Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future brings together leading scientists, scholars and artists to debate latest discoveries and their impact on the human condition. Series creator Robert Lawrence Kuhn hosts a series of spontaneous and intimate conversations with some of the world's most esteemed experts that combine leading-edge science and informed intuition to address the fundamental issues of our times.
Closer to Truth is an inside opportunity to witness how the pioneers in humanity's quest for greater understanding chart their expedition into the unknown, journeys that are marked by a rigorous pursuit of truth, a readiness to challenge current belief, a willingness to overturn dogma, an open-minded exploration of inferences and implications, and a tough-minded reliance on critical thinking. Topics cluster in four
categories: Brain & Mind, Biology & Medicine, Cosmos & Universe, and Science & Our World.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Executive Producer, Series Creator, Host
For Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Closer To Truth is a life-long passion. With a doctorate in brain science, Dr. Kuhn is an international investment banker and author or editor of more than 25 books. He is vice chairman of The Geneva Companies, one of the leading mergers and acquisitions firms for middle market businesses, and a managing director of Smith Barney. Both Geneva and Smith Barney are units of Citigroup.
Dr. Kuhn's books include Closer To Truth; Made In China: Voices From the New Revolution; Dealmaker; The Library of Investment Banking; Handbook for Creative and Innovative Managers; Frontiers in Creative and Innovative Management; Investment Banking: The Art and Science of High-Stakes Dealmaking. Three of his books have been translated into Chinese, including the first investment banking book in published in China.
Dr. Kuhn has long-established relationships with the science, culture, business and government communities in China, with a focus on media, technology, and mergers & acquisitions (M&A). He has led conferences, lectured at Beijing and Tsinghua universities, been interviewed frequently, advised senior leaders, and had his recommendations on M&A incorporated into policy and official speeches. He created and produced Capital Wave, a groundbreaking series on M&A, for China Central Television (CCTV), and In Search of China, an inside look at the new China, as a primetime special for PBS. As chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, Dr. Kuhn works to promote good relations between America and China.
Dr. Kuhn has an A.B. in human biology (Johns Hopkins), a Ph.D. in anatomy / brain research (UCLA Brain Research Institute), and an M.S. in management (MIT Sloan Fellow). He has taught psychology at MIT and was an adjunct professor (business and financial strategy) at NYU. He is Senior Fellow at the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin; a trustee of Claremont Graduate University; chairman of Pacvia Communications (Beijing); vice chairman of China Technology Innovation Corp. (Beijing); and has advised the governments of China, the United States, Germany and Israel on economics and technology.
Executive Producer, Series Director, Producer
Linda Feferman, a Guggenheim Fellow and Sundance award-winning producer, director, and writer, has extensive experience in the production of scientific documentaries. She was series producer and director for the Timothy Ferris' national PBS series, Life Beyond Earth, a KCTS-TV, PBS/Devillier Donegan co-production, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her episode of the PBS/KCET-TV series, The Astronomers. She produced, directed and wrote Tierra - Evolution in Another Universe, an independent educational documentary on Tom Ray's artificial life simulation, Tierra.
Linda Feferman's work includes numerous feature and educational films and drama and music videos. She was nominated for a Grammy for her Sony Records music video, Where'd You Hide the Body? Her feature film, Seven Minutes in Heaven, for Zoetrope and Warner Brothers Studios, received an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Feferman has been awarded 21 fellowships and grants including a fellowship to live and work in Japan. Her most recent educational short, Missing…What to Do if Your Child Disappears, was lauded by Billboard Magazine as "an imperative video which succeeds brilliantly." She is known for the humor she instills in films and for tackling challenging material and making abstract subject matter accessible.
Co-Producer, Series; Guest
Dr. Bruce Murray, is Professor of Planetary Science and Geology, Emeritus
at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He has
been at Caltech since 1960 and currently teaches courses in Planetary
Surfaces, and supervises student research. He was Director of the
NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1976 to 1982, which included
the Viking landings on Mars and the Voyager mission through Jupiter and
Saturn encounters. In 1979, he, Dr. Louis Friedman, and the late Carl
Sagan, founded The Planetary Society, a 80,000 member international
organization dedicated to exploring the Solar System and to the search for
extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Currently he serves as Chairman of
the Board of TPS. Dr. Murray has participated in spacecraft exploration of
the planets for nearly four decades, beginning with Mariner 4, the first
successful Mars probe in 1965 and continuing through Mars Global Surveyor
which continues to reveal exciting new features of the Martian surface today.
Murray has had a long interest in visualizing alternative future
possibilities, beginning with his book Navigating the Future (Harper Row,
1975). He was a consultant (1991-95) to the "2050 Project", a collaboration
between WRI, The Brookings Institution, and the Santa Fe Institute. From
1993 - 2000, he was sponsored by the John and Mary Markle Foundation to
explore how new information technology may impact future societal outcomes.
This research led to the development of the HyperForum approach which is
extended to a large-scale, cross-media application on this site. He has
published over 135 scientific papers and authored or co-authored six books.
He received his college education at M.I.T., culminating in the Ph.D. in 1955.
As a Native Los Angeleno, Spencer studied photography at the Art Center
College of Design segueing into the film industry as an Art Director. His
first film "Rocky" became a huge hit that led to many choice projects. Among
them: "Stripes," "Poltergeist," "Gremlins," "Innerspace," and his Emmy-winning
"Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" for HBO.
Main Title Design
Kent Demaine, Creative Director/Editor, started Black Box as a collaborative community designed around an eclectic mix of cartoonists, compositors, photographers, and painters. Kent has worked as Creative Director on "Minority Report," "Italian Job," and "Enemy of the State."
Director of Photography
Patrick Stewart is perhaps best known as the DP for the feature film "Timecode," the four-camera split screen virutoso one-take feature film for Sony Pictures. Stewart shoots television, commercials, music videos, doc's and now, talk shows.
Bob Ezrin is a noted pioneer of innovative recording techniques and new technologies. Since he began producing at the age of 19, he has been breaking new ground in studios all over the world. Ezrin has produced multi-platinum albums and live events for some of the world's leading artists including Alice Cooper, KISS, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Nine Inch Nails, 30 Seconds to Mars, Porno for Pyros and Kurrupt, Rod Stewart, Julian Lennon and The Jayhawks. One of his most noteworthy productions is Pink Floyd's "the Wall", a seminal masterpiece that is often credited as one of the greatest albums of all time. Currently, Ezrin is completing the long awaited reunion album of Jane's Addiction.
Scott K. Wallace
Scott Wallace began his career in TV news in San Francisco, edited commercials, television and features and has been a professional film editor for 25 years. Currently, he edits 'Fastlane' for Warner Brothers Television.
Gary Youngman began his career at Bob Drew Associates thirty years ago and since then has edited features, docs, commercials, and music videos.
Duncan Burns has edited several feature films, including "Pavilion Of Women" for Universal Studios and "Dreaming Of Julia" for Artisan Entertainment.
Helen Borgers has been a jazz host on radio station KKJZ (formerly KLON) for almost 24 years. Other credits include a special two-hour radio performance of Steve Allen's Meeting of Minds, featuring Steve Allen, Jean Stapleton, Lloyd Bridges, and Ed Asner, which ran on the Pacifica radio network. Helen is also the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company.
Station Relations Manager, Broadcast Marketing
Sharon Tavares brings over 25 years of hands-on experience in public television program development, distribution and marketing to her clients. Broadcast Marketing coordinates distribution, promotion, education and outreach, and station relations campaigns for . Tavares' clients include independent filmmakers, PBS and its member stations, and other national public television distribution entities. Her career in public broadcasting includes over nine years in program marketing and distribution at at PBS and two years as an account executive with BBC Worldwide (then Lionheart Television).
The Kuhn Foundation
The Kuhn Foundation, based in Irvine and Pasadena, California, operates cultural, educational, scientific and humanitarian projects, including the pursuit and dissemination of new knowledge in science and scholarship, the sponsorship of classical music performances and productions in various countries, and the promotion of cultural exchanges, media education and good relations between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China. In addition to the Closer To Truth PBS television series and website, current projects include a documentary on the life and music of composer Aram Khachaturian, and cross-cultural symposia between Chinese and American scholars.
The Fisher Company
Established in 1989 by Tim Fisher, The Fisher Company specializes in media placement and special events planning. THey manage public relations campaigns for an eclectic mix of people and projects, the latter including concerts, political issues, haute cuisine, websites, gardening, television programs and product introductions. Numbering among the many standouts are "Judy Collins in Concert" at Carnegie Hall, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Teen Press Conference, the conversion of Honda's Odyssey minivan into New York City taxicabs and the launch of Thirteen/WNET New York's website wNetStation.
The company has created media strategies for a variety of well-known personalities and their projects. These include notables such as Britain's Prince Edward, Walter Cronkite, Gloria Steinem, Blythe Danner, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Ricky Skaggs, Bebe and Cece Winans, author John Mortimer, the renowned chef Charlie Trotter and The Perennial Gardner Karen Strohbeen. The agency also has longstanding client relationships with numerous broadcasting companies, including HBO/Cinemax, PBS and Thirteen/WNET New York and has consulted for WETA, Washington, DC, WGBH, Boston, and the programming organizations ITVS and NAATA.