Planning Grant for a “Prime-Time” TV Science Drama

May 15th, 1995 - December 31st, 1997 | PROJECT

This is planning grant that will enable the AAAS to bring together a group of scientists, science educators, and television writers/producers to develop the concept and initial scripts for a television series about science that would be broadcast in prime time by one of the major networks. Tentatively entitled "The Dean," the series would be the story of a Dean of Arts and Sciences at a university which is modeled after a small M.I.T. The University has made it reputation by being at the forefrmnt of scientific research. The Dean is in the center of an exciting and fascinating vortex. Each week the Dean deals with issues that range from social implications of new types of new types of genetic engineering research to the intrigue of procuring top secret military contracts. The issues are presented as stories about people -- the scientists, the students, CEOs and politicians who try to influence the Dean as he/she grapples with the scientific issues. Specific activities during the planning phase include: o Bringing together an advisory group to develop storylines that maximize the amount of science without damaging the prime-time, entertainment constraints. o Writing of an initial script and an outline of the major elements of a series. o Presentation of the concept and script to top executives at major networks to assess their interest in and possible commitment to the series. The key personnel in the planning phase would be Gerald Wheeler, Director of the AAAS division for Public Understanding of Science and Technology; Leon Lederman, physicist and initial creator of the general concept; and Adrian Malone, television producer of such major series as "The Ascent of Man" and "Cosmos."

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Robert Hirshon, Principal Investigator, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Leon Lederman, Co-Principal Investigator, American Association For Advancement Science
Gerald Wheeler, Former Principal Investigator, American Association For Advancement Science


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9550660
Funding Amount: 94820


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | History | policy | law | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology