ORIGINS: A Four-Part Documentary Series and Outreach Project on Cosmological and Biological Origins

Wednesday, September 1, 1999 to Wednesday, August 31, 2005
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Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Broadcast Media, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs
Families | Middle School Children (11-13) | General Public
Geoscience and geography | Life science | Space science
Unicorn Projects, Inc., Multimedia Research

Unicorn Projects, Inc. is producing and distributing a project on the origins of life and its connections to the origin of the universe. The project will present the challenges facing scientists working to unlock universal mysteries and the often painstaking but ultimately rewarding process of the scientific endeavor. It will be designed to reach the lay audience by linking what seem to be abstract and complicated ideas -- like how the universe was born, or how stars evolve -- to issues at the heart of everyday life raised by such simple questions as "Where did we come from?" The components of the project will include: * Four, one-hour television programs for prime time broadcast * An informal science outreach component targeted to middle school-age children and families * Activity kits and training guides adaptable for both informal and formal education * A World Wide WEB site The Co-Executive Producers for the series will be Thomas Levenson and Larry Klein. Levenson has been on the staff of NOVA at WGBH and was producer for the NOVA program on Einstein. Klein has been the producer for numerous science films including "Matters of Life and Death" in the Science Odyssey series. The co-producer for the series and science editor for the project will be Alan Dressler, an astronomer and cosmologist whose principal area of research is the formation and evolution of galaxies. Advisors to the series include: Colleen Cavanaugh, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University; George V. Coyne, Director of the Vatican Observatory; Douglas Erwin, Research Paleobiologist and Curator at the National Museum of Natural History; Sandra Faber, Professor of Astronomy and University Professor at the UCO/Lick Observatory, UC, Santa Cruz; John P. Grotzinger, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Matt Mountain, Director of the Gemini 8M Telescopes project; and Ethan J. Schreier, Astronomer and Associate Director for Operations at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Outreach material will be developed by staff at the Pacific Science Center and implementation will be handled by the AAAS.

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Team Members

Thomas LevensonThomas LevensonPrincipal Investigator
Larry KleinLarry KleinFormer Principal Investigator
Barbara FlaggEvaluator

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