An Electric Education: How to Teach Science on Television

Fellow in Focus
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

The Fall 2018 Fellow in Focus lecture will be presented by Ingrid Ockert, our 2018–2020 Haas Fellow.

For seven decades scientific showmen and wizards have entertained Americans on television. How have they captured the attention of audiences? What tricks of the trade have been developed to make a dull science experiment into electric entertainment? 

To help answer these questions Ockert watched old episodes of beloved science series, read scripts, and interviewed television producers. In this talk she will reveal what she learned about how a good science television series becomes a great series, and screen clips from such shows as Watch Mr. Wizard and 3-2-1 Contact! Ockert will also share her perspective on what makes a memorable science program iconic, decades later.


Event Schedule

  • 6:00 p.m.
  • 7:00 p.m.

About the Speaker

Ingrid Ockert is a historian of science and media in the 20th century. She holds a PhD from the History of Science Program at Princeton University. Previously, she ran a lecture series for Princeton’s Council on Science. She has collaborated with Oregon Public Broadcasting, WGBH, WHYY, and WPRB. Ingrid’s work has been supported with grants from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, NASA, and AmeriCorps. She also serves as a cochair for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Scholarly Advisory Committee.

About the Series

The Rohm and Haas Fellow in Focus lecture series gives the Institute’s scholars an opportunity to present their work to a broad audience interested in history, science, and culture. Fellow in Focus lectures are presented by the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry.

More Information

For more information about this event please contact Kelly Smith at 215.873.8254 or