Exploring the universe from the sofa/ Stories of the Cosmos

Exploring the universe from the sofa/ Stories of the Cosmos
Exploring the universe from the sofa/ Stories of the Cosmos

How can we forget those captivating moments in front of a small screen that transported us to distant worlds and immersed us in the fascinating field of science. Personally, my connection to science took an unexpected turn when, as a child, I became excited about documentaries about space. The striking stories and images of the cosmos created a spark that ignited my curiosity and love for this field.

(You may be interested in: What are the colors in the revealing image of the Universe captured by James Webb?)

Television has been a window to the unknown, allowing us to explore the universe from the comfort of our homes. From the far reaches of space to the wonders of life on Earth, the small screen has played a crucial role in democratizing scientific knowledge.

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In the 1980s in Colombia, a number of educational programs and documentaries made science an exciting and accessible possibility. Television was beginning to break down barriers, making complex concepts understandable to people of all ages. Thanks to this wonderful tool, many of us witnessed revolutionary explorations, from marine biology to the depths of the ocean by the hand of Jacques Cousteaugoing through exploration in the cloud forests with Diane Fossey with his gorilla friends, to the exploration of planets with the remembered Carl Sagan.

As we celebrate today, November 21, the World Television Dayit is important to reflect on the fundamental role that this medium has played in bringing science closer to millions of homes around the world, in its power to inspire, educate and connect humanity with the vast universe of scientific knowledge. Television, invented from scientific efforts towards the end of the 19th century and with its unique ability to tell stories, brought the excitement of science to more than one generation, reaching curious and passionate minds.

The television broadcast of the arrival of Apollo 11 to the Moon in 1969, tuned in by more than 500 million people, was a momentous moment that left an indelible mark on history, inspiring generations and contributing to the continued advancement of space exploration. Since then, the impact of television on society is undeniable, being in many cases an agent of change that can be used to educate, inform, entertain and even promote peace and development.

(Also: This is the exoplanet Wasp-107b, where scientists discovered that it rains sand)

While the way we consume content has undergone a significant transformation with the advent of the internet and digital platforms, television has evolved to adapt to these changes and continues to play a crucial role in everyday life. Now more than ever, when trash TV content abounds, but with the multiple and new capabilities that television has, its crucial role must be highlighted in fostering public interest and understanding of science, creating a bridge between the scientific community and the general public.

The intersection of science and television must forge a connection that remains essential to fueling curiosity and understanding of the vast universe of scientific knowledge, encouraging viewers to better understand the world around them and make informed decisions about scientific issues.

SANTIAGO VARGAS

Ph. D. in Astrophysics

Astronomical Observatory of the National University

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