Green Bank Observatory has the world’s largest moveable radio telescope.[/caption]
A Canadian/US partnership hopes to produce a different kind of science television show that features the real people making science happen—and they have the backing of hundreds of Kickstarter donors from around the world.
The team behind a project called BIG SCIENCE launched a Kickstarter campaign in early August to raise $18,000 Canadian dollars to take a film crew to the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia to produce a “sizzle reel.” The executive producers of the proposed series will then be able to show this high-quality demo to executives at broadcast networks and streaming services to demonstrate the power, viability, and compelling quality of the storytelling.
“The project began when I visited several big science facilities,” said Brian Koberlein, the host of Big Science. “One of the first things that hits you is their scale. Many of them are in remote locations. Teams of people work every day to maintain these facilities and keep things running smoothly, and yet you never hear their stories.”
Koberlein is an astrophysicist and senior lecturer of physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Through his curiosity and passion for storytelling, Koberlein will take the BIG SCIENCE audience around the world to visit the researchers and blue collar workers. The program plans to go to massive scientific facilities like the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland or the giant telescope arrays of Chile as well as remote locations such as the Galápagos Islands or the Arctic islands of Canada and Norway.
By using an on-location, immersive approach, BIG SCIENCE will show how scientific research isn’t the lone pursuit of geniuses, but the result of teams of hard-working crews who have much in common with their television audiences. Through this identification, the program aims to create deeper public understanding in the goals of major scientific research in expanding human knowledge and boosting our standard of living.
The thirty day Kickstarter fundraiser raised CA$22,237. One hundred ninety donors from 16 countries helped Big Science exceed its goal. The campaign received media coverage on Futurism and Universe Today, and attracted the endorsement of Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.
I am pleased to see the series entitled Big Science that is being developed to describe this area of science to the general public. I look forward to seeing the episodes that will emphasize the team aspects of this work, showing the wide variety of personal contributions that enable these Big Science projects to provide a much greater understanding of our universe.Dr. Arthur B. McDonald
The host, BRIAN KOBERLEIN, is a passionate communicator of science. He writes a daily blog called One Universe at a Time and is Senior Lecturer of Physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Executive Producer, AL MAGEE, is a recent Canadian Screen Award winner and Innovative Producer of the Year at the Banff Television Festival. His Toronto-based Magee TV has produced and sold more than 500 hours of non-fiction television.
Executive Producer, STEVEN MITCHELL, was recently Series Producer for Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here! He is a two-time winner of the Best Lifestyle Canadian Screen Award and has multiple Worldfest Houston Awards for producing and directing.
Story Producer, MARK GILLESPIE, is a Rochester, NY-based journalist and editor with more than 25 years of experience in some of the world’s most remote locations. He has been a newspaper editor and Iditarod Sled Dog Race trail reporter in Alaska, and founding editor of 585 Magazine, an arts and culture publication serving Rochester.