Screening Science, Producing the Nation: Popular Science Programs on Israeli Television, 1968-1988

8 Feb 2012
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Merav Katz-Kimchi
OHST Visiting Scholar

From 1968 on, the State of Israel deployed television as a tool in the service of its on-going project of re-producing the nation and as a propaganda tool that targeted the population of the newly occupied territories and the Arab citizens of Israel. With the collaboration of the scientific elite, the televising of original popular science programs, aired on the sole government-controlled channel at prime time, contributed immensely to these projects. Through these programs, the State disseminated a specific image of the nation’s scientific prowess for popular consumption, in the euphoric aftermath of the Six Day War.

This article examines the first twenty years of the State’s projects, during which the grip of Zionist collectivism was still strong, the monopoly of the government-controlled channel was not yet challenged, and the programs enjoyed an astonishing high ratings.

My examination focuses on the ideology and motivations of the producers; the ways in which the communication elite and the scientific elite, enjoying a position of hegemony, collaborated by disseminating the nation’s accomplishments in both the Arabic and Hebrew programs; and the actual content of the programs at large and specifically that of four episodes of Tazpit (in Hebrew: Observation / Outlook), the popular science program of the 1980s.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Office for the History of Science and Technology

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