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Clifford Johnson News

To participate in the third annual science film competition, students must register by Oct. 16 at sciencefilm.usc.edu.

Cerebral Cinema

September 27, 2013

The deadline is fast approaching to sign up for the third annual USC Science Film Competition. To participate, students must register by Oct. 16 — registration details can be found online at sciencefilm.usc.edu. The…

The altruistic behavior of bees — social insects completely devoted to the queen and willing to surrender their lives to defend their hive in the face of predators, thereby allowing their species to become the most successful pollinators on the planet — was cited in the short movie <em>A Very Altruistic Christmas</em>, winner of the USC Science Film Competition. Photo by Kevin Frates.

Altruism Wins Out

February 8, 2013

Why should we adopt altruistic behavior rather than act out of self-interest? Filmed on the USC campus, A Very Altruistic Christmas answers this compelling moral question using the science of biological altruism by dramatizing…

Last year, eight short films were entered in USC's first science-themed movie competition, organized by Clifford Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy in USC Dornsife. Shown here are stills from the films. Courtesy of Clifford Johnson.

Cinematic Science

September 25, 2012

Looking for an innovative, interdisciplinary classroom project? Now is the time for professors in all USC schools to motivate their students to enter the 2012 Science Film Competition. The deadline for competition…

In USC's inaugural science-themed filmmaking competition, USC Dornsife's Kevin Le and USC School of Cinematic Arts' Edward Saavedra, sophomores, took top prize for their short movie, <em>Time</em>, which explains why times moves forward and never back. Shown here is Salvador Dali's 1931 melting clock painting, <em>The Persistence of Memory</em>. Image © 2007 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Time Flies

February 17, 2012

To learn why time moves only forward one must first understand a fundamental law of physics: the increase of entropy. The law describes the tendency for systems to go from a state of higher organization to disorder. Consider…

In USC’s first filmmaking competition centered on the sciences, Clifford Johnson and Anna Krylov of USC Dornsife envision entries on any kind of film genre imaginable. What if Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were scientists in the classic romantic comedy <em>It Happened One Night</em>?

It Happened One Night (in the Lab)

September 20, 2011

Envision a romantic comedy with a science-based plot. The leading roles are biologists, let’s say, working in the same lab, using Schizoaccharomyces pombe to find a cure for cancer. Love ensues, followed by some…

Professor of physics and astronomy, and leading expert on superstring theory Clifford Johnson. Photo credit Philip Channing.

A Quantum Leap into the Blogosphere

February 5, 2010

First, the highly popular Asymptotia is not a science blog. It's a blog that happens to be written by a scientist. Clifford Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy in USC College, blogs about his life and vast interests.…