Documentary ‘Journey of the Universe’ wins regional Emmy

The film “Journey of the Universe,” produced by Yale faculty members Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, received an Emmy® Award for Best Documentary from the Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at a ceremony held in San Francisco on June 9.

Created and written by Tucker and evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme, the one hour documentary is an epic story of cosmic, Earth, and human transformation. It has been broadcast on national PBS and screened in a variety of venues across the country including universities, schools, libraries, and churches, as well as at the United Nations for World Environment Day. It will be rebroadcast nationwide this summer (check local PBS listings).

Swimme and Tucker also wrote a companion book, published by Yale University Press, and produced an educational series of interviews with scientists and environmentalists, which are available from the “Journey of the Universe” website.

“We’re thrilled that the film, as well as the accompanying educational series and book, are all having such a positive impact with audiences around the country,” says Tucker, who with her husband, Grim, teaches in a joint master’s degree program in religion and ecology at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Divinity School. The two also co-direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.

Narrated by Swimme, the “Journey of the Universe” invites viewers to become fellow travelers on an exploration of the origins of the cosmos, the emergence of life, and the rise of humans. Filmed on location on the Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, the documentary “weaves together the findings of modern science with enduring wisdom found in the cultural traditions of the West, China, Africa, India, and indigenous peoples to explore cosmic evolution as a wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence,” say the producers. 

“This is a wonderful account of the history of the universe from the Big Bang through the present moment,” comments conservationist Thomas Lovejoy (’64 BS, ’71 Ph.D), founder of the PBS Nature series, noting that “the film’s stunning imagery fosters an understanding of our evolutionary origins and a sense of urgency in protecting the diversity of life and the environment on Earth.”

Peter Crane, dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, said, “The book and film offer a comprehensive framework to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times.”

To check local listings and view the trailer, visit www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.