Cal Poly Arts will present Pandora’s Promise — an official Sundance Film Festival selection and provocative documentary on nuclear power — on Wednesday, March 12, 7 p.m.  in the Performing Arts Center’s Spanos Theatre at Cal Poly.

A panel discussion and audience Q&A will follow the 90-minute movie.

Critically acclaimed as having the power to fundamentally change the way the viewer thinks, Pandora’s Promise challenges what the filmmaker calls “the rigid orthodoxy of modern environmentalism.”

In the next few decades, energy demands will need to increase exponentially as billions of people in the developing world lift themselves out of poverty. The monumental dilemma is how to produce clean energy rather than relying on CO2 emitting technologies.

Tackling this challenge head on comes Pandora’s Promise by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robert Stone. Three years in the making and filmed on four continents, Pandora’s Promise probes whether one energy source that has the ability to completely replace fossil fuels might be the one technology that environmentalists fear the most – nuclear power.

Stone is uniquely positioned to explore this question, having previously directed the Oscar- nominated anti-nuclear documentary, Radio Bikini.

Intrigued by the story of a growing number of environmentalists who have had a fundamental change of heart about nuclear energy, Stone explores the personal narratives of five ardent environmentalists, among them Stewart Brand – a founder and editor of The Whole Earth Catalog – and author/activist Michael Shellenberger.

Shellenberger will participate in the panel discussion that will follow the March 12 screening, along with scientist Gordon Thompson who is an expert on nuclear power and sustainability issues.  Debra Larson, dean of Cal Poly’s College of Engineering, will moderate the panel discussion, which will also feature an audience Q&A.

The event is free to the public. Seating is general admission. The theatre opens at 6:30 PM. Parking at the Performing Arts Center parking structure on Grand Avenue will be complimentary.

Sponsored by the Office of the President.

For more information on all Cal Poly Arts events, including audio and video samples, please visit