Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning multimedia initiative producing a diverse range of uniquely-engaging documentary films, books and podcasts presenting comprehensive, big-picture perspectives on a large spectrum of fascinating topics.

NEW: The Pandemic Perspectives Project consists of a documentary film, a book and podcast series explicitly designed to take stock of the COVID-19 pandemic from a spectrum of uniquely intriguing angles.

I. Documentary film:  Pandemic Perspectives was filmed remotely using local film crews during the Omicron variant outbreak and takes the viewer on a captivating journey through a spectrum of core societal issues directly illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic—education, science communication, politics, the environment and societal values—through short, carefully-edited clips featuring 32 experts from around the world.

II. Book: Pandemic Perspectives: A filmmaker’s journey in 10 essays, by filmmaker Howard Burton provides fresh insights into a wide range of societal and scientific issues ranging from biology to politics to contemporary morality weaving together his interaction with a diverse array of international experts who participated in his film and his personal experiences as a physicist-turned-filmmaker with self-professed “biology watcher” Lewis Thomas as his inspiration.


III. Podcast series: we’ve started the weekly release an extensive series of podcasts featuring 24 of the film’s 32 experts who also participated in a separate long-format podcast discussion with Howard to more rigorously probe their concerns through a conversational format on the Ideas Roadshow Podcast Channel

NEW: read a detailed interview with Howard Burton hosted by senior editor Ruth Barnwood:

RB:  Why a film, book and podcast?  What did you have in mind there?

HB:  Well, it evolved pretty naturally, as these things tend to do.  First came the idea of the film, which was actually triggered by a sense of frustration from the information I was getting from standard sources.  Like most people, I don’t have a biological background and was completely unprepared and overwhelmed when the pandemic hit: I had a really hard time making sense of what was happening around me—I had no real context and the media reports that were supposed to be “explaining” things for me, weren’t actually very helpful at all. 

So I first thought that I’d do a film just about the science—”a non-biologist tries to make sense of things”— but as time went on it seemed that there were a lot more things to try to make sense of than just biology, like what our response to the pandemic might tell us about the way we govern our societies, or our level of critical thinking, or our moral values. Read more….