Primate Tales goes to Daily Planet

A Behind the Scenes look at Canada's Daily Science Show


I got the amazing opportunity to visit the Daily Planet studios last week.  Daily Planet is a 1 hour show on the Discovery Canada that covers all the latest science and tech news, trying to get people to see how cool science is.  Primate Tales is trying to do similar things, by educating children and teens about the amazing world of primates and evolution and how there is a lot of cool things they can study if they pursue science as a career.  

I got the chance to sit in on their weekly pitch meeting, and I was really surprised to see the variety of stories put forth by their producers, everything from extreme travel to drone technology to ducks.  As disparate as these topics may seen science ties them all together and shows how wide reaching and intrinsic science is to so many things we do and experience.  

I got to sit in on an editing session with one of the show’s field correspondent’s Sean McShane, as he put together his piece on a BC man who is building bridges using the ancient art of arches to make longer lasting bridges that can stand the test of time, versus concrete and metal that can rust and erode over time.  The story combined physics and chemistry to show how arches work and last longer. It was fascinating to see how the material that was filmed was put together in a cohesive way to tell a compelling and entertaining story that shows the science behind something as simple as a bridge. Sean was also mixing music into the story to add more drama and depth to the piece. It was great to see behind the scenes in how these stories are put together.  It is not a fast process that is for sure.  

 Dan Riskin

The best part of my visit was being able to talk in depth with Dan Riskin, on of the co-hosts of Daily Planet.  I saw Dan talk at the ROM in February about who could be the next Darwin and it was through that talk that I ended up coming to visit Daily Planet.  Dan is a scientist and his background is in bat research.  He has a passion for getting the word out that science is cool, interesting and exciting and that more people should get involved with it, which is defiantly something I can get behind.  It was really interesting talking with him about his transition from academia to television and how things work a bit differently in TV.   I am glad Discovery has such smart and charismatic scientist on Daily Planet so people can see that science can be cool and scientists are not stuffy men in white lab coats, we come in all types, and a lot of us are a lot more interesting than people think.  Dan was very encouraging and enthusiastic about what Primate Tales is trying to do, especially trying to get more students engaged in science and showing students you don’t have to be a math or chemistry whiz to be good at science. There are so many paths in science and everyone can get involved in one way or another.

Maybe in the near future you will see Primate Tales on Daily Planet,  I have some ideas in the works so fingers crossed.  If you want to check out Daily Planet it airs Monday-Friday at 7pm on the Discovery Channel.  

Loved this post? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for updates and all the latest STEM education, primate and evolution news. You can also check out our program offerings and book your own Primate Tales program.