Winner 2001

The DNA Files

SoundVision Productions

This vivid and accessible five part series examines recent discoveries and controversies in the fields of genetic science. Each program approaches complicated scientific topics with clarity and humor, yet never shies away from the complicated ethical, legal and social questions ubiquitous among the new genetic discoveries. Interviews with key genetic scientists and social thinkers come together with elements of radio drama as Executive Producer Bari Scott and Producers Barrett Golding, Daniel Grossman, Larry Massett, Kathy McAnally and Karen Michel create a rich audio world. Under guidance of Director and Managing Editor Rachel Goodman and Science Content Expert Sally Lehrman The DNA Files poses a series of crucial questions. Among them: Could humans live forever—and should they? Will genetics help us win the war against disease, or merely attain a truce? Will genetic technologies preserve the planet’s ecological balance, or throw it off disastrously? Episode one “DNA, Code of the Wild: Genetics & Applied Ecology,” explores how scientists are using DNA as a tool to create new life forms to clean up environmental toxins. Other episodes deal with astrobiology, a new interdisciplinary field, with the role of DNA in combating disease-causing bugs, and with cell repair research as a potential “fountain of youth.” The final program, “Genetic Medicine: Prescription For Conflict,” confronts gene therapy, stem cell research and xenotransplanation, three areas that have raised intense public debate. Peabody award-wining correspondent John Hockenberry hosts The DNA Files and leads listeners through complicated material in a clear and instructive manner. A Peabody goes to The DNA Files, distributed by National Public Radio for superb exploration of the important and controversial subject of genetic research.