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

Why Is Pop Music So Sad?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pop music's not what it used to be. A study published in the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts tracked the mood of pop songs over five decades of Billboard charts, and it confirms that pop has changed in substantial ways. Far more of today’s hits are now in minor ...

Graphic: How pop has become sadder since the 1960s

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Caught in Tomas Saraceno's Web

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last year, MIT established a Center for Art, Science & Technology to integrate arts into its engineering-centered curriculum. As the first artist in residence at the center, MIT picked Tomas Saraceno, whose works resemble strange, epically large science fair projects. Saraceno was born ...

Slideshow: The Work of Tomas Saraceno

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Winners: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Friday, February 15, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to answer in the form of an illustration, and we received more than 200 entries, includingcartoons, scientific illustrations, and abstract paintings. Julia Rothman, one of the editors ...

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Synergy: Artists Take on Ocean Science

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Each summer, the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, swells with scientists. They come from all over the world to study the ocean and its marine life. One of those scientists, Whitney Bernstein, a PhD candidate in chemical oceanography at MIT, wanted to find new ways to help her colleagues reach ...

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Staff Picks: Are We Alone in the Universe?

Monday, February 11, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to send us the answer in the form of an illustration. We'll reveal the winner next week. Meantime, the Studio 360 staff couldn't help choosing our own, unofficial favorites. ...

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Making Portraits Out of DNA

Friday, February 08, 2013

Everywhere we go, we leave a trail of personal information — in the stray hairs that land on park benches, or saliva on the edges of coffee cups. And artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg may be collecting that information, whether you like it or not. Using equipment and procedures ...

Video: Kurt Andersen's DNA Mask Revealed

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Down and Dirty at the Museum of Math?

Friday, January 25, 2013

For a long time, just about the only serious math museum in America was in New Hyde Park, New York — a Long Island suburban town you’ve probably never heard of. Then it closed in 2006, leaving no serious math museum. Did we need one to begin with? Glen Whitney thought so ...

Slideshow: Inside the Museum of Mathematics

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Memory is Fiction

Friday, January 18, 2013

For a recent live event at The Greene Space in New York, Studio 360 teamed up with The Story Collider to present a night of true stories about memory and the brain. Or “true-ish,” as Kurt Andersen says — as we all know (and science confirms), the act of remembering is not only subjective ...

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Studio 360 Live: Stories of Neuroscience & Memory

Friday, January 18, 2013

This week, we talk about telling stories in science through words and pictures. The new book The Where, the Why, and the How pairs explanations of scientific mysteries with playful, intriguing illustrations by 75 artists. Kurt Andersen speaks with one of the book’s editors, and gives our listeners a new ...

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True Story: Keeping Memories Safe

Friday, January 18, 2013

On Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, the entire country stands at attention to observe a moment of silence. Everyone, that is, except for Daniela Schiller’s father, who sips coffee and reads the paper. Schiller’s attempts to talk with her father about his experiences in the ...

Video: Daniela Schiller on Memory

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The Where, the Why, and the How

Friday, January 18, 2013

Science has had a pretty good run these last few centuries: immunology, space travel, the Higgs Boson. But there are still plenty of phenomena at the edge of our understanding. The Where, the Why, and the How is a sort of text book for grown-ups that addresses science’s enduring mysteries ...

Slideshow: Inside The Where, the Why, and the How

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True Story: Remembering My Mother Forgetting

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meehan Crist is the Writer in Residence in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, and she’s working on a book about traumatic brain injury. Her obsession with the topic started close to home, when her mother suffered a concussion and began forgetting things — all kinds of things: where ...

Video: Meehan Crist on Memory

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How America Fell for the Mars Rover

Friday, January 11, 2013

When NASA first landed a man on the moon (which we do believe happened), an estimated 500 million people worldwide watched on TV. Decades later, when the shuttle program was canceled, and manned space flight just about abandoned, a lot of Americans felt that NASA lost its mojo ...

Video: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation

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Mind Games: Designing with EEG

Friday, December 21, 2012

EEG — electroencephalography — is almost a century old, and it’s creeping out of the research lab and the neurologist’s office. Headsets embedded with electrodes to read electrical activity in the brain are commercially available, and designers are using that information for all sorts of purposes ...

Slideshow: The Ascent

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Gary Marcus: Defining Creativity

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kurt Andersen talks with Gary Marcus about what science knows, and doesn’t know, about creativity. Marcus is the director of New York University’s Center for Language and Music, and the author of Guitar Zero, a book about how the brain learns. Marcus is skeptical of tests that measure ...

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Gary Marcus: Enhancing Creativity

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kurt Andersen asks about the role of disinhibition — the brain loosening control of its output — as a component of creativity, noting alcohol and drug use among artists of all kinds. Marcus adds LSD to the list, for a brief but innovative era. But he describes current research ...

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Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Network

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jaron Lanier is a pioneering computer scientist, a creator of virtual reality, a musician, and the author of You Are Not a Gadget, which takes a skeptical view of the role we have given technology in our lives. Lanier worries that it discourages originality and uniqueness in the generation ...

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Imaginary Friends Forever

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lots of kids have imaginary friends. Marjorie Taylor, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon, has been looking at imaginary friends and the children who have them. “They tend to be more social, less shy, and do better on tasks which require you to take the perspective ...

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So You Think You're Creative?

Friday, November 23, 2012

We're always talking about creativity, but what do we mean? Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it? Kurt talks with professor and author Gary Marcus (Guitar Zero) about what science tells us about creativity. A researcher shoves jazz musicians into an fMRI machines and has ...

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The Neuroscience of Jazz

Friday, November 23, 2012

Charles Limb is a professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who has a sideline in brain research; he’s also on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He wants to know what happens in our brains when we play piano. Simple: stick a musician in an fMRI machine ...

Video: "Your Brain on Improv"

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