WGBH Educational Foundation

To research and produce four hours of documentaries on the role of science and technology in history for The American Experience with ancillary outreach including two interactive games and marketing campaign

  • Amount $2,500,000
  • City Boston, MA
  • Investigator Mark Samels
  • Year 2011
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program Television

Funds from this grant support the development, production, and broadcast of three science-and-technology-themed documentaries by the PBS series American Experience. The three proposed documentaries include: "The Poisoner's Handbook," based on Deborah Blum's Foundation-supported book about the birth of toxicology and forensic science in the Jazz Age and how new crime-fighting techniques led to improvements in safety; "Robert Noyce, the Integrated Circuit and the Birth of Silicon Valley," based on Leslie Berlin's The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, a formative tale about one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century that has received relatively little exposure in the mass media; and "The Grand Coulee Dam" about the damming of the Columbia River-at the time, the largest concrete structure ever built-which transformed the Pacific Northwest. In addition, American Experience is proposing two interactive games to accompany the broadcast of "The Poisoner's Handbook."

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