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/Mood & Emotion

Will they or won’t they? Prospective jumpers anguish at the edge of the high dive

16 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Genetics

Chimeras and lightning: a radical perspective on the evolution of complex life

6 minutes

Video/Art

Born of pain, filled with power – a teenage girl’s art that confronts in order to heal

6 minutes

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Polar bears need to be fat, and they can’t be without sea ice

Thea Bechshoft

Essay/Epidemiology

Who names diseases?

Swine Flu, Naples Soldier, Ebola. Disease names express fear, create stigma and distract attention. Can they be improved?

Laura Spinney

Video/Mathematics

Getting down with squares – the dance styles of geometry

6 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Idea/Space Exploration

Space exploration is still the brightest hope-bringer we have

Earle Kyle

Video/Evolution

Watch as the whale becomes itself: slowly, slowly, from land to sea, through deep time

10 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/History of Science

The cosmology of Poe

Drawing on intuition, Edgar Allan Poe offered some remarkably prescient ideas about the universe in his poem 'Eureka'

Paul Halpern