As Discovery Channel gears up for the launch of its sprawling "Curiosity" event series later this summer, a companion Web site has debuted, featuring artists, scholars and Nobel laureates, answering questions and a social media component.
The site is set up with the home page offering a series of rather deep questions, such as "What are some persistent threats to innovation?" and "Are we too satisfied with too little information?" Answers by experts feature video and look to spark debate.
A Facebook-based comment platform is set up, but user interaction creates a personal profile page that allows viewers to participate and play a active part in the quest for knowledge and development of theories. They can also interact with Curiosity Luminaries.
So far, there are 12,000 answers and questions posted. Experts include Google Internet evangelist Vinton Cerf, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and AOL pioneer Ted Leonsis. Jeff Arnold, who helped develop Discovery site HowStuffWorks, was involved in Curiosity.com's formation.
Nissan and the University of Phoenix are start-up sponsors of the "Curiosity" initiative.
The "Curiosity" series begins Aug. 7 and features Robin Williams musing on the power and nature of drugs and "Lost" star Michelle Rodriguez asking how we would survive an alien attack. Future episodes will feature author Elie Wiesel discussing human rights, forgiveness and the power of the media.
Discovery founder John Hendricks is behind the Curiosity venture, calling it "a natural extension of our mission."