Sonnets & Sunspots tells the story of one of the most beloved popular science series of all time and the charismatic educator who became an icon to several generations of students. The book is also a fascinating history of popular science programming in television and film, from its primitive beginnings to the twenty-first century. Along the way there are entertaining behind-the-scenes stories of each production and the personalities that were involved with them. Dr. Frank Baxter, a professor of English literature at the University of Southern California, became a science hero to millions thanks to his alter-ego, “Dr. Research.” Many students even became scientists because of Baxter and the Bell films, some of the most entertaining and informative shows ever made.
As the tale unfolds we meet such people as famed Hollywood director Frank Capra, Walt Disney, legendary voice actor June Foray, Eddie Albert, Richard Carlson, movie mogul Jack Warner, James Burke of Connections fame, Carl Sagan of Cosmos, and a score of others. The book also chronicles the story of public television from its earliest beginnings, including the struggles of such pioneering stations as Houston’s KUHT and San Francisco’s KQED. Download and start listening now!