WGBH Openvault

What's The Big Idea; Genetics


Unpackaged pilot. Program lacks open, close, lower thirds, and credits.

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What's The Big Idea
Program Number


Series Description

A talk show filmed on Cape Cod, hosted by Doris Kearns (Goodwin). Directed by Russ Fortier, produced by Henry Morgenthau. Shot 7/11/1972, for playback on 7/26/1972.

Program: In this case the subject was humor; joining host Doris Kearns (Goodwin) were humorist and playwright Abe Burrows, Seymour Simches, Director of the College Within, Tufts University, and James Jones, Associate Professor of Social Psychology, Harvard University.

See September 1972 Prime Time program guide for cover story. Series release date: 7/26/1972

Program Description

Program description: Pilot episode shot in the WGBH studios with set design later used for location shoot at the Red Jacket Beach Motor Inn, South Yarmouth, MA. Doris Kearns (Goodwin) moderates a discussion of genetics and related issues of medical ethics. Panelists: Dr. Robert Murray, Chief of the Genetics Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Howard University College of Medicine; Dr. Richard Uribe, Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; Karen Lebox, Kennedy Fellow in Medical Ethics, Harvard University; Professor Jonathan Beckwith, researcher in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School. Program version is incomplete lacking open, close, credits, and lower thirds.

Series description: A talk show filmed in Hyannis on Cape Cod, Summer 1972, hosted by Doris Kearns (Goodwin).

Each week a small group of exceptional people gathered to consider some fairly weighty matters. Topics included: “We Should Imporve the Human Race;” “We Don’t Really Have An Environmental Crisis;” “Why Women Don’t Succeed;” “The Staff of Life;” “You Don’t Change Much After You’re Two Years Old;” “The Tyranny of Openness;” “Americans Like Authority;” “There Are Better Ways of Facing Death.”

See July 1972 Prime Time Program Guide for cover story.

Directed by Russ Fortier; produced by Henry Morgenthau



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Morgenthau III, Henry (Series Producer)
Chicago: “What's The Big Idea; Genetics,” 05/25/1972, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 28, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DABC20AF73BC4806BCD32610180C5803.
MLA: “What's The Big Idea; Genetics.” 05/25/1972. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 28, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DABC20AF73BC4806BCD32610180C5803>.
APA: What's The Big Idea; Genetics. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DABC20AF73BC4806BCD32610180C5803
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