Recent News

Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agent Scully

One of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history, FOX’s The X-Files follows FBI special agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases set aside by the government. A medical doctor and realist, Agent Scully is the foil to Agent Mulder’s conspiracy theorist character, and served as an early example of a strong female TV protagonist who inspired a generation of women to pursue careers in the sciences and law enforcement.

After learning about the previously-anecdotal “Scully Effect”— which observed the influx of women pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as Agent Scully became a household TV name —21st Century Fox partnered with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media to better understand and quantify the impacts that character had on viewers. The Institute is the first and only research-based organization working within media and entertainment to educate and influence content creators, marketers, and audiences on the urgent need to eradicate bias, gender imbalance, and harmful stereotypes while creating positive role models and strong female characters across the industry.

In celebration of March’s Women’s History Month, 21CF and the Geena Davis Institute carried out a research survey of women across the US, which found a correlation between women who were familiar with, or fans of, The X-Files and its influence on their career paths. This was the first such study to find evidence backed by data rather than anecdote:

  • Nearly two-thirds of women in the study who work in STEM say Agent Scully served as a role model and increased their belief in the importance of STEM
  • Women who regularly watched The X-Files are 50% more likely to work in STEM than less frequent/non-watchers
  • Women who watched The X-Files are 42% more likely to agree with the statement “I would encourage my daughter/granddaughter to enter a STEM field” than non-watchers.

The study has sparked prolific discussion on social media, with fans of Scully and the show using the hashtag #ScullyEffect to share how the representation of a respected independent woman in STEM influenced their career paths and lives—in the words of the Geena Davis Institute, “if she can see it, she can be it.” Read the full report here.


Check out the video below and click here to learn more, and share your own story with the hashtag #ScullyEffect across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram today!

Season 11 of The X-Files is currently airing on FOX on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Seasons 1-10 are available in a variety of home entertainment formats.

Chasing Genius, Nat Geo

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic and Sprint have announced neurological physical therapist Asha Gummadi as the winner of the “CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation” challenge. Asha, who is based in Philadelphia, will receive $25,000 to pursue her vision of helping doctors to provide virtual physical therapy in developing countries. This is National Geographic’s second CHASING GENIUS digital initiative, which aims to bring together a community of active, aspirational, socially conscious consumers who want to make a positive difference in the world.

The winning project is based on the development of a tele-rehabilitation platform called Therex Portal, which Asha hopes will help doctors prescribe virtual physical therapy to patients in developing countries where rehab centers and treatment aren’t readily available. The app demonstrates each exercise movement through detailed animations and delivers instructions in multiple languages.

Asha was inspired to create the smartphone app after she couldn’t effectively recommend exercises to her mother because of a language barrier, and after her grandfather’s experience living in a village where he couldn’t access rehab services after an amputation. "It is a great honor to be selected as the winner," she said. "I would like to thank every person who voted for me." Asha plans to use the prize money to further develop the app by adding multiple languages and voiceover instructions for exercises.

Since launching last spring, CHASING GENIUS has brought together a community of 35,000 members. This year’s challenge resonated across social, digital and broadcast media, generating more than 100 million impressions, 7 million content views and 229,000 social conversations.

Last year, four winners were selected for the inaugural CHASING GENIUS challenge.

To learn more about the CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation challenge, including the submission process and the council members who determined the 10 finalists, read National Geographic’s press release announcing Asha as this year’s winnerWatch Asha’s video submission on the CHASING GENIUS website.

CHASING GENIUS is inspired by National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series “Genius.” The second season, focusing on the life of Pablo Picasso, premieres April 24.

One Strange Rock Science Education

On the eve of the premiere of One Strange Rock, the thrilling 10-part documentary series exploring the conditions that create life on Earth, 21st Century Fox’s National Geographic has launched a suite of educational tools designed to bring to life some of the series’ key scientific lessons. The resources are available completely free for educators and include activities for students of all ages, including interactive online games and maps, photography, videos, slideshows, worksheets, articles, and a curriculum guide developed in collaboration with the nonprofit Journeys in Film. One Strange Rock premieres on Monday, March 26, at 10/9c on National Geographic.

One Strange Rock was filmed in 45 countries on six continents and from space, and features insights from some of the world’s most accomplished astronauts. The series is hosted by Will Smith and presented by visionary director Darren Aronofsky, who spoke about the series’ potential as an educational tool at a Television Critics Association panel in January: “What was exciting about this was taking astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, and physics, and trying to sort of blend them together to talk about this home that we’re all living on.”

The educational materials reflect this broad engagement with many different scientific fields, including articles on climate change, videos on plate tectonics, and an elementary school guide to extreme weather. The curriculum guide for middle and high school students works hand-in-hand with the series to spark discussions about the solar system, microscopic organisms, the history of the space program, and more. Journeys in Film previously partnered with 21CF for curriculum guides tied to Hidden Figures, Mars, and He Named Me Malala.

Explore more educational activities for One Strange Rock, and watch the trailer for the series below:

Green Production on The X-Files

Nearly twenty-five years after The X-Files first premiered on FOX in 1993, the show returned for an eleventh season earlier this year, not only reuniting David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully but also building on the series’ long history of going green behind the scenes. Fans can now check out an exclusive video and case study detailing how the cast and crew conserved energy, reduced waste, and made a difference in the communities where they filmed. The initiatives came as part of 21st Century Fox’s broad commitment to minimizing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably, and inspiring others to take action.

The X-Files is at the forefront of sustainable production, something of which I’m very proud,” series creator Chris Carter said during his acceptance speech for the Industry Builder Award at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival. “Every choice we make is an energy choice, whether it’s using biofuels in our generators or simply turning off our vehicles if we stop to talk on the phone. This takes such a combined effort by so many people from the bottom to the top, and it can only be done through a spirit of cooperation, sharing and mindfulness.”

For Season 11, Fox brought on green production specialists from Green Spark Group to work directly with each department over the course of the four-month shoot in British Columbia, Canada, to identify ways to conserve energy and reduce waste.

As a result, The X-Files diverted 68% of its waste from landfill, avoided 19 metric tons of carbon emissions, and saved nearly $150,000 in the process. The production also introduced a new food donation program that distributed more than 2,500 meals to those in need in the Vancouver area, and has already encouraged other film and TV projects in the region to adopt similar programs.

These achievements build on a long history of pioneering green production practices at 21CF. The company regularly works with production crews across its film and television projects to ensure environmental responsibility is integrated into each department’s daily operations, including large-scale efforts on the Fox Studios Lot and the testing of new technologies such as the mobile power generators piloted during the production of FX’s Legion.

Learn more about environmental sustainability on The X-Files by reading our detailed case study and watching the exclusive video below:

National Geographic "The Race Issue"

National Geographic magazine’s special April 2018 issue will be dedicated to the topic of race and how it defines, separates and unites us. “The Race Issue,” announced today and available in its entirety online now, hits newsstands March 27. It will kick off National Geographic’s “Diversity in America” series for the rest of 2018, which will feature multimedia coverage of racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. and their changing roles in the 21st century.

“This special issue, which we are calling The Race Issue, marks the beginning of a series of stories exploring race and diversity in America – what it is and, perhaps more important, what it isn’t – informed by the latest research, individual experiences and unparalleled visual storytelling that is the hallmark of National Geographic,” said Susan Goldberg, National Geographic magazine Editor-in-Chief and National Geographic Partners Editorial Director, in an internal memo.

The special issue includes an Editor’s Letter from Susan on the history of National Geographic’s coverage of race and the importance of shining a light on the complexities of the human journey. It features “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay with text by Wendi C. Thomas about streets around the world bearing Martin Luther King Jr.’s name and their representation of his legacy. April 4, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

The Race Issue also includes:

  • “Skin Deep”: a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert on the roots of scientific racism
  • “What Divides Us”: a story by author David Berreby on our evolutionary roots and psychological tendencies, as well as efforts to overcome bias and avoid societal conflict
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America”: a story by journalist Michele Norris about the tension in certain U.S. towns and a look at the future of a more diverse population

“It’s my hope that this magazine issue fosters a constructive discussion about race, dispelling myths and helping to move us forward in a positive way,” Susan said.

Read the compelling stories in National Geographic’s special issue on race today. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #IDefineMe. There’s also a discussion guide tied to this issue available for parents and educators.

In April, National Geographic was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Explanatory Reporting for its groundbreaking January 2017 single-topic “Gender” issue.

“America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a six-part weekly documentary series, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.