The Contenders

3 minutes

Video gamers solve a biological puzzle that has stumped scientists for years

Video games are frequently seen as an unproductive pastime, but the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington hopes its crowdsourcing puzzle game, Foldit, might eventually help cure debilitating and terminal diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. Taking inspiration from classic 8-bit video game sights and sounds, Lucy Walker’s The Contenders reveals how nine Foldit players ended up as the first gaming group ever to co-author an academic research paper. The film argues for the value of basic human intelligence and for crowdsourcing as agents of positive change in the modern world.

Director: Lucy Walker

Producer: Joseph Peeler

Video/Gender & Sexuality

In southern Mexico, a long-acknowledged ‘third gender’ is not masculine or feminine

9 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/Design & Fashion

A film that dreams of a poem that dreams of tragedy and love

4 minutes

Video/Astronomy

The plodding photon, or how the speed of light looks sluggish on a galactic scale

45 minutes

Essay/Mathematics

How to play mathematics

The world is full of mundane, meek, unconscious things embodying fiendishly complex mathematics. What can we learn from them?

Margaret Wertheim

Idea/History of Science

The missing fossils matter as much as the ones we have found

Adrian Currie & Derek Turner

Video/Evolution

A cut-throat case of evolutionary backstabbing in the Peruvian rainforest

3 minutes

Essay/Physics

This granular life

That the world is not solid but made up of tiny particles is a very ancient insight. Is it humanity’s greatest idea?

Carlo Rovelli

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Idea/Physics

Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator

Joel Frohlich