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/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/History of Ideas

Music is marvellous, but not mysterious: an interview with Lydia Goehr

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Amid massive urbanisation and modernisation, rural Japan persists in idiosyncratic corners

30 minutes

Essay/Human Evolution

Sex makes babies

As far as we can tell, no other animal knows this. Did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history?

Holly Dunsworth & Anne Buchanan

Video/Philosophy of Science

How LSD helped a scientist find beauty in a peculiar and overlooked form of life

6 minutes

Idea/Astronomy

What high-speed astronomy can tell us about the galactic zoo

Christopher Kochanek

Essay/Evolution

Aliens in our midst

The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself

Douglas Fox

Video/Biology

From egg to the air: 21 days of bee development condensed into one mesmerising minute

1 minutes

Idea/Anthropology

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

Peter Ungar