Episode 8 – Very Curious Guests

If you grew up in during the 70s and 80s there was a show on TV that inspired many children (and parents) to exercise a healthy curiosity in science and the world around them.

Today we chat to Deane Hutton and Rob Morrison about this television icon, Curiosity Show.

We chat about their origins as presenters, how and why the show was started. Also of how visual content and education has changed across the years and their recent adaption of the show into a successful YouTube channel.

It’s a long show, but it’s all interesting, so we hope you enjoy listening to this extended episode.



Concepts and Themes

  • They started as part of a Second Humphrey Variety Show developed  for older kids
  • Government Policy required that stations produced content for school aged children
  • Their individual stories about how they each came to be presenters on the Curiosity Show
  • Cultural Differences in the past and today in particular to consuming content
  • The choice overload of content and channels that exists today
  • The show had a strong focus on making and doing – providing kids realistic expectations by using materials from around the home
  • Discussion on how curiosity show is very well suited to the YouTube snack watching culture of today
  • Importance of being genuine when presenting to kids
  • Explanation that the Australian National University had conducted research showing that kids were acquiring science concepts more from the Curiosity Show than from school or books.
  • Special Place of TV during 70s and 80s and how the shared viewing shaped culture and social activity
  • Democratisation of filming technology creates opportunity but also poor footage
  • They explain their current process for managing their YouTube Channel
  • Curiosity Show’s Presence at Science Alive
  • Sciworld and Rob and Deane’s role on the board
  • A Science communication Cadetship through Sciworld
  • They recommend a science specialist in every primary school
  • Kids being life already interested in science, but their interest can fade away
  • Science equips kids with a way of thinking, allowing them to test as a skeptic, looking for truth and not be hoodwinked
  • For instance understanding climate change
  • Even in an online world the Curiosity Show DVDs sell well at events and from their home page
  • Discussion of creating New Curiosity Show clips – and the funding options – Kickstarter – Pozible – Patreon
  • Discussion that jobs are not there for graduates due to the universities continuing to offer popular courses to industries already well supplied with existing practitioners
  • We discuss the question “What should kids do to be setup for the future?”
  • And “What in our view is the essential for kids to learn today?”
  • We discuss how in rapid technology change – quality of visuals and content is not keeping up and importantly education is adopting this too slowly
  • Entertainment knows what to do with it but education does not, and is alway promising but lagging
  • They recommend to educate kids to use youtube and other online content channels, especially with visual communication
  • Education is most often found lagging behind the opportunities that the tools will actually allow
  • The promise of what technology can do for education is great, but it largely passes by unsuccessfully
  • Rob and Deane’s tips for creating good video content in education, by teachers and students
  • Telling things through visuals is a challenge for most people
  • 70% of footage sent into news stations is shot in the vertical orientation
  • The acceptance from news of amateur footage. the availability of the camera in circumstances where a professional camera is not
  • Twitter and social media is now a place where stories break


Books, Podcasts and Online Things

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