Biology, History and Philosophy of Science, Press Releases

Press Release: LaFollette, Science on the Air

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Join expeditions on the frontiers of research! Listen as eminent men of science tell of their achievements! Just as Watson Davis beckoned listeners to gather around their radios for his broadcast of Adventures in Science, so too does Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette invite readers to travel back in time to the heyday of science programming in Science on the Air.
Before the dawn of television, programs like Our Friend the Atom, The World Is Yours, and Cavalcade of America flourished. But with broadcasting success came the directive to entertain, not just educate. Science on the Air chronicles the efforts of science popularizers as they negotiated topic, content, and tone in order to gain precious time on the air. Offering a new perspective on the collision between science’s idealistic and elitist view of public communication and the unbending economics of broadcasting, LaFollette rewrites the history of the public reception of science in the twentieth century and the role that scientists and their institutions have played in both encouraging and inhibiting popularization. By looking at the broadcasting of the past, Science on the Air raises issues of concern to all those who seek to cultivate a scientifically literate society today.
Read the press release.