Top Science and Math Lectures

Learning isn’t just limited to the classroom. If you’re looking to catch up on topics you’ve missed in class or if you just want to expand your knowledge of math and science, check out these top lectures from the world’s greatest scientists.

 

General

 

  1. Why the Universe Seems So Strange; a lecture in which Richard Dawkins talks about all of the things we don’t understand about science.
  1. My Stroke of Insight where Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist, shares her own story about having a stroke, and the insight it had on her research.
  1. Psychedelic Science, a lecture given by Fabian Oefner who uses everyday science to make amazing art. Watch him and discover some of the beauty of science.
  2. Have you ever wondered what a scientist actually does? Kary Mullis explains the general role of scientists in the past, and their roles today in her lecture Play! Experiment! Discover!
  1. In Battling Bad Science, Ben Goldacre talks about how we are constantly bombarded with advice and science statistics, and how research results are manipulated in the media.
  2. Teach Arts and Sciences Together is all about the question, should arts and sciences be separated? Mae Jemison argues that the two go hand in hand and should be taught together.
  1. Science, Climate Change, and Leadership by Ralph J. Cicerone, the President of the National Academy of Sciences, is a lecture in which Cicerone discusses the challenges of science, and what makes it an interesting field to study.
  1. A New Kind of Science is a lecture all about how science is always changing, and ever-evolving. Learn more about Stephen Wolfram’s perspective on science and the universe through this lecture.
  1. Science and Democracy have a deep relationship, according to Lee Smith. Listen to his lecture to learn more about his thoughts on the two.
  1. Science and the University: An Evolutionary Tale – The Endless Frontier is a lecture by Donald Kennedy, where he discusses wartime science during Roosevelt’s presidency.

 

Chemistry

 

  1. There Might Just Be Life on Mars. Do you think there is life on Mars? Penelope Boston’s lecture might just convince you that life may exist deep inside the surface of the red planet.
  2. Biomimicry’s Surprising Lessons from Nature’s Engineers is a lecture that talks about where we get ideas for new products and systems; Nature. Learn from Janine Benyus how nature provides the best model for new products and systems.
  1. How Spectroscopy Could Reveal Alien Life, in this lecture Garik Israelian studies stars and the spectrums they emit to determine if there is a planet that exists with alien life.
  1. Graphite – A New Twist is all about carbon as graphite. We use carbon on a regular basis; from diamonds to pencil lead, and more. Read this lecture to learn even more about carbon as graphite.
  1. Biochemical Reactions, Enzymes, and ATP is a lecture with an opportunity to learn more about chemical reactions from top MIT professors.
  1. Heino Finkelmann’s lecture, Liquid Crystal Elastomers explains elasticity and the unique properties of the polymer networks and chains that contribute to this feature.
  1. If you didn’t understand electron orbitals in chemistry, Hydrogen Atom Wavefunctions (Orbitals) may be be a big help. Listen to these MIT professors explain functions of a hydrogen atom.
  1. Simulation of Structures in Modern Materials with the Theory of Density Functional Calculations is a lecture conducted by Karlheinz Schwarz that discusses the theory of density functional calculations and the implications it has for chemistry.
  1. Thermodynamics & Kinetics; a lecture provided by MIT professors about heat, work, and energy.
  1. Monodispersed Particles in Technologies and Medicine, created by Victor LaMer from Clarkson University, talks about the different techniques used for manufacturing monodispersed systems.

 

Biology

 

  1. Bioinformatic, Structural Biology and Structure Based Ligand Design in Drug Discovery, by Neera Borkakoti of Medivir UK Ltd, discusses principles of modern drug development and the interactions between proteins and ligands.
  1. A Paradigmatic Complex System: The Immune System is a lecture from Irun Cohen and is all about the immune system from its evolution to its complex organization.
  1. Sampling the Ocean’s DNA is lecture put on by Craig Venter, who sequences the human genome and talks about mapping the oceans biodiversity and the different genes he and his team have already found.
  2. Denis Noble of the University of Oxford talks about the complex organisms thriving in our world in his lecture Principle of Systems Biology Illustrated Using the Virtual Heart.
  1. Stefan Bornholdt from the Institute for Theoretical Physics explains the forces that regulate the process of life in a cell in the lecture titled Dynamics on and of Biological Networks: Case Studies on the Machinery of Life.
  1. How Trees Talk to Each Other is all about how there is more to a forest than what you can see. Suzanne Simard explains the complex ecosystem of our forests.
  1. Engineering New Approaches to Cancer Detection Therapy by Kenneth Germeshausen from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology talks about breakthroughs in cancer detection.
  1. If you’ve seen Star Trek Beyond, you may be interested to learn more about swarm behavior. Check out the lecture Biological Principles of Swarm Intelligence by Guy Theraulaz to see how swarm behavior works.
  1. Psychology, Sex, and Evolution is a lecture where Paul Bloom shares what evolutionary theories and psychology say about sex.
  1. In the lecture Biological Large Scale Integration, Stephen Quake talks about microfluidics and the “plumbing tools” he uses to manipulate behaviors of these small fluids.

 

Environmental Science

 

  1. My Wish: Build the Encyclopedia of Life is a great way to learn more about the biosphere and the network of life from E. O. Wilson.
  1. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, a lecture by S. Fred Singer from the University of Virginia in which he discusses what causes Global Warming.
  1. CO2 Beyond Tomorrow – A Fundamental Approach is a panel that talks about how to predict CO2 emissions.
  1. The Astonishing Hidden World of the Deep Ocean is a journey underwater with Robert Ballard explaining new life and geography.
  1. Explore the critical issues of energy, climate change, and environmental preservation in The Next Giant Leaps in Energy, Environment, & Air Transportation, one of MIT’s lectures online.
  1. Global Resources and the Built Environment by John Fernandez explains how we are depleting the world’s resources.
  1. Let the Environment Guide Our Development reminds us to respect the environment’s natural boundaries.
  1. Sea Levels and Climate Change. Learn from David T. Pugh in this lecture what impact climate change can have on the ocean.
  1. Can your phone really save the rainforest from deforestation? Listen to Topher White’s interesting explanation in his lecture, What Can Save the Rainforest? Your Used Cell Phone.
  1. Climate Change from the Scientific Point of View. What is actually going on in climate change? Learn from the experts!

 

Physics and Astronomy

 

  1. Questioning the Universe is a lecture in which Stephen Hawking asks some of the biggest questions about our universe and gives insights on how we might answer them.
  1. Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel winner,  answers all kinds of questions about physics in his lecture,  Beauty, Truth, and … Physics?
  1. Is Our Universe the Only Universe? Brian Greene discusses the possibility that our universe may not be the only one out there.
  1. In the lecture, Challenge in Astrophysics Sarah Brindle explains challenges in astrophysics that may prevent observations about the universe.
  1.  What the Discovery of Gravitational Waves Means is a lecture where Allan Adams explains what finding gravitational waves means for us.
  1. Learn from Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize winner, about about the origin of mass and what it really is in his lecture, The Origin of Mass and the Feebleness of Gravity.
  1.  The Hunt for a Supermassive Black Hole. Is it possible to track down a black hole? Andrea Ghez explains how adaptive optics are helping astronomers understand these phenomena.
  1. Charles Townes, a Nobel Prize winner, discusses the possibility of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way in this online lecture, The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy.  
  1. Could the entire universe collapse? Find out the answer to one of the biggest questions in theoretical physics in Why Our Universe Might Exist on a Knife-Edge.
  1. Theories of Quantum Gravity is one of many complex topics within the field of physics. Learn more about it in this MIT lecture.

 

Technology

 

  1.  The Accelerating Power of Technology is all about answering the question, what will the world look like by 2020? See what Ray Kurzweil has to say about the future of technology.
  1. What advances has technology made in the past decade? And what advances should we expect in the future? Discover answers to both of these questions in the online lecture, The March of Technology.
  2. There have been major advances in device energy efficiency. See what some of the technological breakthroughs have been in this lecture, Energy Efficient Transistors.
  1. How Technology Evolves, by Kevin Kelly, talks about what technology wants and compares its growth to the evolution of life itself.
  1. Learn from Saul Griffith about the some of the most innovated Everyday Inventions.
  2. The Web as a City, by Steven Johnson, compares the internet to a city that is interconnected and extremely intricate.
  1. Is a future with personal robots a possibility? In the online lecture, Personal Robots, learn more about sophisticated machines and artificial intelligence.
  1. How have mobile phones affected our culture? The lecture, The Anthropology of Mobile Phones will be sure to help us learn about how technology is affecting us.
  1. Bounding Nanotechnology: Deconstructing the Drexler-Smalley Debate Learn about emerging nanotechnologies.
  1. The Wonderful and Terrifying Implications of Computers That Can Learn Listen to Jeremy Howard discuss the implications of artificial intelligence.

 

Mathematics

 

  1. You won’t think math is boring after seeing everything Arthur Benjamin can do with math in his lecture, A Performance of “Mathemagic.”
  1. Calculus has everyday implications; learn how it applies to everyday situations in this only lecture, Big Picture of Calculus.
  1. The Magic of Fibonacci Numbers by Arthur Benjamin, explains the amazing properties of the Fibonacci series.
  1. Are math and history actually related? In Jean-Baptiste Michel’s lecture The Mathematics of History, he explains what math can say about history.
  1. Fractal math reveals a number or ordered patterns in seemingly complex and complicated things. Learn more about fractal math in this online lecture, Fractals and the Art of Roughness.  
  1. What’s so special about prime numbers? Listen to why Adam Spencer loves them in his lecture, Why I Fell in Love with Monster Prime Numbers.
  1. Symmetry exists in places you would never expect. Listen to this Oxford mathematician discuss invisible numbers and symmetry in his lecture, Symmetry, Reality’s Riddle.
  1. Fractals in Science, Engineering, and Finance (Roughness and Beauty) Benjamin Mandelbrot from Yale University explain fractals and how they are used in the field of science.
  1. Math really does have a purpose. Learn about the beauty of mathematics and why it is useful in this online lecture, Math is Forever.
  1. See how algorithms are at the heart of stock prices and espionage in a thrilling lecture, How Algorithms Shape Our World.