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Television’s Expanding Universe

The IBC guide describes multiple award-winning broadcaster Professor Brian Cox OBE as being known globally for his hit TV shows that help explain the story of life, the universe and everything! IBC is never wrong, but one suspects that Professor Cox is perhaps just a little more modest, although he certainly deserves all of the praise he has received for bringing quite challenging topics to a very wide television audience.

Inspired by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV series (1980) to follow a career in physics, the former keyboard player of D:Ream is taking that message further forward and inspiring a new generation of minds via TV, social media and the web to be amazed at what’s ‘out there’ and how science works.

‘The Prof’ is a quite brilliant thinker, a charismatic communicator, and with that key ability to explain hugely complex concepts for the humble viewer. The stars have aligned to bring the ‘rock star scientist’ to IBC2014 and a keynote in which Cox will explain how his unique story-telling style evolved, and the impact of television’s expansion since Cosmos first aired in 1980.

He is also supremely well qualified to deliver today’s IBC keynote, and says that his thoughts on the future of television will be hugely relevant for IBC’s delegates. By the way, his thesis (which everyone will want to read before attending his keynote) was snappily entitled ‘Double Diffraction Dissociation at Large Momentum Transfer’, which says it all.

His presence at IBC is really no surprise. He is a Kelvin prizewinner (2010) and was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize in 2012. His television appearances, whether as a guest on the Jonathan Ross TV show, or hosting the BBC’s multiple award-winning Wonders of the Solar System or its follow-ups Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of Life, as well as Stargazing Live, with fellow science enthusiast Dara O’Briain, gained him popular success and critical acclaim for his ability to convert complex topics into easily digestible TV fare.

Interviewed by journalist and media commentator Ray Snoddy, Professor Cox OBE is part of IBC’s examination of the future on today’s programme, where broadcasters, platform operators and others talk about their new services, changing the nature of their existing relationships with advertising, and offering more immersive multiplatform viewing experiences. New technologies are presenting fresh opportunities for monetisation, with tagged ads and realtime bidding systems for advertising slots opening up as broadcasters learn to use the power of the return path. But engaging with the viewer in an increasingly untethered and multiscreen world remains a challenge.

Today’s future-facing sessions will seek to guide delegates through the newly blended world, where TV becomes even more social and reality is augmented.