The Neural Network: A TV Channel for Neuroscience Fans
My "proposal" (read: sketch) for a science network with an emphasis on neuroscience, but with shows spotlighting other areas of science, particularly on the process of research in general.



Note: I also thought about calling it "The Ion Channel" (or even something like "The Sodium Channel") for reasons that are obvious if you know anything about neurons.  However, that name reads as something more like chemistry to an unformed audience.  The point is to bring in fresh viewers and educate them rather than creating a password that is only accessible to those in the know.


Series and mini-series

History
Biopics of scientists - Einstein, Watson and Crick, etc.  One or two hours, depending on the coverage required.
History of Neuroscience - Working the way through the timeline of important developments in the history of the field.  For example, Hodgkin and Huxley's work establishing the electrophysiology of neurons, etc.
Behind the Prize - Nobel Prize winners' stories: How discoveries were made and their influence on their respective fields.

Basics
Science trivia - Quiz show.
The Senses - Mechanisms of transducing the senses, their limitations, transhumanist approaches to correcting for sensory deficits (e.g., artificial retinas), the mechanisms of processing sensory input, etc.
Cognition - An exploration of mental functions such as language, mathematical abilities, etc.

Society
The Debunkers - Exploring pseudoscience: Faith healing, astrology, "new age" beliefs, etc.  Experimental evidence examining the validity of their claims.
Science vs. religion - Similar to the above: Challenging the claims and pointing out the inconsistencies and contradictions, both internal and when confronted with reality.
with patients, researchers, and physicians.

Academia
Book reviews - Reviewing the latest texts about neuroscience and any science-based discussion of the brain.
Science Careers - Exploring different jobs: TEM technician, cell culture tech, research librarian, etc.
Academia - Longitudinal documentary about the journey through academia: from bachelor's to master's to Ph.D. to post-doc to tenured position.  Also explores topics such as setting up your lab, the nature of sabbaticals, and gives an overview of the publication process.
Beyond the Chalkboard - Methods, approaches, and lessons for the lab and classroom.  Theory and practice in science education from elementary to doctoral.

Disorders
Through the DSM - Spotlighting mental illnesses: Symptoms, treatments, etc.  Case studies and interviews of patients with OCD, autism, schizophrenia, etc. and the specialists researching and treating these disorders.
Case Study - Neurological cases along the lines of those covered in Sachs' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" as well as cases of Parkinson's disease, ALS, etc.
Neurosurgery - Updated version of The Operation from TLC (circa 1993).  Segments: Pre-op discussion with patient, physician, CGI overview of surgery, actually OR footage, post-op discussion with patient and physician.  Surgeries: Spinal stenosis, tumor removal, neural implants (for gastroparesis, Parkinson's, etc.).

Humor
The Journal of Irreproducible Results - News magazine program that looks at three or four stories from the Journal.
The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) - Similar to the above.
The Ig Nobel prizes - Coverage of studies recognized by the annual awards.

The scientific method
Lab methodology - Instrumentation, techniques, equipment, etc.
Experimental design - The best approaches to elucidating problems.  Discusses experimenter bias, different approaches for controls, etc.
Statistics - Methods of collecting and testing data.  Different tests examined with example experiments that show designs where each is applicable.

Lectures and presentations
Highlights from the TED conference - Focus on science-oriented presentations.
Nobel Prize awards recipients' lectures - For the Physiology and Medicine award.
Society for Neuroscience - Conference coverage, much like that of C-SPAN.

In the news...
News magazine shows with news/current events reporting
Society for Neuroscience - Conference coverage.
New Scientist
Dana.org
Brain Briefings -  From the Society for Neuroscience.
Nature
Nature Reviews

Marathons
Tv series marathons - Six-hour blocks of the above series.
Neuroscience Week - Non-stop programming on a topic.  In the case of neuroscience, focus will shift daily so that, say, Monday may be about learning/intelligence, then Tuesday might be about mental illness, and so on.

Countdowns
Most influential discoveries - Which scientific advances have yielded the greatest benefit?  (Sci American did an issue along similar lines with inventions.)
Best technology - Which technologies have had the greatest effects on humanity and how?
Best lab equipment - Which instrumentation has produced the most (and most significant) discoveries?  Microscopes, spectrographs, etc.?

Established shows (for re-runs)
NOVA
Scientific American Frontiers
The Operation (formerly on TLC)


Bonus (not really neuro, just something I'd like to see):

Green shows
Recycling shows - How stuff is recycled.
Thermodynamics and Home Improvement - Explains how to green your home in terms of heat transfer.


Additional notes: Neuroscience topics
A list of topics to be covered as special programs.



Copyright 2012 Alexplorer.
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