Pioneers, At the Edge of Understanding: Freeman Dyson by Karol Jalochowski
A word from the series’ creator, Karol Jalochowski:
Pioneers, At the Edge of Understanding is a documentary series devoted to remarkable contemporary scientists and humanists who had the courage to question current paradigms, go against the “publish or perish” system, and remain (mostly) independent. It is a series of intimate encounters with those great minds of the modern world. The emotions of discovering and stress-testing new theories; the passion which prompts one to go against the expectations of others, joys and sorrows of exploring frontiers of the known and the unknown – this is what Pioneers is about. Among its protagonists have been philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, mathematician Gregory Chaitin, physicists Julian Barbour, futurist Freeman Dyson, quantum tinkerer Charles H. Bennett, and cryptologists Artur Ekert. This ongoing project was produced by POLITYKA weekly, and supported by the Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore.
I find the human element of a theory as important as the concrete outcome, verified by the Popperian trial-and-refutation method - and often overlooked by conventional means of science communication/popularization. Reducing the complexity of great intellects into a set of neatly trimmed selected theories, compressing this intricacy into an interview, has always been a source of frustration for me. Film is the method that records and saves from being forgotten at least some of them - and, hopefully, when cinematographic methods are employed, elevates a singular story to a level of universal metaphor. Pioneers is an expression of this reasoning. Each episode is tuned to the modus operandi of the person portrayed, and each grew organically during the process of close collaboration.
Pioneers is the project I'm sincerely proud of, the most extensive example of my solo digital journalism pursuits – I'm responsible for the research, script, cinematography, sound, directing, and editing of the series.
Karol Jalochowski is a science/culture journalist, reporter, and documentary film-maker, the creator of the Pioneers, At the Edge of Understanding documentary series. He has worked for POLITYKA and Scientific American. He was the first Outreach Fellow at the Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore. He is also a recipient of the Grand Press Award. He completed a degree in theoretical physics before turning to journalism.