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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

Melissa Pollak

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Opinion Exchange: The Best show You’re Probably Not Watching

If you watch nothing else on television – not that I recommend that you do that – you should be watching CBS Sunday Morning.  This long-running series – it’s been on the air nearly 35 years -- even won an Emmy a few weeks ago for outstanding morning program, an award long overdue, in my opinion.

Science Rules on Big Brother 14

Can studying science help win a TV reality show competition?  Just ask Ian Terry.  We did. 

Ian Terry spent last summer being watched by millions on TV; that was enough to put him on our list of notable scientists even though he’s not quite finished with school.

Big Brother, a worldwide phenomenon, and a staple of summer television on CBS for more than a decade, will premiere June 26, its 15th season.  So, now is a good time to catch up with Ian Terry, last year’s surprise winner of the show.  

Story Behind The Story: Argo

Unusual tales in Hollywood usually aren’t so unusual.  But this particular story caught our attention because it’s about science; it’s about entertainment; and, most of all, it’s unusual.

The story begins with the highly successful movie Argo, the darling of the award show circuit, eventually winning the Oscar for best picture of 2012.  

For those who haven’t seen it, Argo takes the audience through the steps leading up to the daring rescue of diplomats trapped in Iran after the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.   Most of us weren’t aware of this footnote in recent history, including the imagination and heroism of CIA operative Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck in the movie. That was, until Mr. Affleck made Argo.  

Robots, Aliens and Pilot Season, Oh My!

It’s pilot season, that time of the year when first episodes are filmed and TV network executives make crucial decisions as they place bets on which new series are likely to attract large audiences. Of course, the number of new shows that make it past the pilot stage is extremely small. Only a select few will receive a network order for additional episodes. Nevertheless, it’s fun to read about new ideas and see who’s been cast to play lovable, smarmy, smart, dumb -- or just plain evil – on the small screen.

Every year the Exchange takes a look at the Complete Guide to TV Pilots on a quest to discover which of these potential new shows may incorporate science (or maybe even math) in their story-telling.  

Science and Entertainment Mash-up

Science and entertainment are mixing it up everywhere. They have been crossing paths in a variety of ways; some are not that unusual, but others seem out of the ordinary. Here are some recent examples of science and entertainment hanging out together.

ON THE STAGE

Live theater seems to have embraced science in a big way. Has there been an uptick in science-themed plays? It would seem so. Science, technology, and mathematics have been the inspiration for a lot of drama on the stage in recent years. Plays such as Copenhagen and Proof have drawn large audiences and critical acclaim.