New, Fascinating Fermilab Documentary Shows 'Science at Work'

"Fermilab: Science at Work" is a new 40-minute documentary film all about the laboratory. It's available to watch for free online right now!

If you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter this week (and if you haven’t been, why not?), you know that we’ve been pretty excited.

All this week, we’ve been teasing out clips and information about Fermilab: Science at Work, a new documentary all about us. And now, today, the entire 40-minute film is available to watch online, right here.

Assuming you’re still reading this instead of watching the movie, let me tell you a little bit about it. Fermilab commissioned filmmakers Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross of 137 Films in 2009, after working with them on their PBS documentary The Atom Smashers. 

Brown and Ross spent four years shooting The Atom Smashers, and in that time, they got to know the laboratory pretty well. We weren’t looking for your typical promotional video — we could have gotten any film crew for that. We wanted a true documentary, one that would show people what it’s really like to work here, and participate in some of the greatest scientific endeavors in the world.

To that end, the laboratory gave Brown and Ross tremendous freedom. They selected the 10 scientists they wanted to feature, and followed each of them for weeks. All told, the filmmakers spent two years shooting Fermilab: Science at Work, and then another six months editing it. The finished film condenses its story into six days, showing you what a typical week here looks and sounds like.

The film focuses on the people who make Fermilab tick, but it also gives you a street-level breakdown of the science that powers our experiments. You’ll get to learn about neutrino oscillation, watch the Dark Energy Camera being made, and see part of our MINERvA detector lowered into place.

And you’ll get to hear our scientists, in their own words, explain just how important and valuable Fermilab is, and why it’s a great place to work. If I didn’t work here, this film would make me want to.

I’m not sure why you’re still reading instead of watching the movie already. Check it out on Fermilab’s YouTube channel here. For more on the filmmakers, log onto the 137 Films website. And for more about Fermilab, visit our site and keep reading this blog. 


Andre Salles is the media and community relations specialist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He can be reached by calling 630-840-6733 or emailing asalles@fnal.gov.

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