Origins scholars to be featured on new PBS series

The expanding universe. The developing mind. Emerging life. Advancing medicine.

At first glance these wide-ranging topics seem unconnected. They are, in fact, encompassed in the science of origins, the spectrum of diverse scientific disciplines that seeks to understand how complex systems emerge and evolve—in short, everything evolutionary.

This month, thanks to a partnership between Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and WVIZ/PBS ideastream, television viewers in Northeast Ohio can be connected with the thoughts of some of the leading scholars of the origins sciences. Three presentations from Case Western Reserve’s 2011 Institute for the Science of Origins’ “Origins Science Scholars Program” lecture series will air in January, with additional installments scheduled to air later in the year.

The programs will air Thursdays at 9 p.m. beginning Jan. 12 on the WVIZ/PBS World channel, one of ideastream’s digital television channels. (All three programs will re-broadcast beginning at noon on Sunday, Jan. 29 on WVIZ/PBS World.) Over-the-air, WVIZ/PBS World can be seen on digital televisions on Channel 25.3. On Time Warner Cable, WVIZ/PBS World can be found on Channel 991. (For other cable channel assignments, check with your local cable company.)

The Origins Science Scholars Program, produced with the generous support of Richard Morrison, is designed to allow members of the community to engage with each other and with leading scholars of the origins sciences to investigate a range of topics.

Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts and Sciences and MediaVision Production group partnered with ideastream and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History in creating the broadcast series.

“The Origins Science Scholars Program brings exciting developments in origins sciences to a small but enthusiastic group of dedicated attendees,” said Glenn Starkman, director of the Institute for the Science of Origins and host of the series. “We are pleased that our partnership with ideastream allows us to share the excitement with a much larger audience across Northeast Ohio.”

The three programs scheduled to debut in January are:

  • “Critterworld: How Biology Transformed One Planet’s History” (airing Thursday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m.) This program examines how the Earth, its atmosphere, oceans and even rocks have been shaped by the presence of plant and animal life. Ralph Harvey, associate professor of geological science at Case Western Reserve University and a fellow of the Institute for the Science of Origins, explains how life shaped our planet.
  • “The Future of Human Health” (airing Thursday, Jan. 19, at 9 p.m.) Eric Arts, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and a fellow of the Institute for the Science of Origins talks about global infectious diseases as the greatest health concern facing humankind and emphasizes the threat of HIV.
  • “The Future of the Universe” (airing Thursday, Jan. 26, at 9 p.m.) Evalyn Gates, executive director and CEO of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and a fellow of the Institute for the Science of Origins, talks about how objects in our universe will evolve into the distant future.

For more information about the Institute for the Science of Origins and its Origins Science Scholars Program, visit case.edu/origins.

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