Technology & Society


The Crowd & The Cloud 240 min.

Smartphones, computers and mobile technology are allowing people to become part of a revolutionary, 21st century way of doing science. By observing their environment, monitoring neighborhoods, and collecting information about the world around them, citizens are helping professional scientists advance knowledge while speeding up new discoveries and innovations. The results are improving health and...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2017

The Crowd & The Cloud: Episode 1—Even Big Data Starts Small 57 min.

20,000 volunteers across the U.S. measure precipitation: when extreme weather hits, emergency managers turn their data into life-saving alerts. Armchair mappers worldwide update information used by first responders after the Nepal earthquake. A new project, EyesOnALZ, enlists the crowd to speed up research on Alzheimer’s disease. DIY enthusiasts from Public Lab map the BP oil spill with kites, bal...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2017

The Crowd & The Cloud: Episode 2—Citizens Plus Scientists 58 min.

Citizen scientists track air and water pollution at fracking sites in windswept Wyoming and 5 other states, using simple but science-based techniques developed by the “Bucket Brigade.” On idyllic East Coast trout streams, volunteers from Trout Unlimited monitor water quality regularly, generating baseline data that will prove invaluable in the event of future pollution events. Community members co...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2017

The Crowd & The Cloud: Episode 3—Viral vs. Virus 58 min.

Sensors on asthma inhalers generate real-time maps of environmental dangers to help patients, physicians and disease detectives in Louisville, Kentucky. Street knowledge was also crucial in a historic medical breakthrough: John Snow’s mapping of cholera fatalities in 19th century London. In West Oakland, California, citizens confront air pollution and rising asthma rates by collecting traffic data...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2017

The Crowd & The Cloud: Episode 4—Citizens4Earth 58 min.

Counting birds for more than 100 years generates data on a changing climate and there’s an app for that: eBird. Surfer science using smart tech tracks ocean acidification and coastal temperatures in the Smartfin project, a recent startup. We spend “A Year in the Life of Citizen Science” including a Thanksgiving Monarch Butterfly Watch in California. Seasonal change is tracked by Latina and Native...

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2017

New! The Outrage Machine 13 min.

Internet shaming: what happens when the cybermob comes for you.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2016

New! The Terminator and the Washing Machine 12 min.

What the legendary match between a supercomputer and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov reveals about today's artificial intelligence panic.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2016

New! Runaway Plane 9 min.

For decades the United States has been on a quest to perfect stealth technology, but development of the F-35 fighter jet shows just how complicated dreams can become.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2016

New! Activating a Generation 11 min.

Thirty years after “Live Aid” changed the face of charity fundraising, clicktivism has taken center stage. If you share, re-tweet and like, are you making the world a better place?

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2016

New! A Change of Heart 13 min.

The artificial heart became a media sensation in the 1980s as it both raised hopes and spread controversy. Today its impact on medical science is still playing out in surprising ways.

Formats: DVDStreaming Copyright Date: 2016