PBS Books partnered with DPTV, WCMU, and 12 libraries throughout Southeast and Central Michigan to offer a Virtual Screening and Panel Discussion of THE GENE: An Intimate History on April 2, 2020. 

In addition to featuring the director/filmmaker Chris Durrance, the expert panel included five amazing doctors, researchers, professors and geneticists, including: Howard Markel, MD PhD at University of Michigan, Susan J. Baserga, MD, PhD at Yale University Medical Center, Ting Wu, PhD at Harvard Medical School, George Church, PhD at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and Stanley Perlman, MD PhD at University of Iowa.  The screening occurred on OVEE, which stands for Online Viewing and Engagement Experience. OVEE is a shared media viewing experience, which is a powerful way to connect and engage, especially in our current time. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), OVEE combines quality HD media and livestream content with the community-building conversation in a single-screen experience

Ken Burns presents THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY will premiere on DPTV on Tuesday, April 7 and April 14, as a two-part, four hour limited series developed with Ken Burns, Barak Goodman, and Dr. Siddhardtha Mukherjee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book upon which the documentary is based. The series uses science, social history and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease, and behavior. The documentary is a journey key genetics discoveries that are some of the greatest achievements in the history of science. 

Made possible by WETA, the evening also explored the various themes discussed in THE GENE, as well as the experts’ thoughts about how viruses like COVID-19 effect genes.

Current partnering libraries include: Dearborn Public Library, Lyon Township Public Library, Novi Public Library, Riverview Veterans Memorial Library, Rochester Hills Public Library, Royal Oak Public Library, Salem-South Lyon District Library, Troy Public Library, Trenton Veterans Memorial Library, and White Lake Township Library. In addition, PBS Books is partnering with WCMU to offer the virtual screening to Traverse District Area Library and Alpena George N. Fletcher Public Library.

Production funding for KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY has been provided by Genentech, 23andMe, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Gray Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) & Conquer Cancer Foundation, Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Outreach and Education Partner is National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute. Outreach support is provided by Foundation Medicine.

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