Francis Condie Baxter was an American TV personality and educator. He was a professor of English at the University of Southern California. Baxter hosted Telephone Time for 1957 and 1958 when ABC picked up the program and ended the tenure of John Nesbitt. During the 1950s, his program Shakespeare on TV won seven Emmy Awards.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Baxter is best remembered for his appearance as "Dr. Research" in almost all of the "Bell Laboratory Science Series" of eight educational films that were produced for television in the late 1950s, and became a staple in classrooms from the 1960s through the 1980s. The Bell Laboratory Science Series combined scientific footage, live actors and animation to convey scientific concepts and history in a lively, entertaining way, and the bald, bespectacled and affable Dr. Baxter served as narrator, lecturer and Master of Ceremonies. The series included such titles as Our Mr. Sun, Hemo the Magnificent, Gateways to the Mind, The Unchained Goddess, and The Alphabet Conspiracy. These films made Dr. Baxter something of a scientific icon among baby boomers. Several of Baxter's science films have been released on DVD.
Baxter also appeared in a prologue to the 1956 film The Mole People, in which he gave a brief history of theories of life beneath the surface of the earth.
In 1966, Baxter hosted a popular TV series called "The Four Winds to Adventure", featuring film makers exploring little known areas of the world, whether across continents, oceans, or local people and animals in a particular region.