NOVA: Making Stuff Safer


Updated Thu, Oct 31, 2013 10:54 am

Wednesday, November 6 • 9 p.m.

In Making Stuff, David Pogue checks in with researchers around the globe who are pushing the limits further than ever before, using biology and chemistry to create materials with new qualities that are expanding our technological frontiers. With his zany humor and zest for discovery, Pogue meets the scientists and engineers who are going to extreme lengths to make a new generation of “stuff” that is safer than anything we’ve ever seen or experienced.

The world is a dangerous place. The monumental forces of nature can destroy our homes and cities in a heartbeat, invisible predators can attack our bodies and infect us with disease, and sometimes, even our own technologies place us in harm’s way. Is it possible to engineer an absolutely safe world? Today’s scientists and engineers are developing new tools and gaining knowledge to keep us safer than ever before. A self-driving car could allow us to move faster while saving countless lives. A new cornstarch-based non-Newtonian gel could revolutionize the way we fight fires.

In Making Stuff Safer, host David Pogue explores the extent to which science and technology can protect us from monumental forces of nature like earthquakes and epidemics. He challenges researchers to save us from dangers of our own making, such as automobile collisions and contact sports. Our increasing reliance on the internet also makes us vulnerable to new risks. Pogue delves into cyber security, where computer experts work to shield us from attacks from hackers and terrorists.