PBS Shows "Faith and Reason"

Keith B Miller (kbmill@ksu.edu)
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 21:20:46 -0600

>Meta 153. 9/1/98. Approximately 251 lines.
>Below is a press release from New River Media about the showing of a new
>documentary entitled "Faith and Reason" on the U.S. Public Broadcasting
>Stations (PBS). The program airs Friday, September 11, 1998 at 10:00 p.m.
>(ET) on PBS (check local listings). Following the press release is a list
>of interviewees and background information about the host, directors, and
>Those who attended the Science and Spiritual Quest conference in Berkeley
>last June had an opportunity to preview the show. "Faith and Reason" is
>professionally produced and visually exciting. Margaret Wertheim is a
>delightful and compelling guide. The producers are self-critically aware
>of the predominantly Christian focus of the program, making this both a
>weakness and a strength in the film, as well as an invitation for further
>work in an expanded dialogue. The documentary provides a balanced overview
>of the emerging dialogue in science and religion, offering a fine general
>introduction for students and the general public to a rather complex
>subject. I give it my own two opposable-digits-up.
>-- Billy Grassie
>From: Andrew Walworth <andrew.walworth@nrmedia.com>
>Subject: PBS Documentary "Faith and Reason"
>For Immediate Release
>Contact: Mary Lugo 770/623-8190
> email: fenfam@negia.net
>One-Hour PBS Documentary Debuts September 11, 1998 at 10:00 p.m.
>(Washington, DC - August 15, 1998) FAITH AND REASON, a new one-hour
>documentary debuting this fall on PBS, examines a growing movement of
>scientists, theologians and philosophers who are working together to find
>common ground among their seemingly divergent fields. The program is
>produced by New River Media, Inc. in association with Five Continents Music
>and is presented on national public television by Thirteen/WNET. The
>program airs Friday, September 11, 1998 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check
>local listings).
>Science is forging ahead as never before, yielding insights across the
>spectrum of nature. Super-accelerators probe the inner cores of atoms.
>Deep-space telescopes reveal astonishing insights about the birth of stars
>and galaxies, and ultimately the universe as a whole. In the biological
>domain, geneticists unravel the mysteries of DNA, learning to read the
>molecular language of life.
>At the same time, religious fundamentalism is on the rise, and science is
>sometimes portrayed as the enemy. The battle between secular science and
>religious fundamentalism now affects America's politics, educational
>institutions, churches, and even research institutes.
>Hosted by noted science writer Margaret Wertheim, author of "Pythagoras'
>Trousers: God, Physics and the Gender Wars", FAITH AND REASON traces the
>development of the emerging science/religion dialogue. This new movement
>comes together at places like the Center for Theology and the Natural
>Sciences in Berkeley, CA, and the Divine Action conference at Pope John
>Paul II's summer palace in Castel Gandolfo, just outside Rome.
>In FAITH & REASON, world-renowned scientists and theologians grapple with
>questions like: Is there a role for God in an evolutionary universe? Does
>Big Bang cosmology negate the need for a Creator? Is DNA sacred, and hence
>genetic engineering a sin? Will physics reveal to us the "mind of God?" Is
>the universe really pointless, or is it endowed with meaning?
>The program visits seldom-seen areas of the Vatican, including the
>Vatican's own solar observatory (where Pope Gregory XIII revised the
>Western calendar) and the Vatican archives, which house original documents
>from the trial of Galileo. The program also travels to the Vatican's
>astronomical observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona, and goes inside the
>National Institutes of Health laboratories where geneticists are decoding
>the human genome.
>The program features coverage of the Divine Action Conference, hosted by
>Pope John Paul II. The conference brought together scientists and
>theologians to discuss evolutionary theory. Shortly afterward, the Pope
>made the historic announcement that "fresh knowledge leads to recognition
>of the theory of evolution as more than just a hypothesis."
>Interviewees include: Francis Collins - director of the Human Genome
>Project at the National Institutes of Health and self-described "serious
>Christian;" Father George Coyne - Jesuit priest, astronomer and Director of
>the Vatican Observatory; Robert Russell - physicist, theologian, Director
>of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences; Paul Davies -
>physicist and author of "The Mind of God"; Steven Weinberg - theoretical
>physicist and Nobel laureate; Arthur Peacocke - evolutionary biologist and
>Anglican priest; Nancey Murphy - Christian philosopher; Richard Dawkins -
>evolutionary biologist; Ted Peters - Lutheran theologian; and Charles Birch
>- one of the founders of modern ecology.
>Ronald Bailey and Andrew Walworth are executive producers. Ronald Bailey
>and Cameron Allen are producers. Margaret Wertheim is writer and host.
>The program is made possible by grants from the John Templeton Foundation,
>the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Counterbalance Foundation. Accommodations
>were provided by the Madison Hotel in Washington, DC.
>(1) George Coyne, Astronomer/Jesuit Priest
> Director of the Vatican Observatory - Kitt Peak, AZ
>(2) Nancey Murphey, Christian Philosopher
> Fuller Theological Seminary - Berkeley, CA
>(3) Ronald Number, Science Historian
> University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
>(4) Robert Russell, Physicist/Theologian
> President, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, affiliated with
> the University of California - Berkeley, CA
>(5) Arthur Peacocke, Biochemist
> University of Oxford - Oxford, England
>(6) Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary biologist/Author, The Selfish Gene
> University of Oxford - Oxford, England
>(7) Paul Davies, Physicist/Author, The Mind of God
> University of Adelaide - Adelaide, Australia
>(8) Francis Collins, Geneticist/Director, Human Genome Project
> National Institutes of Health - Bethesda, MD
>(9) Ted Peters, Theologian
> Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary - Berkeley, CA
>(10) Rustum Roy, Material scientist
> Pennsylvania State University - College Park, PA
>(11) Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize in Physics
> University of Texas - Austin, TX
>(12) Charles Birch, Ecologist
> University of Sydney (Emeritus) - Sydney, Australia
>Margaret Wertheim is a science writer and commentator now living in Los
>Angeles. She writes extensively about science and society for magazines,
>television, and radio. She is the author of two books: Pythagoras'
>Trousers, a history of the relationship between physics, religion, and
>women, (W.W. Norton, 1995); and The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace, a cultural
>history of space from Dante to the Internet (forthcoming from W.W. Norton,
>Feb. 1999.) She is a Research Associate at the Museum of Natural History.
>She is also the writer and on-camera host of the PBS television
>documentary, Faith and Reason, about the relationship between science and
>religion today. Faith and Reason will air nationally on PBS on September
>11, 1998. (Check local listings.)
>She has two science degrees: a Bachelor of Science majoring in pure and
>applied physics, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in pure mathematics and
>Margaret's articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers
>including The New York Times, The Sciences, New Scientist, Omni, The
>Australian Review of Books, The Daily Telegraph (London), Die Zeit
>(Germany), Vogue, Elle, and Glamour. She has written ten television
>documentaries, including the award winning six-part series Catalyst which
>she also co-directed. She has written and directed three interactive
>programs, including the Canadian public health program "What About AIDS".
>Margaret has appeared frequently on television and radio in the USA,
>Australia, and Europe discussing science in a social context. She is a
>regular guest on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's weekly TV current
>affairs program Sunday Morning Live, and is a contributing reporter to the
>PBS program Religion and Ethics News Weekly.
>Margaret lectures regularly about science and religion at colleges across
>America. She has spoken at Tufts University, Penn State University, Smith
>College, Hampshire College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and many others.
>Five Continents Music is a film and music production company based in Los
>Angeles, California, formed by Margaret Wertheim and Cameron Allan
>(producer and music composer of Faith and Reason). In addition to scoring
>numerous feature films and television series, Five Continents Music/Cameron
>Allan has produced documentary films including My Crasy Life - a Sundance
>jury prize winner, BuiDoi: life like dust - a US Film Festival prize winner
>and Le chemin secret des Ngarinyin - a film about the rock art of the
>Ngarinyin tribe of north-western Australia. Currently Five Continents is
>developing Aboriginal Science - the first in a series of programs exploring
>the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples around the world.
>Ronald Bailey is a senior producer at New River Media, an independent
>television company based in Washington, DC. He is developing Mirror Image,
>a one hour documentary look at Soviet and American Cold War spy movies.
>He served for two and half years as the founding producer of Think Tank,
>the weekly national public television series. His documentaries include
>Can the States Do It Better?, Affirmative Action In America, and Values
>Matter Most. Mr. Bailey was the 1993 Warren T. Brookes Fellow in
>Environmental Journalism at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
>He is the co-executive producer and producer of the PBS documentary Faith
>and Reason, about the relationship between science and religion today.
>Faith and Reason will air nationally on PBS on September 11, 1998. (Check
>local listings.)
>He is currently editing EARTH REPORT 2000: The True State of the Planet
>Revisited (McGraw-Hill) and is the author of ECO-SCAM: The False
>Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse (St. Martins Press, 1993). In 1995, he
>edited The True State of The Planet (The Free Press, 1995). Other
>positions include: producer of the national weekly PBS series
>TechnoPolitics (1992-1993); a reporter for The Tico Times in San Jose,
>Costa Rica (1990-1991); a staff writer for Forbes magazine (1987-1990);
>associate producer of the PBS foreign affairs series American Interests
>His articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The
>Washington Post, Commentary, The New York Times Book Review, slate, The
>Public Interest, Smithsonian Magazine, National Review, The Washington
>Times, Newsday, and Barron's. He has lectured at Harvard University,
>Rutgers University, McGill University, University of Alaska, Universite de
>Quebec a Montreal, the Cato Institute, the Instituto de Libertad y
>Desarrollo (Chile) and the American Enterprise Institute.
>New River Media is an independent television production and distribution
>company based in Washington, DC that specializes in the production and
>distribution of documentary, series and educational television. Andrew
>Walworth is president.
>Founded in 1992, New River Media is a leading producer for public
>television. Recent and current PBS programs include the series Think Tank
>with Ben Wattenberg and Follow The Money, and the documentaries Edith
>Piaf: La Vie En Rose, The Grandchild Gap, A Third Choice, The Germans:
>Portrait of A New Nation and Gargoyles: Guardians of The Gate.
>In 1994, New River Media launched a home video division, which produces
>original programming and represents programs from producers like NOS,
>Moving Pictures, BRITE, Channel 4/Britain and Cromwell Productions.
>Current titles include Wegman's World, Treasures of The Russian Empire,
>Notre Dame: Witness To History and the new British cooking series Two Fat
>Ladies. On the internet, New River Media hosts the web site Think Tank
>Online (www. pbs.org/think tank) which links users to think tanks and
>public policy institutes around the world.
>Footer information below last updated: 8/10/1998.
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Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506