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

Understanding Creative Savants

Friday, October 14, 2011

We all know the Thomas Edison line: genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. But there are those who don't seem to perspire at all. Their extraordinary gifts seem to come from no where. We often call those people savants. And some neuroscientists are trying to understand where their talents come from ...

Slideshow: Art by Joel Gilb, Age 12

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Imagine Science Film Festival

Friday, October 07, 2011

The fourth Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF) will be held in New York City October 14-21. Venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will host 80 films from 15 countries. They are diverse in style and subject, but the selection committee clearly placed a high value on striking visuals. The films may not have been created for wide commercial distribution, but ...

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2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics Teaches About Music

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Saul Perlmutter, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics, teaches "Physics and Music" at UC Berkeley. From his course description: "The mysteries of music have long inspired scientists to invent new tools of thought, and some of the earliest scientific concepts were invented to understand music. ... Questions as simple as "Why do different instruments ...

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Seeing Stats: The Art of Data Visualization

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Many scientists have no trouble conjuring rich images in their heads just from scanning columns of data. For the rest of us, it's essential to turn that data into something we can relate to more easily. This is where the designers of scientific visualizations come in. Using models enriched with colors and contours ...

Video: Earthquake simulation

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Online Gamers Make Discovery in HIV Battle

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last weekend, the journal Nature Structure & Molecular Biology published a key discovery in the study of HIV — and it was made with the help of online gamers. They were playing Foldit, a game which challenges players to figure out the structures of real enzymes and proteins.  One of those puzzles was a protein ...

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Poetry and Taxonomy

Thursday, September 01, 2011

When Studio 360 contributor and science reporter Ari Daniel Shapiro visited at the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology last winter, he met Dhugal Lindsay.  The Australian researcher explores the deep seas using robotic submersibles carrying video cameras and sampling equipment.  And he's given names to some of the species he's found.

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DJ Spooky Remixes Antarctica

Monday, August 22, 2011

DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller) has just released The Book of Ice, a new interactive graphic design project that weaves together the history and future of the human relationship to the wild, inhospitable continent of Antarctica.

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Microbial Videogames

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse runs a biophysics lab at Stanford University, but he spends about half his time tinkering with videogames. He’s not playing World of Warcraft. Reidel-Kruse creates his own videogames using living microbes. The most playable is Pacmecium, inspired by classic Pac-Man, in which the player guides a host of paramecia around obstacles and...

Video: Playing the microbial videogame Pacmecium

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Maggie Gyllenhaal Channels Madame Curie

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Marie Curie is the sexiest story in science history and has charmed authors, filmmakers, and playwrights.  Add Alan Alda to the list, who makes his playwrighting debut with Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie.  At the opening gala for the World Science Festival last night, a terrific cast (including Maggie Gyllenhaal and Liev Shreiber) performed a reading.

Listen to an excerpt

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More Adventures in 3D Sound!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Last week we aired an exclusive first 3D radio broadcast. Our segment featured a breakthrough technology developed by Princeton astrophysicist Edgar Choueiri that allows stereo playback to sound much more real and lifelike. The response was overwhelming and listeners flooded our website with suggestions...

Bonus Track: Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) in 3D

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The Blind Astrophysicist

Friday, May 06, 2011

Astronomers used to believe in something called “the music of the spheres” — they thought that planets and stars created harmonies as they traveled through the skies. These days, astronomy is mostly a matter of visual data expressed in charts and graphs. That won’t work for Wanda Diaz, ...

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Adventures in 3D Sound: Bach and Binaural Recording

Friday, April 29, 2011

Edgar Choueiri's digital audio filter can take almost any recording and turn it into 3D — stereo tracks take on new depth and sound amazingly realistic after a quick pass through his algorithm. 

Listen to a demonstration and watch Kurt Andersen make a binaural recording

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Adventures in 3D Sound!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Edgar Chouieri knows how things work; he’s a rocket scientist — officially, the Director of Princeton University's Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory. If NASA ever sends a person to Mars, Chouieri’s research probably will have played a role. But Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen visited his lab recently to get a taste of the future right now. Chouieri’s hobby is acoustics...

Bonus Track: Listen to Sound in 3D

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Adventures in 3D Sound: Edgar Choueiri's Home Lab

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Edgar Chouieri is a longtime professor of applied physics and aerospace engineering — but since 2003 he has been moonlighting as an audio engineer, obsessed with 3D sound. And he's has figured out how to reproduce realistic 3D sound from just two speakers.

Video: Edgar Chouieri considers Bach in 3D

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Creative Minds Go Green

Friday, April 22, 2011

To celebrate Earth Day, Kurt Andersen looks at creative approaches to our environmental challenges. President Obama is still pushing on environmental issues even in the face of Congressional gridlock. We hear from scientists, engineers, and artists developing cutting-edge solutions that just might change their corners of the world entirely.

Special ...

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Eco Art

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photographer Brandon Ballengée spends his days hunting for frogs with extra legs and missing eyes. He's an eco artist, and by seeking out these mutant anomalies, he hopes to bring environmentalism to new...

Slideshow: Brandon Ballengée's Eco Art

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Joni Mitchell: Paved Paradise

Friday, April 22, 2011

Joni Mitchell's song "Big Yellow Taxi," from 1970, is the closest thing we've ever had to an environmental anthem.  Mitchell told us how she's bothered by green...

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William McDonough: Godfather of Green

Friday, April 22, 2011

William McDonough is a grand old man in the young field of green architecture.  In the 1970s, he built the first "green roof" in America — a corporate headquarters with a meadow on top — and is now working on a sustainable building for NASA.  Kurt Andersen asks him about the...

Slideshow:  William McDonough's Green Designs

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Coney Island Sunshine

Friday, April 22, 2011

The New York subway system has one of the best environmental designs of recent years: Coney Island's Stillwell Avenue terminal, one block from the Atlantic Ocean, is topped by a state-of-the-art photovoltaic glass roof.  Kurt Andersen took the F train to the last stop to check it out with...

Slideshow: Stillwell Avenue Terminal

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Bacteria Biofuel

Friday, April 22, 2011

Frances Arnold is a biochemical engineer at Cal Tech working on one part of the energy crisis.  Her team is altering the genetic codes of bacteria to evolve a strain of organisms than can digest grass and excrete biofuel.  She tells Kurt Andersen about the process called "directed evolution."

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