Knowledge & Exploration

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.

#ScullyEffect

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.


Xploration Station STEM TV

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced the nominees for the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and included eight nominations for Xploration Station, the three-hour block of STEM-related programming for kids and teens that airs on Fox TV Stations. Xploration Station consists of six half-hour shows exploring a wide range of scientific subjects, including space exploration, earth science, and more. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Sunday, April 29.

The full list of nominations for the Xploration Station block is as follows:

  • Outstanding Education or Informational SeriesXploration DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Education or Informational SeriesXploration Outer Space
  • Outstanding Travel and Adventure ProgramXploration Awesome Planet
  • Outstanding Special Class SeriesXploration Earth 2050
  • Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel/Children’s or Educational and Informational Program – Steve Spangler, Xploration DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Writing Special ClassXploration Earth 2050
  • Outstanding Writing Special ClassXploration Outer Space
  • Outstanding Sound EditingWeird But True!

Xploration Station continues to gain momentum year after year, and it’s really exciting to see that growth recognized both by the Academy and our viewers,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six shows. “We believe there is an audience for smart, feel-good television that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and we’re happy to deliver just that. On behalf of everyone here at SRP, I’d like to thank all the talented folks who work on these shows, and our stations and partners for making this all possible.”

The six series making up the Xploration Station block include Xploration Awesome Planethosted by Philippe Coustea, Harvard scholar Emily Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Spaceartist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with National Geographic Kids.

The Xploration Station block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku. The series have garnered 20 total Daytime Emmy nominations since their launch in 2015.

Learn more about Xploration Station, and find out how when it airs in your area.


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:


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.