JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE, The Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth and Human Transformation, Premieres on PBS in December

“A remarkable film. . . While science itself is rooted in rigor and dispassion, its findings can inspire wonder, even reverence. I think the film is a great experiment. It is also beautifully filmed, and, refreshingly, largely a ‘woe-is-me/shame-on-you’-free zone. I hope it gets wide viewing.”  — Andrew Revkin, Journalist, Author, “Dot Earth” blogger for The New York Times 

JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE is a sweeping and expansive film that re-imagines the universe story and translates the human connection to the cosmos. Written by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, it was created in collaboration with a team of talented scientists, scholars, and filmmakers. Decades in the making, JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE will premiere on PBS stations beginning December 3, 2011 (check local listings).  The story is also told with breathtaking clarity in the book, Journey of the Universe, by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, published by Yale University Press (June, 192 pages, $25). 

JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE invites us to become fellow travelers on a journey no previous generation could have fully imagined. Through the astonishing achievements of science, we now know more about the history of the universe and the unfolding of life on Earth then ever before. We have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. But what role do humans play in this 14-billion year history of the universe? And how do we connect with the intricate web of life?

On-air host Brian Thomas Swimme guides us through JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE, exploring these questions and providing an elegant, science-based narrative to tell this epic story, from the origins of life on Earth leading up to the challenges of the present. Beautifully filmed on location on the Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of Pythagoras, JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE explores the origins of humans on Earth, how we developed a symbolic consciousness, and how our ability to communicate using symbols makes humans a “planetary presence.” As the dominant species, humans have become increasingly adept at adapting to, and now commodifying Earth. Suddenly, we are faced with a new dynamic — one where the survival of the species and entire ecosystems depend primarily on human activity, and the choices humans make.

Weaving together the findings of modern science with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, Africa, India, and indigenous peoples, the film explores cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and inter-dependence, offering unprecedented opportunity for the world’s people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. Drawing on the latest scientific knowledge, JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE tells the story of cosmic and Earth evolution in a way that makes it both profoundly relevant and deeply moving. What emerges is an intensely poetic story, which evokes emotions of awe, excitement, fear, joy and belonging.

JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE is the result of the collective inspiration of a 30-year-friendship between three visionaries in the fields of science, evolutionary philosophy and world religions: the late Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Thomas Swimme.

Inspired by Berry’s article titled “The New Story,” which observed how humans are in between stories — creation stories of the world’s religions and the scientific story of the evolution of the universe — Swimme and Tucker joined forces to create the JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE  project, which includes the Journey of the Universe book available through Yale University Press, a DVD of the film, which can be purchased at www.journeyoftheuniverse.org,  as well as a 20-part half-hour educational series of interviews will also be available through the web site.

About KQED (presenting station)

KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin.  KQED’s digital television channels include 9HD, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids, and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast.  KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local newscasts daily.  KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service, KQEDnews.org, as well as offers several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents, and the general public through workshops, community screenings, and multimedia resources.

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For additional information, visit www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.

Media Contacts:

For the film:

CaraMar Publicity, Inc.

Mary Lugo: 770-623-8190, lugo@negia.net

Cara White: 843-881-1480, cara.white@mac.com

Abbe Harris: 908-233-7990, abbe@caramar.net

 

For the book:

Tanya Wiedeking, T: 203.432.7762, tanya.wiedeking@yale.edu

JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE, The Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth and Human Transformation, Premieres on PBS in December 1 September,2011Meredith Gandy

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