If you geek out about physics, cosmology, or other science related subjects; you’re probably really excited about Stephen Hawking’s new six-part science series, Genius, which will be aired on PBS on Wednesdays from May 18th- June 1st at 9pm PST/8pm C. If you don’t know about Genius, you do now! You’re welcome!
Each episode will feature a different group of ordinary people that are challenged to answer some of humanity’s most abiding questions. Yet, the premise of the show is set up to answer one profound question: Does one have to be a genius to answer such significant questions or can ordinary people come to similar conclusions as some of the greatest minds in history? Being the optimist that he is, Hawking believes that ordinary people can answer these questions. By using epic-scale experiments, people will investigate astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and evolutionary biology. Some questions that they’ll try to answer are: “Is time travel possible?” “Is there such thing as alien life?” “Why am I here?”
I also have a question I’d like to ponder. “What’s the probability of knowing someone that’s on this awesome show?” I don’t have the exact answer to this question, but in my case, the probability must be pretty high because my friend Marisol Ferra is on the first episode, airing on May 18th! Her group answers the question, “Can we travel in time?”
Sarah and I talked with Marisol about her experience, how she got chosen to be on the show, and what kind of people they were looking for. She also tells us about one of the surprises Stephen Hawking had planned for them.
Marisol found out about the series because the production company that produced Genius, Bigger Bang, was advertising on their website that they needed people to be on the show. Although the description didn’t go into great detail of what the show was about, it did mention it had something to do with Stephen Hawking, and that they were looking for science enthusiasts. Basically, they were looking for people with geeky, nerdy interests. Marisol, being a total nerd at heart, decided to apply, and sent in an audition tape. They liked her tape so they interviewed her on Skype, and she was chosen.
Marisol says they don’t want science professionals. They want ordinary people, however, they want people who are intelligent so there’s a better possibility that they’ll have success with answering the questions. This shit isn’t scripted! The people they chose also had to have an interest in science, aren’t shy, and are comfortable in front of a camera. They chose a widely diverse cast.
Being on the show was a great learning experience for Marisol. It changed the way she thought about time and space. I won’t go into detail about how her mind was blown, but I’m sure you can find out about her new understanding on the subject when watching the show.
There were 3 people in each group. Marisol’s group consisted of herself and two men, Paul and Norm. Paul, from London, is very outgoing, rambunctious, and funny. Norm is calm, intelligent, and very funny too. All three of them are from different backgrounds, have very different professions, and are from different age groups. Due to their different ages, they each had a different perspective on time travel. However, the three of them had some similarities. They all loved time travel, cosmology, and science.
Marisol and her team worked together well. With their different backgrounds, everyone offered a unique perspective that aided in answering the questions they were given. The questions were very challenging. By the end of the day, Marisol would be mentally exhausted.
Stephen Hawking had a few surprises for the group. One of those surprises was riding in a DeLorean! Marisol was super elated when it pulled up right in front of them. Riding in a DeLorean was on her bucket list, and Hawking helped her cross it off.