GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER AND WVIZ/PBS IDEASTREAM® PARTNER
TO EXPLORE “THE HUMAN SPARK” WITH FREE SPECIAL PREVIEW EVENT
January 8th, 2010
CLEVELAND (Jan. 8, 2010) – Great Lakes Science Center, in partnership with WVIZ/PBS ideastream®, will host a free preview event of the PBS series “The Human Spark” Tuesday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. “The Human Spark,” hosted by Alan Alda, is a three-part public television series that investigates the origins and nature of human uniqueness. The preview event highlights human innovation with clips from the series, discussions with local experts and exhibitions demonstrating this pioneering spirit.
“We have always been fascinated by the distinctive qualities that make us human, and with ‘The Human Spark,’ audiences can take an inside look into what ignited that spark,” said Dante Centuori, director of creative productions at Great Lakes Science Center. “The preview event, with expert speakers and related exhibits, is an interactive way for visitors to discover how the human spark has changed our history and improved our lives.”
The event will begin with clips from the series and discussions with local experts, including evolutionary biologist, Patricia Princehouse and cognitive scientist, Todd Oakley. Princehouse and Oakley will describe the relationships between “The Human Spark” and their respective fields of study and will answer audience questions. Princehouse, a lecturer in philosophy and evolutionary biology at Case Western Reserve University, has conducted fieldwork on primate evolution in Africa and North America and has studied what artificial life and digital organisms can tell us about patterns and processes of evolution. Oakley’s principal areas of expertise are in cognitive science, rhetoric and linguistics. He is associate professor of English and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University.
Two featured galleries that illustrate the human spark will be open. Return to the Moon takes visitors on a journey from the Earth to the moon. Commemorating the Apollo 11 spacewalk 40 years ago, it tells the story of the “Constellation Program,” NASA’s new program for human spaceflight, and its goal to return astronauts to the moon by 2020. BioMedTech: Engineering for Your Health explores advances in medical engineering and technology that provide scientists with tools to improve public and personal health. The exhibition Water: H20=Life, which explores the impact this precious resource has on our lives, will also be open.
“The Human Spark” airs January 6, 13, and 20 at 8 p.m. on WVIZ/PBS ideastream®. In part one of the series, host Alan Alda visits France to explore caves with 30,000 year-old artwork created by the Neanderthals and explores the questions of where and when the human spark first ignited. In the second program, Alda joins researchers studying apes to discover what apes and humans share in common and what it is about humans that has allowed us to evolve. The series concludes with an exploration inside Alda’s head using high-tech imaging techniques to search for the human spark. Scientists examine circuitry in the brain that provides humans with language, the ability to use complex tools and the capability to understand the minds of others.
Reservations for the preview event can be made by calling (216) 621-2400. Guests are advised to register early as space is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m.
About WVIZ/PBS ideastream ®
ideastream is a public service, multiple-media organization with a mission to strengthen our communities by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.
About Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center is one of the nation’s leading science and technology centers, featuring hundreds of hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, daily demonstrations, the awe-inspiring OMNIMAX® Theater and the Steamship William G. Mather. The Science Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discounted parking available for guests in the attached 500-car garage. Great Lakes Science Center is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. For more information, contact the Science Center at (216) 694-2000 or visit www.GreatScience.com.
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