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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

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Applying Science to the Study of File Sharing Leads to a Startling Conclusion

Sometimes something happens in the entertainment industry that becomes the subject of scientific inquiry. Social scientists occasionally seek answers to questions important either to the entertainment industry, society at large, or both.
Take, for example, research being done in the field of economics. At least a dozen economists at several North American universities have been studying the impact file sharing has had on the music industry, in particular, sales of prerecorded music. Everyone is pretty much in agreement that file sharing, made possible and easy by advancements in computer and communications technology, adversely affected recording industry revenue during the 1990s and early 2000s. But how big a problem has it been? At least one economist thinks he has the answer, and it is rather startling.

Robots! Aliens! Time travel! Superheroes! SCIENCE!

At the 2012 San Diego Comic Con we’re putting the Sci in SciFi with the return of the popular panel:

The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder

Packed with the names behind some of the biggest science fiction hits in Hollywood and TV, the panel will explore the science behind movies and series including Thor, Eureka, Prometheus, and SyFy’s upcoming blockbuster series Defiance. Keeping the science straight in an ongoing series can be a nightmare for writers, so we’ve tapped some of the best to talk about how it’s done, and how to remain faithful to both reality and story mythology. We’ll be talking prequels, sequels, and creating good stories with good science from the ground up.

Podcasts for the Science Enthusiast

Modern society keeps yelling out “there are not enough hours in a day” and “we must increase our multi-tasking capabilities” so let’s consider discovering science via podcasts. An array of choices await, each presenting science uniquely. Here are a few to sample:  

Science Friday (SciFri)   

NAS, NAE, and IOM present 'Decisiontown' at USA Science and Engineering Festival

Decisiontown Logo

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine are collaborating with the USA Science and Engineering Festival to present Decisiontown, a hands-on exhibit designed to show how citizens can use science, engineering, and medicine to make informed decisions in their daily lives. Decisiontown will be one of more than 3,000 exhibits at the festival, a free public event which takes place in Washington, D.C., on April 28 and 29.

Tour Recap: The Exchange Brings Entertainers to the FBI

“You have to talk to your kids.” Always solid advice for any parent, however when this “word to the wise” comes from a cyber crime investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who specializes in breaking up online child pornography rings, this simple statement can resonate in ways far greater than face value.

Surprising Sloan Split Decision at Sundance

Park City, Utah – Filmgoers perhaps unaccustomed to the mercury in the teens and, if you are a Los Angelino, to good quality public transit, made the annual trek to Wasatch County for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival from January 20th to 29th. Among the program highlights is the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Prize for a feature film that focuses on science or technology as a theme or depicts a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character. Past winners have included Sleep Dealer, House of Sand, Obselidia, and Another Earth.

Science on Tap: Time Travel

“You think that the past is fixed and the future is up for grabs, but as far as the laws of physics are concerned they are equally real,” said Caltech’s Sean Carroll with a mischievous grin that seemed to suggest that he could actually see every brain in the room processing his words, accelerating to keep up.

On January 11, The Science & Entertainment Exchange held the second installment of its ongoing series Science on Tap at the Formosa Café in West Hollywood. The latest topic: From Eternity to Here: Time Travel for Beginners. Professor Sean Carroll wowed as the night’s one and only speaker in an interactive banter over beer on the nature of time, spaghettification (as a technical term), and why time travel is absolutely possible – in fact we do it every day … slowly forward.

Environmentalism for Kids: The Lorax Hits Theaters in March 2012

On March 3, 2012, Dr. Seuss’s famed book The Lorax will come to the big screen. The trailer, released a couple weeks ago, gives a glimpse into the expanded adaptation. The film version of The Lorax follows Ted, a young boy on a mission to find a living tree for the girl he likes. It is a journey that leads him to the Once-ler (and some trouble with Thneedville’s villainous owner). The trailer opens up Thneedville to show residents pumping plastic bushes and driving large one-wheeled SUVs, not to mention the barren treeless landscape outside the town’s walls.

Time Flies: The Psychology of Time

It’s almost time for another year to roll around, and with the New Year right around the corner, this is a great time to talk about time. Maybe 2011 went by in a flash for you or maybe it dragged on slowly – but have you ever stopped to wonder why time can feel as though it’s sped up or slowed down? 

The Exchange December Update: Look What We've Been Up To!

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The season of giving is upon us, and in the spirit of the holidays we would like to thank our volunteer consultants who give their knowledge and time to The Exchange. As screenwriter Samantha Corbin-Miller put it:

The Exchange has proven to be an invaluable resource for me as a writer. I am constantly blown away by their ability to find knowledgeable, engaging medical professionals who are willing to take time out from their life-saving work to help make my scripts more authentic and accurate.

- Samantha Corbin-Miller, Writer/Producer

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