You can see now Wired Science Pilote Episode on PBS, I saw the Stem Cell Explorer segment. According to the introduction: “Brian Unger interviews premier stem cell researcher Dr. Renee Reijo Pera, the Co-Director of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center at UCSF, a beneficiary of a 2004 California initiative to allocate $3.5 billion over ten years to potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research. The piece profiles a pioneering scientist in one of the most promising but controversial areas of research.” In fact, Reijo Pera emphasizes (though not the video) that in her lab human embryonic stem cells are being used mainly as gene-knockout model system to examine male infertility genes not as direct therapeutic agents. Here is a profile on Reijo Pera’s male infertility research. My comments on the video:
– Scientific information is minuscule, hope it’ll get better, as one watcher said on Wired Science Blog: “Honestly, Stem Cell research? My 80 year old grandmother knows as much as the show just covered.”
– Music is dead boring, why do media professionals think, that electronic, chill out, space music is the only one that fits with the spirit of science? Let us try something else, what about klezmer, folk, country, hardcore?
– Illustrations: common watchers do not know what they are seeing. What about legends?
– Lab shots are monotonous. Try to catch some unusual moments in lab life, be more creative.
– The personal story of Dr. Reijo Pera is fascinating, a bookkeeper turned scientist suffered from ovarian cancer is doing research on infertility and is trying to identify healthy embryos for infertile couples who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures at UCSF.
Conclusion: It’s time to completely renew the popular science video genre! Wired Science’s Pilote Stem Cell Episode follows the old lines. Current science is in constant motion, and is not a traditional washing powder.