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Films of Fact: A History of Science in Documentary Films and Television
     

Films of Fact: A History of Science in Documentary Films and Television

by Timothy Boon
 

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Britain has long been recognised for its pivotal role in the development of documentary cinema, yet its fine tradition of scientific and medical documentaries remains unknown. Films of Fact is the first in-depth history of the subject. It describes how science films for the public began with amateur naturalists and inventors, and that science, technology and

Overview

Britain has long been recognised for its pivotal role in the development of documentary cinema, yet its fine tradition of scientific and medical documentaries remains unknown. Films of Fact is the first in-depth history of the subject. It describes how science films for the public began with amateur naturalists and inventors, and that science, technology and medicine were highly significant subjects in the heyday of British documentary between 1930 and 1950. This study demonstrates how science became a treasured part of broadcasting amidst the birth of postwar non-fiction television; central to the narrative is Paul Rotha, a pioneering advocate of science documentaries from the mid-1930s onwards and a significant figure in the evolution of documentary at the BBC in the 1950s. Written by a historian of science specialising in the public culture of science, this volume is a landmark text on a crucial yet rarely explored aspect of British public culture. Discussed are films such as Cheese Mites (1903), The Coming of the Dial (1933) and World of Plenty (1943), and television programmes including Eye on Research (1957-1961) and Horizon (1964 onwards).

About the Author:
Timothy Boon is Chief Curator at the Science Museum, London. He is a historian and curator of science, technology, medicine and films, and has published extensively on these subjects

Editorial Reviews

Choice

This succinct, well-crafted overview of the history of the science documentary in Britain... adds another perspective to the genre of documentary film... Highly recommended.

Metascience
A welcome contribution to thinking through the issues of science in public in the twentieth century.

British Journal for the History of Science
[A] thorough and loving book.

Viewfinder
Well worth buying and stuying closly purely for its superb historical analyses of science-related documentary films... and as an inspiring study in the impact of scientific and social idealism on public life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781905674374
Publisher:
Wallflower Press
Publication date:
05/23/2008
Series:
Nonfictions Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Timothy Boon is head of collections at the Science Museum, London. He is also a historian and curator of science, medicine and film, and a contributor to Signs of Life: Medicine and Cinema (2005).

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