Working Science Archive

Archived videos from Working Science. Click below to view each video on the website. Return to program

Working Science: New Ways of Imaging the Brain

We visit the Jasanoff Lab at MIT to learn about advances in imaging the brain. Dr. Jasanoff and several research associates in his lab explain the importance of this research and several innovative approaches used in this lab to improve brain imaging.

Working Science: Public Health

Dr. Galea discusses his new book Healthier: Fifty Thoughts on the Foundation of Population Health and his distinctive work in public health, which emphasizes complexity. He is especially renowned for his emphasis on the connections between social environment and population health.

Working Science: Why We Need an International Plan 08/30/17

In June 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, an accord that represents the commitment of almost all nations to address global warming. The U.S., which, under the Obama administration, was a major force in creating the 2015 Paris accord, is now almost alone among nations in rejecting this commitment. Professor Selin describes the long struggle to commit the international community to prepare for the worldwide climate crisis and he explains why tackling the crisis requires global action.

Working Science: Probing Exoplanet Atmospheres 05/24/17

Atmospheric scientist Dr. Alexandria Johnson describes how scientists in her field apply their expertise to the young field of exoplanet atmospheres.

Working Science: Atmosphere: Earth and Everywhere Else 04/26/17

Dr. Daniel Cziczo explains what atmosphere is, what it does, how it changes, why it needs our care on Earth. He also explains terraforming, geoengineering, and the search for atmospheres on certain moons and even exoplanets.

Working Science: Nanotech in Medicine 04/24/17

Professor Sonkusale’s Nano Lab at Tufts University is a leader in medical applications for nanotechnology. In this tour of the Nano Lab, he shows how nano-devices such as magnetic nanorobots, smart threads, and an electronic nose are improving modern medicine.

Working Science: Using Genetics to Trace Ancient Humans

Dr. Nick Patterson explains how the ancient populations of Europe are now being traced through DNA analysis of fossil remains, and why mathematical modeling is essential in developing this reconstruction.

Working Science: Deep Sea Volcanoes

Scientists are now able to study in detail the dynamic volcanic activity of the deep ocean ridges. Dr. Daniel Fornari describes what scientists are learning and how this activity affects the planet.

Working Science: What to Know about Geoengineering 04/22/16

What to do about the excess CO2 in our atmosphere that will remain for hundreds of years --even as we transition to renewable energy? To reduce the inevitable climate damage, we have to find a way to deal with that long-term CO2. Various "solutions," commonly known as types of geoengineering, have been proposed. Here, Professor Cziczo explains the CO2 problem and the three major types of geoengineering. We learn why the only viable approach is CO2 sequestration --pulling the CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Working Science: Earth Life Weird Life 12/17/15

Professor David Toomey explains how scientists have had to revise the concept of life since the discovery of organisms in very extreme environments on our planet, and how that discovery is shaping astrobiology--the search for life on moons and exoplanets. Dr. Toomey's discussion is based on his book, "Weird Life: the search for life that is very, very different from our own."

Working Science: The Alvin Deep-Sea Submersible: An Engineer's Story 09/28/15

Dudley Foster, the Woods Hole engineer closely associated with the Alvin's history, describes explorations of the deep-sea submersible.

Working Science: The Potential Uses of Deep-Sea Microbes 09/2015

Professor Girguis, a leader in the study of the exotic microbial life at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, explains the significance of these life forms beyond the reach of sunlight, and their potential use for generating electricity and for eliminating toxins.

Working Science: The Role of Oceans in Climate 07/2015

On this visit to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dr. Mahadevan explains the vital role of the oceans in climate and climate change. We learn how she and others in an international research project carry out investigations on a research vessel in the Indian Ocean, and we see the sophisticated equipment that ocean scientists have developed for this difficult research.

Working Science: Coastal Marine Ecology 07/01/15

We visit the Helmuth Lab at Northeastern University's Marine Science Center we see how marine scientists investigate the effects of climate change on seacoast species, including mussels and oysters.

Science for the Public: Working Science - The Role of Oceans in Climate

Science for the Public's Working Science mini-documentary series visits Amala Mahadevan at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Dr. Mahadevan explains the vital role of the oceans in climate and climate change, and the challenge of developing accurate models for this dynamic relationship. She focuses on an upcoming research expedition to the Indian Ocean in which she and an international team will gather data on that ocean and monsoon cycle that more than a billion people depend on. In this visit to WHOI we see sophisticated equipment and a research ship, and we learn how scientists on such research expeditions must structure their time and investigations.

Working Science: Tracking the Microbes of Life

As one of the lead participating labs in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project, the Roger Summons Lab at MIT analyzes potential bio-molecules in ancient Earth sediments and rocks, and applies that expertise to the search for bio-molecules or their precursors on Mars. the Mars Curiosity Rover investigates soil samples on our favorite planet. In this video, we see how geobiologists/astrobiologists select and chemically analyze rock and soil samples on Earth, and how they also analyze data received from the Mars Curiosity Rover.

Working Science: The Science of Clouds and Climate

Clouds are a major concern for climate science because there are still many unknowns about their two important functions. Certain types of clouds tend to reflect incoming sunlight back into space. Other types trap the CO2 that is accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere. The Cizczo Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a prominent role in the study of the particles (aerosols) that form clouds and the different conditions that affect the function of clouds in the global climate system.

Contemporary Science Issues & Innovations: The Science of Clouds and Climate

The excess CO2 in our atmosphere will affect Earth's climate for centuries to come, and we need to understand why. Professor Cziczo is an atmospheric scientist who is an expert on the crucial role of clouds in the dynamics of climate. He explains the vital relationship between clouds and climate, and the present options for reducing atmospheric CO2.

Working Science: Ocean Sediments - Earth's Deep Climate History 02/04/15

Dr. Richard Murray, Professor of Earth Sciences at Boston University and Ocean Sciences Division Director at National Science Foundation, explains how ocean sediments record millions of years of Earth's climate history, and why they are such a valued resource for climate scientists.

Working Science: Environmental Toxins and the Brain 02/03/15

Dr. Philippe Grandjean explains that many common chemicals in the environment are toxic to the brain, especially during fetal development. He describes the struggle to limit mercury and lead in the environment and the difficulties that are limiting the research.

Science For The Public: Working Science - Mahajan Mathematics

Sanjoy Mahajan, PhD , Associate Professor of Applied Science and Engineering, Olin College of Engineering; and Visiting Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Mahajan demonstrates some of the innovative approaches to teaching mathematics that are the focus of his two books. Dr. Mahajan appeared on SftPublic's interview program,  Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations . The title of that program was  Natural Mathematics: Intuition and Insight

Working Science: Understanding Viruses

In this visit to the Connor Lab at Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. John Connor educates us about safety procedures in virus labs and basics about viruses. We see techniques used for understanding how viruses take over cells, and we get an idea of how cells block viruses. Because of the Ebola crisis, Dr. John Connor was in the news.

Science for the Public, Working Science - Understanding Viruses: The Connor Lab

The Connor Lab investigates how viruses take over cells and how cells defend against virus invaders. Dr. Connor's group collaborates with other researchers in both virus research and computer science to develop tools for early identification of viruses, when medication is most effective, and potential vaccines that will prevent infection.In this visit to the Connor Lab at the Boston University School of Medicine, we learn some basics about viruses and working in a virus research lab. We see techniques for discovering how viruses take over cells, and we get an idea of how cells block viruses. A few weeks after this video was recorded, an Ebola crisis emerged in Africa. Since the Ebola virus is a major interest of the Connor Lab, we have listed some articles featuring John Connor.