Playlist Science


Tetsuya Theodore Fujita. Photo: Roger Tully

The Chicago Professor Who Chased Tornados

Tetsuya Theodore Fujita developed a scale measuring the intensity of tornados and prevented airplane crashes by discovering microbursts. Fujita "was often met with skepticism in the beginning—until he was proven right," says a University of Chicago colleague and friend. 
The Gene: An Intimate History

Tracing the ‘Intimate History’ of the Gene

Executive produced by Ken Burns, The Gene: An Intimate History is a new two-part documentary that traces the history of the study of genetics and examines the ethical implications of new technologies. Plus, learn more about genes in a creative animated digital series.
Fox Tales from Nature

10 Science Shows to Stream from NOVA and Nature

Tap into your scientific side with shows from Nature and Nova with ten shows you can stream for free.
Advocate Tiera Fletcher by a rocket engine at NASA. Photo: Bigger Bang Communications

A New Educational Line-up on WTTW Prime to Supplement At-Home Learning

Beginning Monday, March 30, WTTW Prime will host an afternoon block with shows that will provide educational content focusing on science, social studies, literature, and history for junior high and high school students.
Coronavirus, or COVID-19

Information about Coronavirus

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Find resources here.
The constellation Orion, with Betelgeuse the reddish star in the top left

One of the Brightest Stars In the Night Sky Is Getting Dimmer

Betelgeuse, a red supergiant that is part of the constellation Orion, has recently been unusually dimmer. Is it the sign of an impending supernova, or something else—and what can it teach us about stars and the origins of the universe?
Rescan Day

Rescan Your TV on October 15, 2019 to Continue Watching WTTW (and also on October 18 for other channels)

If you watch WTTW with an over-the-air antenna, you will need to rescan your television on October 15, 2019 in order to keep receiving WTTW. And you will need to rescan again on October 18 to see other broadcast channels. Due to a government-mandated change, most broadcast stations in our area are required to move frequencies.

In addition, WTTW will be off the air for approximately three hours starting at midnight on October 15 (Monday night into Tuesday morning). 

Emily Graslie, just outside Hanna, WY, Prehistoric Road Trip. Photo credit: Julie Florio and WTTW

PBS Announces a New, National WTTW Series, 'Prehistoric Road Trip'

PBS officially announced today a new, national series exploring 2.5 billion years of Earth's history produced by WTTW and hosted by Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum and creator of the YouTube series "The Brain Scoop."
Mae Jemison

The American Astronauts Who Made History and Set Records

More than 550 people from 36 countries have traveled to space. Beyond household names like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, dozens of Americans became celebrated "firsts" and set records, like the farthest distance travelled from Earth, the first person enrolled in a Native American tribe to travel to space, and the most number of days spent in orbit.
Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon

Who Are the 12 Men Who Walked on the Moon?

In a span of just three years, NASA sent twelve people—all men—to the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are household names, but what about the others? Among them are a man who overcame dyslexia, one who believed in UFOs, and another who subscribed to creationism.
NOVA: Back to the Moon. Image: WGBH

A New Era of Lunar Exploration and Possibility

Fifty years after the first lunar landing, there's a new wave of interest in returning to the moon and utilizing its resources, as China, India, and Japan amp up their space programs and NASA starts turning towards private companies to achieve its own ambitious goals. 
Apollo 11 astronauts

When the Moon Landing Became a Conspiracy Theory

Less than a decade after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the first widespread conspiracy theories emerged, claiming that the landing was a hoax. Even today, vloggers on YouTube and podcast hosts still promote several conspiracy theories that are easily debunked from scientific, photographic, and physical evidence.
Ed White, the first American to walk in space, on Gemini 4 mission. Photo: Courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, June 1965

Our Summer of Space Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, humans landed on the moon for the first time. To celebrate that epochal achievement, we have a whole lineup of space-themed programming this summer. Get a preview of our new Summer of Space programming here!  
Emily Graslie on Chicago Tonight on April 10, 2018

Emily Graslie Is Making a Show With Us!

Emily Graslie, the creator and host of the endlessly enlightening science YouTube channel The Brain Scoop and the Field Museum's Chief Curiosity Correspondent, is making a show with us exploring the fossils and incredible geology of the Northern Plains region where she grew up.
The iconic Earthrise photo from Apollo 8. Photo: NASA

The First Time Humans Orbited the Moon

On Christmas Eve of 1968, the three astronauts of Apollo 8 read from the Bible while broadcasting images of the moon from closer than any person had ever been. Not only was it the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon, it also gave us one of the most iconic images ever. 
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