Playlist Science


Representations of bitcoin and the stock prices

'NOVA' Explains Cryptocurrency and Examines Its Possibilities

"Crypto is something that nearly everyone has heard of," says the producer of a new NOVA on cryptocurrency and blockchain, "and yet at the same time, essentially no one understands it." 
A Boeing building. Photo: Paul Mailman for FRONTLINE (PBS).

How Engineering "Took a Back Seat to Finance" at Boeing

Three hundred and forty-six people died in two crashes five months apart on Boeing 737 Max 8 jets. A new Frontline investigation with The New York Times reveals the commercial pressures, failed oversight, and flawed design that led to the crashes. 
Dr. Raychelle Burks, a St. Edward's University chemist, in 'NOVA: Picture a Scientist'

'Ten Simple Rules' to Make Science More Inclusive

Women and people of color are severely underrepresented in STEM fields and face additional challenges. Last year, a DePaul University environmental scientist co-wrote a paper with suggestions on how to broaden participation in STEM amongst underrepresented groups. 
Northwestern Professor Michael R. Wasielewski works with students to tune an ultrafast laser system used for solar energy research. Photo: Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University

Beyond the Silicon Solar Cell: The Exciting Promise of Solar Technologies

Researchers at places like Northwestern University's Institute for Sustainability and Energy are working on creating liquid fuels using solar technology as well as developing more efficient, inexpensive, flexible solar cells. 
Solar panels. Photo:

The Funding Cliff Facing Illinois's Growing Solar Industry

Illinois's solar industry has rapidly expanded in the past few years, but as governmental funding runs out and the COVID-19 pandemic lowers business, the future is looking uncertain. "Without immediate legislation, our company is going to look very, very different next year,” says the CEO of a solar installation company. 
Power Trip: The Story of Energy. Photo: Alpheus Media

More Educational Programming to Supplement At-Home Learning

As the school year begins and many students take classes remotely, WTTW is offering an educational block of shows to supplement at-home learning every weekday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on WTTW Prime. 
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.
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