that causes the senses to blend together — has become a high-prestige neurological namedrop for creative people. First recognized by scientists ...

Slideshow: Synesthesic Art

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Kirk to Enterprise: Star Trek in Your Pocket

Friday, January 24, 2014

“By 2013, I literally envisioned that I would be retiring on the moon,” says Candy Torres, a former software engineer for the International Space Station. Like so many scientists of her generation, Torres grew up watching Star Trek in the late 1960s. On the Enterprise ...

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Chris Hadfield: How to Brush Your Teeth in Space

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chris Hadfield’s recent cover of David Bowie’s classic song “Space Oddity” has more than 20 million views on YouTube. And not because of Hadfield’s voice (which isn’t bad, for an astronaut). Commander Hadfield was singing the song in space aboard the International Space Station ...

Video: Hadfield sings “Space Oddity” on board the International Space Station

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Will Your Next Car Fly?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Along with robots and ray guns, the 21st century was definitely supposed to include flying cars. We have pretty decent robots, and all kinds of lasers. As for the flying cars, there is a very small, well-funded race among a few entrepreneurs to make this sci-fi trope a reality. In Davis, California ...

Slideshow: Moller International’s Skycar

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You’re Living in a Science Fiction Story

Friday, January 24, 2014

It’s easy to look back at old science fiction and see it as silly. But there are important ideas embedded in those stories that influenced scientists and the way technology developed. Take the first science fiction film, Le Voyage dans La Lune or A Trip to the Moon, based on a story by Jules Verne ...

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Carl Zimmer on Giant Sandworms

Friday, January 24, 2014

The science writer Carl Zimmer was 10 years old when his family moved to rural New Jersey. He quickly made a new friend whose father was the prolific science fiction illustrator John Schoenherr. Zimmer hadn’t read Dune, or seen Schoenherr’s unforgettable illustrations of sandworms. ...

Slideshow: Jack Schoenherr’s paintings

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Will Computers Take Over the World?

Friday, January 24, 2014

It’s been a trope in science fiction for years: someday the computers will become self-aware and take over. But in 1993, the computer scientist and science fiction author Vernor Vinge wrote a serious academic paper in which he predicted that we were only a few decades away from that ...

Video: Ray Kurzweil’s lecture at Singularity University

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Flying Cars and Tricorders: How Sci-Fi Invented the Present

Friday, January 24, 2014

From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to George Orwell’s 1984 to Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nominated Her, artists have imagined what the future will look like. In this week’s episode, Kurt Andersen explores how science fiction has shaped the world we’re living in right now. The inventor of the cell phone gives credit to

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Annalee Newitz: The Future Is Coming to Get You

Friday, January 24, 2014

Scientists and science writers can rattle off all the sci-fi that inspired them to build great things. But Annalee Newitz, editor of io9, thinks that dystopian science fiction is less inspirational, but more influential. Dystopian sci-fi cautions against our hubris. For example, when Google bought ...

Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen’s extended conversation with Annalee Newitz

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Studio 360 Parties in 3D: featuring Javelin

Monday, December 23, 2013

3D printers make it possible to print almost anything. So we wanted to see what our listeners might do with this new technology, so we teamed up with the 3D printer maker MakerBot to give them a challenge: to create a holiday ornament. Last week, we threw a party in WNYC's Greene ...

Video: Javelin, "Airfield" (live)

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Makerbot and the Holiday Ornament Challenge

Friday, November 22, 2013

If a button’s missing on your remote control, your kid’s toy car has a broken wheel, or the temple tips fall off your eyeglasses, you’d probably just throw your hands up and say, well there goes that. Those days could soon be over thanks to a cutting-edge technology: 3D printing ...

Enter the 3D Printing Challenge

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Extra Credit: 3D Printing Challenge

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Studio 360 is partnering with MakerBot, a company that makes 3D printers, to give you a new Extra Credit project: a holiday ornament challenge. Winners of the challenge will have the chance to take part in our live event in New York on December 17.

Enter the contest

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Darwin Got It Wrong

Friday, November 01, 2013

Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Lord Kelvin are remembered as unimpeachable geniuses. But over the course of their careers, they each made tremendous errors — not just faulty equations but fundamental misunderstandings. In Brilliant Blunders, Mario Livio showcases those failures and the surprising discoveries ...

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Andrea Barrett's Literary Science

Friday, November 01, 2013

Andrea Barrett dropped out of a graduate program in zoology, but has never left science behind. Nearly all of her books, including the National Book Award-winning story collection Ship Fever, are set in moments when the grand sweep of science intrudes upon the inner lives of individuals. In Barrett’s new book Archangel ...

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Drone Art

Friday, September 27, 2013

Movies and TV are absorbing drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles as they are properly called) as plot devices in The Bourne Legacy and Homeland, for example. But some fine artists are also trying to sway this national conversation. Adam Harvey designs burqas and hijabs that make the wearer invisible ...

Video: Dancing with Robots

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Making Friends with Drones

Friday, September 27, 2013

Missy Cummings saw the dawn of the age of drones — sorry, “unmanned aerial vehicles” — firsthand from the deck of an aircraft carrier. As one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots, flying an F-18, Cummings realized that improvements in GPS were going to obviate her job. So she switched gears ...

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David Brooks: What Our Words Tell Us

Friday, August 09, 2013

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote that our word choice proves that we’ve become a more individualistic society.  Brooks cited Ngram studies which showed that in the last 50 years, words like “self” and “unique” have been on the rise while “community" and "share” ...

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Big Data and Culturomics

Friday, August 09, 2013

Big Data — and how we use it — is changing the way we understand our culture and history.  Research scientists Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean Baptiste Michel teamed up with Google to create the (highly addictive) Ngram Viewer: it sifts through millions of digitized books and charts the ...

Send us your Big Data discoveries

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