The Media Lab


Cambridge Nights: Getting To Know Your Neighborhood Scientist

A new online video project gets scientists chatting about their worlds.

When physicist Cesar Hidalgo arrived in Boston in 2005, he quickly got swept up in the intellectual whirl of the city.

He writes: “I was amazed by the academic life of the city. I also felt the need to share some of those experiences with people that did not have the opportunity, or yet the chance, to experience academia to the extent that it took place in Boston.”

When Hidalgo joined MIT’s Media Lab in 2010 he came up with a way to replicate this experience on a much more public platform. He got together with the filmmakers Paula Aguilera and Jonathan Williams and launched a series of online videos about the lives and work of scientists around town, trying to get them to speak broadly about their views on the world and taking the time to go beyond press release-approved phrases and Twitter updates.

The project, called “Cambridge Nights, Conversations About A Life In Science,” was featured this week in The New York Times.

Early video interviews include Juan Pérez Mercader of Harvard, talking about the origins of life and astrobiology, and Marc Vidal of Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Continue reading