Across channels like PBS Idea Channel, Blank On Blank, and It’s Okay To Be Smart, PBS Digital Studios has produced engaging videos about science, philosophy, pop culture, and many other topics in between. Most of those videos run between two and 15 minutes, but now, for the first time, PBSDS is releasing a project that is well outside that range. Its BrainCraft channel is home to Mutant Menu, a 37-minute short film that discusses advancements in genetic engineering.
On BrainCraft, which has more than 350,000 subscribers and over 18 million total views, creator Vanessa Hill leads viewers on an exploration of topics like “psychology, neuroscience and why we act the way we do.” In Mutant Menu, Hill’s particular focus is on CRISPR, a tool that allows humans to modify their own genes. The film examines the pros and cons of the technology at its center while also considering the ethical questions CRISPR raises.
“Genetic engineering and CRISPR have the potential to save lives and cure disease, but it also comes with risk,” said Hill in a press release. “My goal with Mutant Menu was to explore all sides of the issue and let viewers come to their own conclusions about this technology.”
Mutant Menu was made possible thanks to the support of Google and Screen Australia, who teamed up to fund the film (and Hill, its Aussie creator, in particular) through a joint venture called Skip Ahead. Other channels that have received assistance through that program include The Racka Racka and How To Cook That.
With Mutant Menu out in the open, BrainCraft will return to its regularly scheduled programming. Hill posts new videos to the channel each Thursday.