Science Goes To The Movies Rains On The Ant-Man

The first episode of season 2 of Science Goes to the Movies is now available online.  While visually the second season strongly resembles the first, we will be able to enjoy the second season much faster than before.  Episodes are scheduled for a weekly release rather than monthly, and the window between initial broadcast on CUNY TV and online availability has shrunk as well.

In this episode, co-hosts Dr. Heather Berlin and Faith Salie are joined by two nanotechnology researchers at NYU, Dr. Nadrian Seeman and Dr. Ruojie Sha.

While the 2015 Marvel movie Ant-Man is the way into the episode, the show veers quickly into nanotechnology rather than the technology seen in Ant-Man, which operates (if it was plausible) on a much larger scale.  Perhaps because the notion of shrinking technology quickly runs up against physical roadblocks the hosts make a point of shooting down the ‘science’ of Ant-Man as quite fictional.

Seeman and Sha spend most of the episode discussing the nature of nanoscale engineering and their current work. Seeman describes how his prior work in crystallography led (or didn’t lead) to breaking ground in nanotechnology.  For me the highlight of the episode is roughly midway through, when Seeman’s non-scientific knowledge informed his research choices.

As I noted above, we don’t have long to wait for the next episode, which gives no hint about the topic aside from the guest being a professor of chemistry.  There will be an episode later in the season dealing with The Knick – a show set in an innovative hospital around the turn of the 20th century.

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