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Grant number: GA-254155-17

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WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

American Masters of Science: Two Documentaries on James Watson and Oliver Sacks

Production of two documentaries on prominent scientists, James Watson and Oliver Sacks, for broadcast on public television.

American Masters, the leading biographical series on U.S. television, proposes to produce two nationally broadcast documentaries on extraordinary scientists. The first is James Watson: In His Own Words, a 60-minute film, co-produced by Room 608 (Mark Mannucci), about the biologist and geneticist who co-discovered the structure of DNA and has remained at the forefront of the modern biological revolution. The second is Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, a two-hour film, co-produced by Steeplechase Film (Ric Burns), about the neurologist and author whom the New York Times called "the poet laureate of medicine." Broadening the definition of an "American master," these films will illuminate two scientific giants who had a profound influence on American life and culture, and whose lives and work raise fascinating issues at the intersection of science and the humanities. Broadcast in primetime on PBS, the films are intended to establish a new strand for American Masters, linking science and technology with humanities content.

Project fields:

Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Public Programs)

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$800,000 (approved)
$800,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
12/1/2016 – 9/30/2019