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Science Friday Live: Science and the silver screen

Beckman Auditorium
Free
Science Friday host Ira Flatow during KPCC Presents Science Friday Live at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium Aug. 27
Bill Youngblood/ KPCC Southern California Public Radio
Science Friday host Ira Flatow during KPCC Presents Science Friday Live at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium Aug. 27

KPCC Presents Science Friday LIVE -- Science of the Silver Screen

Audiences joined Ira Flatow and KPCC's own Sanden Totten when Science Fridaycame to Caltech's Beckman Auditorium on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m. for an entertaining and thought-provoking exploration of the intersection of science and Hollywood. A veteran NPR science correspondent and award-winning journalist, Flatow and a cast of special guests guided the audience on a theatrical journey—and it was all taped for subsequent national broadcast!


Photo credit: Bill Youngblood/SCPR

Veteran Animator Tom Sito explained how scientists and engineers kickstarted animation’s CGI revolution. USC’s Paul Debevec told us how he "scanned” actor Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch in "Avatar") with his cutting-edge light stage technology and the two discussed if this "digital Stephen" means Lang will never have to act again. Caltech physicist Sean Carroll shareed his experience consulting on Hollywood blockbusters and provided tips on how to create a universe with potentially different laws of nature than the ones on Earth. Film and TV writers Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “An Inconvenient Truth”), Zoanne Clack ("Grey's Anatomy") and Eric Kaplan (“The Big Bang Theory”) discussed how they balance science and storytelling. KPCC’s science correspondent Sanden Totten looked at how Hollywood science fiction has at times foretold technological advances that eventually became science fact. 

Ira also took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of a science prop shop and he and Sean challenged the audience to a game of movie science fact vs. fiction. Did they spot the science faux pas in popular sci-fi films? And outperform special expert guests? There’s only one way to find out! Click the video above to watch the recording of the event!

Science Friday is a trusted source for science news with an entertaining flair. Started as a radio show by host and executive producer Ira Flatow, Science Friday now also produces award-winning digital videos and original web content covering everything from octopus camouflage to cooking on Mars. He calls it “brain fun” for curious people. 

Science Friday is broadcast locally on 89.3 KPCC Fridays from 9-11p.m.

#SciFriLA

When has science fiction foretold (or inspired) real science? Take our quiz to test your Sci-fi knowledge.

Quiz: When has science fiction foretold (or inspired) real science?