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NOVA scienceNOW NAMES DR. NEIL deGRASSE TYSON AS NEW HOST FOR SCIENCE MAGAZINE SERIES IN 2006


Renowned Scientist, Author, and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at The American Museum of Natural History to Join Critically Acclaimed Science News Program in its Second Season on PBS


PBS Press Tour, Pasadena, CA, January 14, 2006 NOVA scienceNOW has named Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, respected scientist, author, and director of the Hayden Planetarium in the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, to host the critically acclaimed science magazine series with the launch of its second season, senior executive producer Paula S. Apsell announced today. One of the world's most popular lecturers on astronomy, Dr. Tyson is a familiar face to NOVA audiences, having hosted the miniseries ORIGINS (PBS, 2004) and having been a featured scientist in prior episodes of NOVA scienceNOW. He replaces departing host Robert Krulwich, who is moving on to National Public Radio (NPR).

"We are thrilled to have Neil deGrasse Tyson on the NOVA scienceNOW team," said Apsell. "Neil's scientific background and the passion he brings to his work complement perfectly the series' commitment to reporting the most astonishing stories from the frontlines of science-in-process. He loves a good story and it shows. His enthusiasm is palpable and infectious a winning combination."

An astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson was appointed the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in 1995. His research interests include star formation, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of the Milky Way. Dr. Tyson has authored seven books, including Just Visiting This Planet, a Q&A on the universe for all ages, and his memoir, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist.

"NOVA scienceNOW is the only show on television that presents cutting-edge science stories in this exciting and fresh magazine format, and I relish the challenge of making science accessible and relevant to many different audiences," said Tyson.

Tyson, a graduate of New York City's Bronx High School of Science, studied physics at Harvard before receiving his doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University. Born and raised in the Big Apple, he now makes his home there with his wife and two children.

NOVA launched its quarterly, hour-long science news magazine NOVA scienceNOW in January 2005. The provocative, fast-paced show delivers reports from the frontlines of scientific research and discovery while highlighting the intersections between scientific innovation and viewers' everyday worlds. Stories cover a vast range of topics, from stem cell research to alternative fuel technology, advancements in veterinary medicine to the mysteries of the Big Bang. Learn more online at pbs.org/nova/sciencenow.

Beginning January 2006, NOVA scienceNOW began offering original video podcasts on iTunes, in addition to the already popular audio podcasts that have been available since August 5, 2005. The most recent vodcast, entitled "The Twin Prime Conjecture," is a whimsical, original song and performance about the nature of prime numbers, featuring cameos by some of the world's foremost mathematicians. Since launching in summer 2005, NOVA scienceNOW audio podcasts have been among the most popular and most subscribed to of the thousands of podcasts available on iTunes. Both audio and video podcasts subscriptions are available through
pbs.org/nova/sciencenow.

Now in its thirty-third year of broadcasting, NOVA is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit. The director of the WGBH Science Unit and senior executive producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell. NOVA is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. Major corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Google and BP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. Major funding for NOVA scienceNOW is provided by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), with additional funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Kavli Foundation.

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