SONNETS & SUNSPOTS: "DR. RESEARCH" BAXTER AND THE BELL SCIENCE FILMS by Eric Niderost

SONNETS & SUNSPOTS: "DR. RESEARCH" BAXTER AND THE BELL SCIENCE FILMS by Eric Niderost
Product Code: 978-1-59393-582-5
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Sonnets & Sunspots tells the story of one of the most beloved popular science series of all time, and the charismatic educator who became an icon to several generations of students. The book is also a fascinating history of popular science programming in television and film from its primitive beginnings to the twenty-first century. Along the way there are entertaining behind the scenes stories of each production and the personalities that were involved with them. Dr. Frank Baxter, a Professor of English Literature at the University of Southern California, became a science hero to millions thanks to his alter-ego, “Dr. Research.” Many students even became scientists because of Baxter and the Bell films, some of the most entertaining and informative shows ever made.
 
As the tale unfolds we meet such people as famed Hollywood director Frank Capra, Walt Disney, legendary voice actor June Foray, Eddie Albert, Richard Carlson, movie mogul Jack Warner, James Burke of Connections fame, Carl Sagan of Cosmos, and a score of others. The book also chronicles the story of public television from its earliest beginnings, including the struggles of such pioneering stations as Houston’s KUHT and San Francisco’s KQED.
 
The volume is illustrated by photographs and art of the period, many of them from the author’s own collection.
 
"A fascinating and sometimes humorous look at the early years of science broadcasting. Essential reading if you want to understand how we got here."
– James Burke, Connections and The Knowledge Web

“Eric’s book not only tells the live stories of near godly A/V-club-member heroes, but is also a concise and illuminating history of educational television — the circuitous roots of PBS. A caring look into a subject I care a great deal about, and was inspired by — much like my map for a self-steered life. I love recalling how excited it was to see the latest Bell flick, that would be shown in school, or before the cartoons and main feature at the Sunday matinee."
Jok Church, Creator of Beakman's World

Article from the University of Southern California

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