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The drinking water provided for San Francisco and many nearby communities is among the purest in the world. Located high in the Sierras, more than 200 miles away, Hetch Hetchy reservoir holds most of this water which is fed by springtime snowmelt via the Tuolumne River. The system for delivering that water is almost entirely gravity fed, requiring almost no fossil fuel consumption to move water from the mountains to the tap. Take an exclusive tour with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) as they lead us through this unique system and address the current drought and how to conserve water.

On February 26, 1998, a total solar eclipse darkened skies in a swath stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, across the Caribbean. From the island of Aruba, an Exploratorium team presented a live Webcast of this celestial event. At the time, Webcasting technology was in its infancy, and this first live Webcast ever of a solar eclipse broke existing records for the number of viewers. Watch the archived Webcast here, or just click on the images below for still photos of eclipse highlights.

Cheer on the competitors in this zany science cook-off, where teachers compete before a live webcast audience for the sought-after title, "Iron Science Teacher."

The Science of Sharing Forum on June 6, 2015 featured Dr. Shachar Kariv, Benjamin N. Ward Professor of Economics and Economics Department Chair at UC Berkeley. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, the European University Institute, the University of Oxford, and the Norwegian School of Economics. Much of his research focuses on social networks, behavior under uncertainty, and decisions about sharing and giving.

Beck Tench and Elizabeth Fleming led the development of Experimonths, social-media activities that brought Science of Sharing to the wider world. Beck Tench is an educator, designer, and technologist who works with museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions to embrace risk-taking, creativity, and change. Elizabeth Fleming is Director for Learning Environments at the Museum of Life and Science. She plays a key role in exhibit design and evaluation and is a strong advocate for museum cultures fostering lifelong learning and science as a way of knowing.


Dr. Hugh McDonald is a Project Director, Senior Science Writer, and Associate Curator for the museum’s Osher West Gallery, which focuses on the interplay among science, society, and culture. He is a social psychologist and Principal Investigator of the Science of Sharing project.

Dr. Jennifer Jacquet, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University, is an environmental social scientist. Much of her work focuses on transboundary cooperation issues such as overfishing, climate change, and wildlife preservation—challenges that depend in part on negotiation, communication, and trust, concepts at the heart of Science of Sharing.

Dr. Athena Aktipis is a cooperation theorist and theoretical evolutionary biologist working at the intersection of social psychology, biology, anthropology, and medicine. She is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer at UC San Francisco. She is particularly interested in cooperation in large complex systems, such as multicellular organisms and human societies.

Dick Simon is a photographer and philanthropist who studies human conflicts around the world and leads efforts to mediate, defuse, and learn from them. His photographs and accounts from Syria, North Korea, Iran, Israel/Palestine and elsewhere have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, BBC Persian, NPR/PBS, Huffington Post, and many other venues.

An evening of conversation on the Future of Medicine with Dr. Leroy Hood, President of the Institute for Systems Biology, and Dr. Deepak Srivastava, Younger Family Director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease.

See live flameworking with Russell Taylor of Public Glass, and find out why borosilicate glass is used for both lab equipment and intricately beautiful artwork.