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

Alan Turing, Digital Pioneer

Friday, November 21, 2014

Alan Turing’s pioneering vision for computers continues to shape our daily lives, decades after his death.

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Alan Turing, Man and Myth

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the British code breaker and mathematician. But Turing, the original computer genius, remains enigmatic.

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Going Viral

Friday, September 12, 2014

From rabies in ancient Greece to a pandemic in World of Warcraft, we look at how viruses have spread through the cultural imagination.

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Playing Against the Virus

Friday, September 12, 2014

When an unintentional pandemic spread through World of Warcraft, epidemiologists studied the online game to learn real-world lessons.

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The Flame Alphabet

Friday, September 12, 2014

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” In his novel The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus imagines what would happen if children’s language made their parents sick.

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What Going Viral Means

Friday, September 12, 2014

Computer viruses and memes were born at the same time. But, for journalist Bill Wasik, it’s time to retire the metaphor of things “going viral” online.

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Viruses at the Movies

Friday, September 12, 2014

Radiation used to be Hollywood’s go-to plot device. Now, viruses explain everything from vampires to the zombie apocalypse — but that’s not what really scares public health experts.

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Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, September 12, 2014

We’ve been living with computer viruses since the earliest networks. But how similar are they to biological ones?

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Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some of our culture’s most enduring monsters transmit their contagion through biting — werewolves, zombies, and vampires. Are these myths really about rabies?

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Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, September 12, 2014

Why do scientists want to recreate viral monsters like the 1918 Spanish flu? And if they do, should they be allowed to publish the instructions?

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How to Fly to Alpha Centauri

Friday, July 18, 2014

It’s a staple of sci-fi, but the realities of interstellar travel are grim: it would take tens of thousands of years to get to our nearest neighbor in the galaxy using current technology. But some scientists working on the problem think it can be cracked in about a century.

Slideshow: Starship Designs

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The Power of Positive Sci-Fi

Friday, July 18, 2014

Has our fiction grown too fond of dystopia? Sci-fi great Neal Stephenson thinks so. He’s building a community of writers who are willing to start from a truly far-fetched premise: what if humans actually have a chance?

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The Real Scientists of Hollywood

Friday, July 18, 2014

Every sci-fi film and TV show, no matter how cockamamie, needs a science advisor. Surprisingly, these scientists take the far-fetched scenarios cooked up by screenwriters seriously. Today’s real-life science, they point out, was yesterday’s laughable sci-fi.

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These Aren't the Droids

Friday, July 18, 2014

Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, and Ellie Kemper lament a future designed by and for teenage guys.

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At MIT, an Ethics Class for Inventors

Friday, July 18, 2014

A class led by two researchers at MIT’s Media Lab asks students to take imaginary technologies from sci-fi classics and turn them into real inventions. Will they miss the point of cautionary tales like Blade Runner or Neuromancer?

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The SimCity of Tomorrow

Friday, July 18, 2014

One of the longest-running and most successful video game franchises, SimCity, draws on current trends to imagine life in a simulated future. In its latest iteration, gamers have a choice between building rich but polluting industry and investing in green technology. You might be surprised which one is more popular.

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For a Black Writer, Sci-Fi Offers a Reboot of Society

Friday, July 18, 2014

African-American writers have been contributing to the development of science fiction from the beginning. Artist and writer Carl Hancock Rux says they’ve used the genre to think their way out of race relations as we know them.  

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Will Sci-Fi Save Us?

Friday, July 18, 2014

What does today’s sci-fi mean for our real-life future?  Cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson argues that it’s time to get over our love of dystopia. A class at MIT searches sci-fi classics for technologies they can invent right now, although maybe they shouldn’t. Geoengineers take a tip from Carl Sagan – ...

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Hacking the Climate

Friday, July 18, 2014

Geoengineering — tampering with the Earth’s climate — is a sci-fi idea that could very well become a reality. But it’s controversial, because it’s impossible to know the long-term effects of tampering with such a complex system.

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Chris Hadfield: How to Brush Your Teeth in Space

Friday, July 04, 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 ...

 

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