It occurs to us, by the way, that it really is a movement. The idea for this show, after all, came not from a TV executive, but by a member of the public. We’re living, frankly, in a time when many people are intimidated by science, or even hostile to it (insert your own political wisecrack here).
But it’s our fervent belief that science, once explained well, doesn’t need to be threatening and scary. In fact, it can be thrilling—even entertaining, as we’ve discovered through our previous NOVA collaborations.
More to the point, we need science right now, more than ever. If we’re going to solve any of the Big Problems, like climate change, hunger, disease, and epidemics, science is all we’ve got.
Heck, even if you care only about the little problems—short phone battery life, dropped calls, stuttering Netflix videos—science is still the only tool we have.
We need more great minds embracing science—and young minds—than ever.
January 10, 2017
There are a lot of pieces to a Kickstarter campaign. How should we describe the project? Should there be humor? What if we make more than our $1 million goal—what should the “stretch goals” be?
And what should the rewards be? When you contribute to a Kickstarter campaign, you’re not investing, exactly. Instead, what you get out of it is primarily the fun of becoming part of the team—you’re kept in the loop as the project progresses—but you also get little rewards, little thank-yous.
In the case of the “Beyond the Elements” campaign, the rewards range from T-shirts, to signed copies of Theo’s “Molecules” book, all the way up to lunch with me (although I’m not sure if that’s a reward or a punishment).
Everyone who contributes will be part of the team. I’ll send you photos and behind-the-scenes video clips from my phone throughout the year-long filming process. For the first time in NOVA history, this will be a two-way conversation; we’ll seek input and questions from our backers as we go.
We’ve worked out the some stretch goals; the top one, $2.25 million, will let us send DVD or Blu-ray copies of both shows (“Hunting the Elements” and “Beyond the Elements”) to every public high school in America.
(Me: “Can’t they just stream it?”
WGBH’s education director: “Believe it or not, a huge number of schools don’t have the technology to stream internet video in the classroom.”)
As we worked on answering all of the details, it became clear that this campaign was about more than making a TV show. We—all of us—feel as though there’s a bigger picture here. Science, and helping the public understand and appreciate it, is unbelievably important. With this project, we have a shot at creating something big enough to reach millions of people, and permanent enough to become a teaching tool for years to come.
January 31, 2017
At 11:30 this morning, our Kickstarter campaign went live. We have 30 days to raise the money we need to make “Beyond the Elements”—and bring it to as wide an audience as possible. It’s a crazy, way-out plan, something that’s never been done before in the history of public television—but it just…might…work.
- Arts & Entertainment