About Closer to Truth
Robert Lawrence Kuhn: creator, executive producer, writer, host
Peter Getzels: co-creator, producer, director
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Closer To Truth (CTT) — the greatest thinkers exploring the deepest questions. CTT is the definitive PBS/public television series and web archive on Cosmos (cosmology/physics, philosophy of science), Consciousness (brain/mind, philosophy of mind), Meaning/God (theism/atheism, philosophy of religion, critical thinking). Filmed on location in HD with high production values, CTT features leading philosophers and scientists and treats the topics with sophistication and subtlety.
Closer To Truth host Robert Lawrence Kuhn takes viewers and visitors on an intriguing global journey into cutting-edge labs, magnificent libraries, hidden gardens and revered sanctuaries in order to discover state-of-the-art ideas and make them real and relevant.
Hosted and written by Robert Lawrence Kuhn, and produced and directed by Peter Getzels, Closer To Truth is broadcast weekly on >200 PBS and high-quality public television stations in the U.S. (most twice a week; several reach Canada). CTT has been on the air continuously since 2000; CTT has produced and broadcast 300 episodes, 257 episodes (20 seasons) since 2008. Seasons 21 and 22 are in production; future seasons are in planning. Since 2008, ~200,000 station-episodes have been broadcast. In New York City, Closer To Truth is broadcast on WLIW World and CUNY-TV (four times a week).
Closer To Truth website features ~4,000 web videos of renowned scientists and philosophers – the world’s leading archive on cosmos, consciousness, meaning/God (~2 million pageviews per year).
The CTT Youtube channel has >1000 videos (including complete CTT seasons, each with 13 episodes); running last 30 days: >1 million views, >12 million minutes, >130,000 subscribers. ~60% of visitors from outside U.S.; ~10% UK; ~5% India, Canada. “Best Science & Technology Sites”. iTunes & Amazon, 18 TV seasons (234 episodes).
Cosmos: How vast is our universe? How did it begin? Is it fine-tuned for life? Could our universe be a fake? What is the far future of our universe? Are there multiple universes? What is time? What is the relationship between science and religion?
Consciousness: What is consciousness, our inner awareness? Why is consciousness so mysterious? What is the mind-body problem? Can brain explain mind? What is the self? Do we have free will? How does personal identity persist through time?
Meaning: Is there purpose in the cosmos? What causes religious belief? What is God? What are alternative concepts of God? Can God be proven or disproven? What are God’s traits? Did God create evil? What’s the New Atheism?
Reflections on Closer To Truth
Robert Lawrence Kuhn
I have been writing and hosting Closer To Truth (CTT) for over 20 years — PBS/public TV stations (U.S.); Closer To Truth website; Closer To Truth YouTube channel — and never before, as during the pandemic, have I felt as close to the CTT community, who are passionate in their pursuit of science and religion (with diverse interests and views).
I’ve come to see that there is a small subset of humanity whose members seem preternaturally predisposed to be fascinated by, or obsessed with, the kinds of big questions we feature on CTT: Cosmos (philosophy of cosmology, philosophy of physics, cosmology, multiverse, quantum physics, mathematics, time, information, fine-tuning, philosophy of science, science & religion, metaphysics, why something/nothing, critical thinking); Consciousness (philosophy of mind, mind-body problems, brain/mind, brain function, mental activity, essence of consciousness, personal identity, free will, subconscious, life after death, alien & diverse intelligences, parapsychology, cosmos & consciousness, critical thinking; Meaning/God (philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, existence/non-existence of God, traits/nature of God, theism, atheism, agnosticism, critical thinking).
Closer To Truth website: >4,000 videos of scientists and philosophers.
Closer To Truth YouTube: >1000 videos, currently uploading CTT TV episodes Running 30 days: >1 million views, >12 million minutes watch time; 60% outside US, including 10% UK; >130,000 subscribers — reflecting growing interest in big questions, perhaps enhanced by pandemic reflections (and “free time”).
Members of our little group come from diverse religions, regions, races, countries, ethnicities, genders, ages, educational levels, income levels — the only thing we all have in common is the pursuit of these questions. But that “only thing” is a Big Thing — only those fascinated or obsessed know how truly Big it is. Some of us have felt isolated — until we discover that there are others of our kind.
During this strange time, Closer To Truth is receiving more feedback on the CTT website and more comments on CTT YouTube. I read all the feedback and I browse through the comments, especially those under CTT TV episodes. I appreciate them all, including when challenging or critical.
I pay attention when viewers seem sure that I believe this or I do not believe that. Sometimes, seriously, I don’t know what I believe. But I do care. Deeply.
I’m pleased that some of my favorite CTT TV episodes — for example, “Big Questions in Free Will”, “Why Anything At All?”, “What Exists?” — are hits with viewers. My curiosity is piqued when under the same CTT episode (on, say, consciousness or materialism or theism/atheism), one comment will deride me for not believing and another will disparage me for believing.
All I can affirm is that my quest is real: I try to see the world, sense reality, objectively and honestly. I like to challenge conventional wisdom, but only if coherent. I can explore odd ideas, but I’m not comfortable with sloppy arguments. I am determined to keep an open mind — with at least one eye unblinking and skeptical.
For CTT producer/director Peter Getzels and me, Closer To Truth is our adventure of a lifetime and we feel privileged to share our work with CTT’s friends and visitors.
We do not claim to always know truth. Our pledge is that we try to always get closer.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Founded on diverse views and critical thinking, Closer To Truth is a content-driven broadcast and digital media not-for-profit organization, funded and supported by The Kuhn Foundation and other partners.
Closer To Truth content examines the vital ideas of existence: Cosmos (philosophy of cosmology, philosophy of physics, cosmology, multiverse, quantum physics, time, information, fine-tuning, philosophy of science, science & religion, metaphysics, truth, existence, critical thinking); Consciousness (philosophy of mind, mind-body problems, brain/mind, brain function, essence of consciousness, mental activities, free will, subconscious, life after death, alien intelligence, parapsychology, cosmos & consciousness, critical thinking; Meaning/God (philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, theism, atheism, agnosticism, critical thinking).
Closer To Truth Titles and Summaries of Episodes
Closer To Truth Content Guide (taxonomy of topics in four levels): Cosmos, Consciousness, Meaning/God –
Closer To Truth TV Episode Samples
Time At Sea (nature of time)
Toward a Science of Consciousness
Can Brain Alone Explain Consciousness (David Chalmers & John Searle)
Being in the World: A Tribute to Hubert Dreyfus
What is Analytic Theology?
A Tribute to Marvin Minsky
Closer To Truth feature documentary, “Big Questions in Free Will”
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