Since the mid-1970s, NOVA has been unrivaled in bringing authoritative, innovative, and entertaining science documentaries to television. Now the same award-winning producers have teamed up with Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, author, and host, to present multiple stories in a magazine format show. Each hour-long episode of NOVA scienceNOW features Tyson's "Cosmic Perspective" and four fast-paced, timely science and technology stories, including a profile piece on an intriguing personality in the field.
Since its premiere in 2005, NOVA scienceNOW has covered everything from stem cells to hydrogen fuel cells, from T. rex to the ivory-billed woodpecker, from surgery on pet fish to frogs that freeze solid in winter.
"In an era when the innovations made possible by science and technology often resonate on a global scale and rapidly change the way we live, NOVA scienceNOW is there to inform, engage, and inspire viewers about all of the exciting possibilities and help them understand how these latest developments will affect their daily lives," said Senior Executive Producer Paula Apsell.
Now in its fourth season, NOVA scienceNOW returns this summer with a new, 10-week season featuring stories from the frontlines of science, technology, and medicine. Hosted once again by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the series also introduces a brand-new correspondent this season, Ziya Tong, a former host and producer of Wired Science.
Programming highlights to be featured this summer include:
- Synthetic Diamonds: A blindfolded Tyson is led to a top-secret "diamond farm" to investigate breakthroughs in the engineering of artificial diamonds. Indistinguishable from the real thing, these glittering, scientifically mastered creations may one day adorn more than ring fingers. They could replace silicon transistors in everything from supercomputers to high-speed electric trains.
- Hunting Hidden Planets: NOVA scienceNOW visits astronomers on the brink of finding "another Earth" in our galaxy with a new planet-hunting machine that will soon be operational: the Kepler telescope. This and other advanced new tools and techniques could turn up hundreds of Earth-like worlds and perhaps finally answer the age-old question: Are we alone?
- The Sounds of Science: Do you have what it takes to be a rock star? Neil Tyson tests his singing talents in a segment using "AutoTune," the controversial computer pitch-correction software that turns sour notes into sweet ones.
- The Dinosaur Plague: Renowned paleontologist George Poinar, whose study of extinct creatures exquisitely preserved in amber partly inspired Jurassic Park, has announced his discovery of multiple clues to parasitic pandemics that could have been just as instrumental in wiping out the dinosaurs as the hypothesized asteroid impact.
- Anthrax Attack: Go behind the scenes with NOVA scienceNOW to explore the science that went into solving the case of the deadly anthrax attacks after 9/11 and the ingenious technique researchers developed to pinpoint the source. This revolutionary method also has the potential to identify the microbes responsible for everything from food-borne poisonings to deadly epidemics.
- The Moon Smasher: Tag along with a team of scientists at NASA who will smash two SUV-sized rockets into the lunar surface and unleash a debris cloud to study with the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite). The data could provide the key to understanding how to build a permanent base on the moon, and findings could accelerate a new "race to the moon" and an era of "colonizing the stars." NASA is enlisting the aid of amateur astronomers to witness and document this experiment.
"Our experience is that NOVA viewers thirst for knowledge and want to meet the people who are changing the world around them," says Paula Apsell, who is also director of the WGBH Science Unit. "We are confident that NOVA scienceNOW will help satisfy their scientific appetite."
More from Paula Apsell about NOVA scienceNOW