Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education: The Brain: The Final Frontier — Planning Proposal

September 10th, 2001 - August 31st, 2002 | PROJECT

The Massachusetts General Hospital is developing a large format film that will take an interdisciplinary look at brain science and raise questions about the nature and biological basis of consciousness. For the past two decades, the field of cognitive neuroscience has begun to explore and understand some of the most complex brain functions and, for the first time, research is pointing to answers to such questions as, "What makes intelligence possible?" and "What makes consciousness possible?" This film will examine the basic functions of the brain and explore some of the cutting-edge research that is reaching into the realms of intelligence and consciousness. The large format film will be supported by outreach components that will include an educator's guide, a family pamphlet, a poster and a website. Science content for the series will be developed by Anne Buckingham Young, Chief of the Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital; Dennis Selkow, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School; and Gary L. Gottlieb, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. They will work closely with advisors with expertise in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy and biology. The project will be under the direction of JoAnna Baldwin-Mallory, Director of the Office of New Ventures at Partners HealthCare System. The film will be directed and produced by Peter Georgi who is currently producing and directing the NSF supported large format film, The Human Body, with the BBC. Front-end and formative evaluation will be conducted by Ralph Adler of RMC Research. As they have developed the conceptualization and preliminary plans for the film, the staff has identified several issues that would benefit from further, more in-depth planning. These activities that would be conducted during the planning stage include: Convening the scientific advisors and production staff to develop the science content further and to design an approach for presenting substantive content that is appropriate for the large format film medium; Conducting front-end evaluation of popular understandings of and interest in brain science; Carrying out formative testing of preliminary script ideas; Investigating the potential for supplementing the already planned outreach materials with additional components such as a guide specifically designed for classroom teachers, an activity guide for students, a CD-ROM and short radio spots that present stories from the front lines of brain research; Developing a film script, print and web components; Establishing partnerships in research and academic communities and with science centers and natural history museums.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

JoAnna Baldwin-Mallory, Principal Investigator, Partners Healthcare System


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0132784
Funding Amount: 49545


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Families | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Health and medicine | Life science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Films and IMAX | Media and Technology