How has the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Natural History Unit evolved their blue chip natural history programmes to successfully communicate science over the past 45 years?
Mayo, Joshua Herbert
The British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Natural History Unit (NHU) for the past 45 years has continuously produced famously popular natural history documentaries that effectively communicate science. This academic component of my thesis investigates how they have achieved this admirable feat. This thesis begins by examining the background and origins of the BBC NHU and the need for balance between education and entertainment when communicating science. The second chapter explores the importance of the four components of narration, music, story and science in science documentaries. Chapter 3 analyses the past 45 years of the BBC NHU’s flagship blue chip series and analyses which trends can be observed over time in regard to narration, music, story and science. The results of this chapter provide insight into how the BBC NHU has changed their methods in order to remain entertaining. The final chapter is an analysis of the creative component of this thesis, the film: The Wild Wet. This chapter serves not only as an analysis of how this film compares to the BBC NHU’s blue chip series of the past 45 years, but also demonstrates how the academic component has helped to make a successful creative component.
Advisor: Bishop, Phil
Degree Name: Master of Science Communication
Degree Discipline: Department of Science Communication
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis