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12 Revolutionary Discoveries That Could Change Everything

Investigate the world around us with the mind of a scientist in 12 compelling lectures on recent scientific discoveries.
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12 Revolutionary Discoveries That Could Change Everything is rated 2.7 out of 5 by 6.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from TTS-like reading Oh man. I usually love Wondrium material - but this was a hard one to get through. There was a lot of critical information left out of some of these topics. It was a monotone presentation. The speaker barely moved except for the eyes which were so obviously following a prompter that it was actually distracting. I'm not sure how half of these would ever "change everything". I'm not sure why this was even made into a video. I had a hard time with this one. SciAm has been going downhill for a while; so I guess you'd need a cherry on top.
Date published: 2024-02-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A sleeper The fundamental challenge of science journalism: most people are interested in people and few people are interested in science. So we get a course like this. The class on lichens is a good example. Almost all the time is spent on biographical details of a scientist with the requisite number of quirks who thinks that young students spend all their time in the lab and should be out turning over rocks. Almost nothing is said of lichens, a topic I would have found interesting. On another topic, back in the old Teaching Company days, a professor with a prodigious memory would roam around a lectern shuffling a ream of notes. Now, many of the courses have a lecturer seated immovably in a chair staring at a teleprompter. What happened to production values?
Date published: 2024-02-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not very Revolutionary. Won't change anything. I was only able to watch the first 4 of these lectures. There were some interesting nuggets in each of those 4 lectures. Are these “Revolutionary Discoveries”? Maybe, but I think that’s a stretch. Discoveries “that could change everything”? Complete hyperbole. Lecture 2 on The True Colors of Dinosaurs was good. This might be considered a “revolutionary discovery”. The lecture was also enjoyable because it covered relevant content with logical structure. However, Lecture 1 on the Milky Seas bioluminescence phenomenon was rather fluffed-up. Lecture 3 on How Textiles Gave Viking Women Power describes how it was found that women changed their weaving structure in response to changes climate. Interesting, but I don't see how that is 'revolutionary'. Further, Lecture 3 strays badly into (in my opinion) distorted gender politics. I don’t think there is anything revolutionary about the idea that women would have yielded significant power in a pre-industrial society. Lecture 4 on Lichens was just not good. Yes, new discovery about lichen structures was covered, and I guess this may have been revolutionary for lichenologists. But most of the lecture was just gushing about the personalities involved and the not-at-all revolutionary importance of challenging traditional ideas and thinking outside the box. A look at the other topics covered told me that completing this series is not worth my time.
Date published: 2024-02-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Credibility Destroyed Lecture 9 (mRNA advertisement) destroys Scientific American's credibility bringing all the other lectures into question. Lecture 9 is nothing more than an advertisement for Pfizer, ignoring the mountains of data and history that mRNA technology is dangerous and has never been successful. Take a look at the data that shows overall deaths *increased* after the mRNA shots were widely distributed. It's very plausible the experimental shots have killed more people than the virus they were intended to protect against. It is a real shame that Scientific American, which was the premier science magazine for over two hundred years has destroyed their own reputation in the past few years. Lecture 7 "Why Exercise Doesn't Help You Lose Weight" is a very intriguing lecture that is worth thinking about!
Date published: 2024-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our World is Fascinating I watched Lecture 11 first to test the waters, since I was familiar with the material. A+ Having read Buzsaki's "The Brain from Inside Out", lecture 11 was an excellent summary of this and adjacent research. I found subsequent lectures riveting. Bird migration + spin chemistry? Yes please!
Date published: 2024-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Ordered It This looks really good and I'm certain before watching that its well worth the money. I cant wait.
Date published: 2024-02-02
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Overview

Dig into some of the most fascinating and important scientific advancements in recent years. Unexpected, consequential, and often counterintuitive, 12 Revolutionary Discoveries That Could Change Everything offers an inspiring introduction to science in the 21st century.

About

Laura Helmuth

I hope you’ll join me on this fascinating tour of what science has discovered.

INSTITUTION

Scientific American

Laura Helmuth is the editor in chief of Scientific American. She earned a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley, and a graduate certificate in Science Communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has served in various editorial positions, including for The Washington Post, Smithsonian magazine, and Science. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication and was previously president of the National Association of Science Writers.

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Trailer

Why the Sea Can Glow the Color of Milk

01: Why the Sea Can Glow the Color of Milk

The course opens on the sea at night, where, for generations, sailors have encountered the eerie phenomenon of bioluminescence. Discover how advances in satellite technology shifted our understanding of “milky seas” from a quasi-mythical encounter to a biological fact.

20 min
The True Colors of Dinosaurs

02: The True Colors of Dinosaurs

For decades, scientists assumed pigments rarely survived the fossilization process, so dinosaur reconstructions were left to artists’ and moviemakers’ imaginations. Thanks to a recent discovery under an electron microscope, scientists have found a way to bring dinosaur bones into modern Technicolor glory.

20 min
How Textiles Gave Viking Women Power

03: How Textiles Gave Viking Women Power

Until recently, our understanding of Viking culture has been woefully incomplete. Because early archaeologists focused on tools of hunting and war, women received little attention. Here, trace the work of several groundbreaking archaeologists and their discoveries around textiles—and the powerful women who made them.

25 min
New Truths about Lichens

04: New Truths about Lichens

Shift your attention to modern-day British Columbia to meet Trevor Goward, one of the world’s experts on lichens. Despite lacking formal credentials, Goward is a naturalist in the tradition of Darwin, and his inquiry into the nature of lichens has rocked the world of biology in recent years.

23 min
The Quantum Nature of Bird Migration

05: The Quantum Nature of Bird Migration

We’re all familiar with the seasonal migration of birds, but how do they find their way? How do they know which way is south or north? Delve into the astonishing world of quantum effects and magnetic fields to understand the newly discovered mechanisms of bird navigation.

20 min
Unexpected Smashups in the Solar System

06: Unexpected Smashups in the Solar System

In the old view of the solar system’s creation, a dance of particles and gases gradually coalesced. Thanks to the study of meteorites and radioactive metals, evidence now shows the solar system formed much quicker than anyone understood, with dynamic planetary bodies slamming together. Rethink your view of the cosmos in this breathtaking lecture.

18 min
Why Exercise Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight

07: Why Exercise Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight

An adage of public health states that “you can’t outrun a bad diet.” Now, thanks to anthropological research into the calories humans burn by engaging in various physical activities, scientists see more clearly than ever that exercise—while hugely beneficial—has little impact on weight loss. Learn the latest on human physiology here.

18 min
How Parents’ Trauma Affects Future Children

08: How Parents’ Trauma Affects Future Children

Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) inheritable? If you’re exposed to trauma, can you pass that along to your children? In this lecture, researchers study traumas ranging from the Holocaust to 9/11 and examine cortisol levels in children. It turns out: We can feel environmental stress in our genes.

23 min
The Breakthrough in Messenger RNA Therapies

09: The Breakthrough in Messenger RNA Therapies

In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, citizens around the world learned about messenger RNA therapies—specifically, the COVID-19 vaccine. But this technology has been around for years and has a wealth of untapped potential. Discover the future of medicine in this information-rich lecture.

6 min
You Really Can Learn in Your Sleep

10: You Really Can Learn in Your Sleep

Everyone knows we learn better when we’re well rested, but is it possible to learn while we’re resting? With brain imaging technology, memory reactivation techniques, and other scientific processes, scientists are gaining an entirely new perspective on self-improvement—making possible what once seemed like science fiction.

12 min
How Your Brain Constructs the World

11: How Your Brain Constructs the World

In this mind-bending lecture, you’ll investigate how the brain maps the world, creating the experience of consciousness. You’ll think like a neural scientist as you reflect on the brain’s relationship to the world, the blank slate theory of experience, and how brains learn through self-organization.

20 min
Why Black Holes Turn Inside Out

12: Why Black Holes Turn Inside Out

Black holes are some of the most intriguing objects in the universe, lighting up the imagination of the public and confounding scientists for decades. After a survey of quantum theory and black holes, dive into the latest research involving spacetime, event horizons, wormholes, and much more.

21 min