In this fourth century of the scientific revolution, our understanding of nature and the universe is expanding in all directions. The social, cultural and spiritual implications of this upheaval are incalculable. At the same time, high technology-based media are also in a period of dramatic development, enabling us to widely share this newly dawning consciousness with a previously undreamt of degree of verisimilitude. Our planetary civilization is in the later stages of becoming a wholly intercommunicating organism. Advances in visual resolution, interactivity and virtual reality make it possible to place the joystick of exploration in every hand; to open the galaxies, the atom and the cell for personal reconnaissance. The lines between commerce, education, entertainment and every other aspect of human activity blur to the point of vanishing. Learning is now viewed as a lifelong pursuit. And yet, our most dazzling entertainment capabilities are reserved for material that is largely substance-free. Meanwhile the real-time unfolding of the grandeur of the universe is treated as an aside; blandly reported, if at all.
We are a team of writers, filmmakers, producers, researchers, engineers, educators and artists who, with a growing list of partners across science, communications and finance, seek to address this disconnect.
Carl Sagan, and those of us privileged to work with him, demonstrated that there is a worldwide appetite for compelling entertainment that reflects our deepening understanding of cosmic evolution and our place in its great story. The global success of these efforts, both critical and financial, transcend every conceivable demographic of age, gender, economics and culture. There is a planet-wide hunger for myths, images and dreams that reflect our radically altered sense of who, where and when we are...and where we might go and who we might become.
Science is posing formidable challenges to some of our most ancient assumptions and fundamental precepts. Its two-edged byproduct, high technology, offers us unprecedented opportunities even as it tears at the intricate fabric of nature. We need a heightened level of scientific awareness to protect the environment that sustains us. The aspirations of democracy are based on the notion of an informed citizenry, capable of making wise decisions. The choices we are asked to make become increasingly complex. They require the longer-term thinking and greater tolerance for ambiguity that science fosters. The new economy is predicated on a continuous pipeline of scientific and technological innovation. It can not exist without workers and consumers who are mathematically and scientifically literate.
Meanwhile, the rise of the Internet has joined advancing tools of visualization to make possible new experiences and services for individuals across a borderless community. Very soon, wireless devices fitting in the palm of a child's hand will speak and understand spoken words, providing instant access to a universe of learning, adventure and community for every young mind.
All of these imperatives and transformations support the sense of urgency and confidence that we bring to our mission: Awakening one billion people to our relationship with the Cosmos by 2009, the four hundredth anniversary of Galileo's first look through the telescope.
Through an Internet portal, film (both large and standard format) and television production, new consortia of cultural and scientific institutions, and publishing, we will create, produce and distribute eye, brain, heart and soul-nourishing science-based entertainment integrated across all media.
We aim to tear down the walls that have excluded the rest of us from the scientific enterprise. We intend to demystify the language, values, and drama of science. We want to give you the power of its permanently revolutionary methodology...to take you for a wild ride on a comet...to surf the neural net of the universe within to explore the infrastructure of a dream...to travel back in time to retrace your origins in the catastrophic explosions of distant suns...to decipher the mysteries of life and get you started on your own search for life and intelligence on other worlds...to experience the Amazonian rain forest as its non-human denizens might...to give you a window seat on an interplanetary spacecraft as it navigates the roiling storms of Jupiter and the perilous but gorgeous ring system of Saturn...to be looking over a scientist's shoulder as she unearths the two hundred million year secret that compels us to revise our thinking about the dinosaurs...to link you up with the growing worldwide community of people who have come to love the "pale blue dot" and the precious life that it supports...to bring real-time scientific discovery streaming into your life.
Most of all, we hope to touch you with the soaring spiritual high that comes from grasping science's central revelation - our oneness with the cosmos.