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Arts & Entertainment + Science & Tech

Innovation for the Next Century

Gino Del Guercio’s PBS pilot, which airs January 17, explores new technology that could change our lives drastically.

When Gino Del Guercio was developing a new science-themed pilot for PBS, he turned to the past, the present, and the future.

Del Guercio, a lecturer in the College of Communication’s department of journalism, worked with his COM students to come up with 22nd Century, a show that explores the technological advances likely to change human behavior within the next century. The pilot episode, “World Wide Mind,” examines the research that could allow electrodes and computers to be implanted in the human brain, effectively wiring our brains so that we can communicate with the world instantly. “Through talking with the students,” says Del Guercio, “I thought that a show about the future would be really interesting.”
 
Soliciting suggestions from the present generation of innovators was only part of the process, however; to offer more perspective on the ways new technology can change humankind, director Del Guercio created two virtual cohosts for the show: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), author of Brave New World, who posited that scientific discovery could destroy human interaction, and Orlanda Bell, a fictional time-traveling visitor from the future.

A coproduction of Boston Science Communications, Inc., and Towers Productions, 22nd Century is one of three science-themed pilots that PBS is testing throughout January. The program that receives the best ratings and viewer reviews will be developed into a 10-part PBS series, beginning in fall 2007.

“World Wide Mind” airs on Wednesday, January 17, at 8 p.m. The program can also be downloaded from www.pbs.org/22ndcentury or for free from the iTunes store.