Can Science Possibly Be Cool?

Last night in New York, at a TV launch party for Popular Science's "Future Of..." Debbie Myers, Science Channel general manager asked what was missing from science programming.

The overall response, from the 50-plus room full of mostly New York digerati, was resoundingly, "a show that was both entertaining and smart--not dumbed down." Well, if last night's Twitter response could be utilized as any sort of indicator, then in "Future Of..." Discovery and its Science Channel, along with PopSci, have stumbled upon the answer to that question.

According to the PopSci and Science Channel brass, the secret sauce was finding the right host. Someone who was, "chill yet energetic--chillergetic."

That host is Baratunde Thurston, a comedian, political pundit, and author, who guides us through the future of play, war, sex, security, and many other topics affecting human life. Thurston will conduct in-depth interviews with creative inventors, unconventional scientists, and talented entrepreneurs, all while experimenting with their astonishing prototypes. It's meant to serve as a glimpse at how the technological breakthroughs of today will reshape our lives tomorrow. Last night's premiere episode focused on the future of superhumans, featuring:

"Prosthetic limbs better than biological ones. A powder regrows missing body parts. Bigger, stronger muscles without the side-effects of steroids. A bionic eye that turns your world into a computer screen."

 

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Here's what the Twitterverse, selected from those in attendance at the launch party, had to say about the series priemere:

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Nick Bilton, Design Integration Editor and User Interface Specialist at The New York Times and The Times Research & Development Lab, and author of the forthcoming, Byte. Snack. Meal. - The New Business of Storytelling, thought the show was amazing.

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Liza Sabater, a feminist culture pundit, new media producer, online strategy consultant and blogpreneur, and founder of two political blogs: culturekitchen and The Daily Gotham, said she was gong to be addicted to the show.

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Deanna Zandt, a media technologist and consultant to key progressive media organizations who hosts TechGrrl Tips on GRITtv with Laura Flanders, thought the show's examples of future tech were cool and that Baratunde was an awesome host.

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Anil Dash, a blogger, entrepreneur and Vice President at Six Apart, which makes TypePad and Moveable Type, said that Baratunde was going to blow up the Science Channel with "Future of..."

It doesn't get much cooler than that.

"Future of..." airs Mondays at 9 P.M. ET, check your local listings for repeat and first-run schedules.

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1 Comments

  • Donald Schwartz

    Baratunde Thurston's enthusiasm for the show's topic is contagious and you won't want to be vaccinated. Thurston's sense of self-amusement adds a most pleasant grace note to the proceedings.