Evolution determines who lives, who dies, and who passes traits on to the next generation. The process plays a critical role in our daily lives, yet it is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood concepts ever described. In a seven-part television series, interactive website, and companion book, these and other evolutionary elements are examined for their profound effect on society and culture. From the genius and torment of Charles Darwin, to the role of mass extinction in the survival of the species, to the perceived conflict between science and religion, Evolutionis sweeping in scope. Designed to encourage intellectual discourse and provide rich educational opportunities, the film illuminates evolution’s relevance for us all.
To foster understanding about what evolution is and how it works, Vulcan Productions partnered with WGBH/Nova Science Unit to develop the Evolution Project: a range of educational, multi-platform activities and materials to help teachers expand their content knowledge and improve teaching of evolution. Consisting of an interactive website, a web-based course in evolution for biology teachers, short videos for science educators and students, online self-guided student lessons, a print teacher’s guide with classroom activities, and a series companion book by award-winning science journalist Carl Zimmer, the Evolution Project is a comprehensive learning resource aimed at improving science literacy and public dialogue.
A total of 18.08 million viewers residing in a total of 13.4 million US households (13% of U.S. households) watched at least some part of Evolution. PBS scheduled a rare national encore broadcast during the same broadcast season, in spring 2002, on four consecutive Tuesday evenings starting May 14th from 9-11 PM.
The television series reached an estimated 25 million viewers in the combined broadcasts; as of April 2003, the Web site received almost 4 million pageviews since its launch in September 2001; and the printed teacher’s guide outstripped its initial print run of 94,000 guides and reached more than 100,000 general educators and 30,000 high school biology teachers (and the 1 million students they impact annually). Marketing and promotion activities for both broadcasts delivered more than 1.56 billion known media impressions through traditional publicity, viral/Web marketing, and advertising/guerrilla marketing.
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