Who The If?

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Philip Shane

Maker of Movies, Lover of Science

Always a geek, sometimes a nerd, but never a dweeb.

Philip is an award winning documentary filmmaker with over 25 years of experience and, for 12 years, a student, performer and director of comedy films & live improv shows at New York's famed Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Prior to attending the Masters Program in Cinema Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, he  studied astrophysics and engineering at the Univ. of Maryland, and worked for four years at NASA's Goddard Space Center.

He was the Producer & Editor of the two hour feature documentary, EINSTEIN (2008, History Channel), the Co-Director & Editor of BEING ELMO (Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival), and Editor of DANCING IN JAFFA, which had it's World Premiere at the 2013 TriBeCa Film Festival, he and Bob Eisenhardt won the Best Editing Award at Israel's prestigious DocAviv Film Festival.

At ABC News for nearly a decade, Shane edited many distinguished long form programs including Ted Kopple's Iraq War documentary, TIP OF THE SPEAR, which won the 2004 DuPont Columbia Award for Broadcast Journalism, and MARTIN LUTHER KING: Searching For The Promised Land (1999) which won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program. A short film he made with Peter Jennings and Senior Producer Richard Gerdau, WITNESS TO HISTORY, preserved Jennings' personal memories of 9/11 and has been placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

In addition to Dancing In Jaffa and Being Elmo, Shane has edited many films about performing artists. With Paul McCartney, his daughter Mary, and director Alistair Donald, he made the film WINGSPAN (2001), about the McCartney family's life after The Beatles. His previous project, THE BEATLES REVOLUTION (2000) told the story of the band through the memories of musicians, artists, politicians, writers, and other celebrities. Other artists he's worked with include Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and The Boston Symphony. 

Prof. Matt Stanley

Teller of Stories About Science

Studied physics astronomy, religion, history. Used to build lasers.

Matthew Stanley teaches and researches the history and philosophy of science. He holds degrees in astronomy, religion, physics, and the history of science and is interested in the connections between science and the wider culture. He is the author of Einstein’s War: How Relativity Triumphed Amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I (Dutton, 2019), the story of how pacifism and friendship led to scientific revolution.

He has also written Practical Mystic: Religion, Science, and A. S. Eddington (Chicago 2007) and Huxley’s Church and Maxwell’s Demon (Chicago 2014), which explore the complex relationships between science and religion in history. His current project is a history of scientific predictions of the end of the world.

Professor Stanley has also worked with a nationwide National Science Foundation-funded effort to use the humanities to improve science education in the college classroom. He has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, the British Academy, and the Max Planck Institute. He currently runs the New York City History of Science Working Group. In his spare time he co-hosts the science podcast What the If?.

Professor Stanley was awarded the 2019 NYU Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2014-2015 Gallatin Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.