In his books and columns, through his videos and with his talks, David Pogue teaches all of us how to navigate the world. He seems to know everything, about everything.
But the tech and life-hack expert — a longtime Westport resident — is worried. He needs a favor from “06880” readers. David writes:
I love the PBS science show “NOVA,” and not just because I’ve served as its host in 16 episodes.
For 2 years “NOVA” has been planning a new, educational, entertaining, 2-hour special called “Beyond The Elements,” which I’ll host. The plan is to ask the public to help fund it, through Kickstarter. This is historic: a public TV show seeking help directly from the public!
(Ordinarily, the government provides about 20 percent of public television’s budget. The rest we have to raise from grants, gifts, foundations, and of course “viewers like you.”)
In the middle of gearing up for this quest, current events suddenly overtook us. Both science and public broadcasting are under political attack. Our leaders have expressed a desire to de-fund both.
These trends break my heart. I truly don’t understand the anti-science movement. When it comes to solving the world’s problems — from dropped cellphone calls and stuttering Netflix, all the way up to climate change, feeding the population and fighting epidemics—science is all we got.
My guess is that rapid advances are tapping into something primal in us: fear of the unknown. We no longer understand our world — our car engines, our televisions, our phones, our medical treatments — and it’s terrifying.
That’s what gets me up in the morning (early!) on “NOVA” shoot days. Once someone takes the time to explain these concepts, they won’t seem unfamiliar — and therefore won’t be frightening.
Which brings me back to our Kickstarter campaign. The new show is a sequel to one I hosted in 2012 (“Hunting the Elements”), which has been watched over 10 million times. It’s become a teaching tool in thousands of public school classrooms (including Staples)!
I know that many Westporters are concerned about the direction of the country. I truly believe that a contribution toward this “NOVA” campaign is a gesture of support for both science and public broadcasting. If we’re successful, it will send a message that we, the people, can take matters into our own hands.
With Kickstarter, we have 30 days to raise the money. If we reach our goal, then we make the show. If we don’t, no money is collected; it’s as though the whole thing never happened.
The donation is partly tax-deductible. It comes with various “rewards,” ranging from a T-shirt to lunch with me (though I’m not sure if that’s a reward or a punishment).
I hope “06880” readers will pitch in to our campaign, or at least watch the pitch video here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging…