Photo: Artist Richard Serra being interviewed by Director Alberta Chu. Gibbs Farm, 2003

Advancing Scientific Knowledge (ASK) was founded in 1995 to serve the Hollywood film and television community by providing creative and technical expertise to screenwriters and art directors. ASK provided science consulting for film and television programs such as X-Men, The Arrival, and Alien Nation, among others. ASK has since evolved into multimedia production company ASKlabs. 

ASKlabs is a full-service video production company founded by Alberta Chu.

Known for our inspired ability to translate scientific and technical topics into fascinating stories for lay audiences, ASKlabs has produced popular science and art programming for global audiences. ASKlabs has produced films exploring a wide range of topics including: nuclear testing, genetic engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and movie special effects. We’ve helped scientists and artists communicate their research and share their visionary ideas with a wider audience. We’ve even had the chance to document the engineering behind some of the world’s largest sculptures. Our focus on innovation and creativity has led us to fascinating projects and a few accolades along the way. ASKlabs clients include engineering firms, artists, scientists, science museums, art museums, and educational institutions.

ASKlabs can help you communicate your message to a wider audience.

Alberta Chu
Producer and Director

While working as a biologist, Alberta Chu discovered her rapport for explaining scientific concepts to popular audiences. Ms. Chu began her career in film and television by providing science consulting for science-fiction movies in Hollywood.

Alberta Chu has produced dynamic popular science programming for network and cable television, delivering content to an assortment of satisfied clients including: Paramount, The Walt Disney Company, Twentieth Century Fox, National Geographic, USA Networks/Sci-Fi Channel, Warner Bros. Telepictures, The Discovery Networks/The Learning Channel (TLC), TechTV/CNET, MTV Networks and Lucasfilm, Ltd. Subsequently, after a decade of working in documentary television in various capacities, as a researcher, producer, writer and director in Los Angeles, Ms. Chu relocated to Boston in 2003.

Alberta Chu’s independent film “Electrum: Science as Art” (2000) won several film festival awards and aired on PBS. This project led to several commissions from Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park. Current independent projects explore genomics, climate change, and innovation at the intersection of science and art.

Alberta has served science education and outreach programs at the local and national level, including the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) founding member, Los Angeles Chapter, Project SEED (Science for Early Education Development) an educational initiative for elementary school students developed at CalTech, as well as serving as Executive Director of Chemistry Magic Shows for the American Chemical Society. She is a founding member of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Los Angeles in 1994, and Science Online Boston in 2013.

Ms. Chu is a recipient of the CPB/PBS Producers Academy Fellowship (2001), a member of the  World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (since 2002).

Kat Hughes
Development Associate

Kat Hughes moved to Boston in 2012 from Scotland, after being awarded her PhD in Film Studies from the University of Glasgow. Her doctoral thesis focuses on popular culture, sexuality, and gender. She is interested in collaborative community and academic projects, and has been involved with the UC Santa Cruz Kinetic Poetics Project, Glasgow’s Lock Up Your Daughters Filmmaking group, and the University of Glasgow’s postgraduate journal, eSharp.

At ASKlabs, Kat spearheads the social media effort, writing blogposts and witty tweets. Her keen intellect and research skills are being put to good use in our new project development skunkworks.

Kat loves property television shows, baking, and drawing.