TV Programs

January - December 1980

Elusive Illness (The)
Aborigines in Australia, woodchucks in Pennsylvania, the Nobel Prize in Stockholm and the gay community in New York—what could possibily link such disparate elements? The answer is Hepatitis. NOVA examines this elusive disease, what causes it, how it is spread and how you get rid of it.
Original broadcast date: 01/15/80
Topic: medicine/disease & research

A is for Atom, B is for Bomb
NOVA profiles Dr. Edward Teller, the "Father of the Hydrogen Bomb," an acclaimed scientific genius and brilliant theoretician, and a man considered by some the most dangerous scientist in the United States.
Original broadcast date: 01/22/80
Topic: biography

Living Machines
NOVA explores the science of natural engineering and asks the basic questions: what makes a good design in nature and why did a particular plant or animal adopt a particular design?
Original broadcast date: 02/05/80
Topic: animal biology/behavior

Portrait of a Killer
More than 40 million Americans are afflicted by cardiovascular disease. NOVA examines the new information on risk factors and possible prevention of heart attacks and strokes—often fatal diseases.
Original broadcast date: 02/19/80
Topic: medicine/disease & research

Umealit: The Whale Hunters
Whaling is an integral part of Eskimo life, and a major source of food; even so, conservationists are seeking to restrict the hunting of bowheads in Alaska.
Original broadcast date: 03/04/80
Topic: environment/ecology

Safety Factor (The)
Recent aircraft accidents have raised the question of just how safe modern commercial aviation really is. NOVA looks at some of the problems and experimental efforts underway to deal with them.
Original broadcast date: 03/11/80
Topic: technology/aeronautics & flight

Mediterranean Prospect (A)
Every year, millions of tourists converge on the Mediterranean's sunny coasts, lured by the prospect of bathing in clear, azure waters and basking in semi-tropical sun. But years of use and abuse have taken their toll on the once idyllic Mediterranean and the "world's biggest swimming pool" has become the world's biggest open sewer. NOVA explores the complex problems that plague the Mediterranean's future.
Original broadcast date: 03/18/80
Topic: environment/ecology

Mr. Ludwig's Tropical Dreamland
NOVA explores the amazing Jari project of the Amazon basin. Eleven years ago, 3.5 million acres of virgin jungle were bought by the reclusive billionaire, Daniel K. Ludwig.
Original broadcast date: 03/25/80
Topic: environment/ecology

Pinks and the Blues (The)
NOVA explores the shaping and molding of the male and female personality. From infancy through childhood, the program documents the impact of culture on the development of sex differences.
Original broadcast date: 09/30/80
Topic: human biology/behavior

Cancer Detectives Of Lin Xian (The)
In one of the first films ever to come out of modern China, NOVA sifts through clues that Chinese scientists have uncovered in their pursuit of particularly virulent and elusive forms of cancer from which one out of every four people die.
Original broadcast date: 10/07/80
Topic: medicine/disease & research

Sea Behind The Dunes (The)
One year in the intricate life of a coastal lagoon unfolds in an hour's time when NOVA documents the fragile tidal ecosystem which supports the entire ocean.
Original broadcast date: 10/14/80
Topic: environment/ecology

Do We Really Need The Rockies?
Locked in the shale of the Western Rocky Mountains is more oil than in the Middle East—more than enough to solve our dependence on foreign crude oil. But will shale oil solve our gasoline shortage, or will it simply turn the Rockies into a gigantic industrial zone? NOVA explores the promise and the problems of shale oil.
Original broadcast date: 10/28/80
Topic: technology/energy

Big IF (The)
Is interferon—known as IF in medical shorthand—the wonder drug and cure for cancer that some doctors claim? NOVA travels to London, Stockholm, Houston, San Francisco, and New Haven in search of the answer in the most complete film on interferon ever to appear on American television.
Original broadcast date: 11/04/80
Topic: medicine/disease & research

Voyager: Jupiter & Beyond
On Wednesday, November 12, 1980, Voyager 1 is expected to arrive at Saturn for a first time ever extensive close-up investigation of the majestic ringed planet. Astronomers can expect to gather more information than ever before possible. On the day before this historic event, NOVA documents Voyager's journey through the outer solar system.
Original broadcast date: 11/11/80
Topic: astronomy/space exploration

Wizard Who Spat On The Floor (The)
Thomas Edison is the quintessential American hero, the Wizard whose inventions revolutionized modern living. But there was always more to Edison than met the eye. He was a complex and contradictory man; a brilliant inventor, a foolish investor; a demanding boss, a liberal benfactor—a public figure that no one ever really knew. NOVA profiles the man behind the mythical reputation.
Original broadcast date: 11/18/80
Topic: biography

Water Crisis (The)
Water, water everywhere...but just how useful is it? NOVA travels to the Adirondack Mountains where acid rain is killing many high elevation lakes; to the Mississippi River where chlorine has combined with natural and manmade organic chemicals to form cancer-causing toxic chemical susbtances; to California, where conservation recycling has had to become a way of life; and to Bedford, Massachusetts, where the town wells have been contaminated by industrial waste.
Original broadcast date: 11/25/80
Topic: environment/ecology

Moving Still
NOVA tells the story of still and cine photography in science—from the extraordinary work of the pioneers in the early 1800s to how the ability to freeze time on film in ever shorter periods has given scientists remarkable new insights. Today photography enables us to analyze (frame by frame) the thousands of molecular reactions that can happen in less time than the blink of an eye.
Original broadcast date: 12/02/80
Topic: photography/film

Touch of Sensitivity (A)
The exquisite sensitivity of tough cells in the human skin makes it possible for us to discriminate with precision the slightest changes in texture and pressure, but how the electrical impulses we receive are converted into sensation remains a mystery. NOVA explores the hidden meaning and extraordinary power of human touch.
Original broadcast date: 12/09/80
Topic: human biology/behavior

Red Deer of Rhum (The)
The cuddly image of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become an integral part of the jollity of the Christmas season. NOVA takes a timely look at how real deer live by visiting Rhum—an island off the coast of Scotland inhabited by red deer.
Original broadcast date: 12/23/80
Topic: animal biology/behavior

It's About Time
Time—a concept which has baffled scientists and philosophers since time immemorial. Actor Dudley Moore hosts a funny, sobering and visually stunning quest for answers to riddles, as NOVA spends an hour on time.
Original broadcast date: 12/30/80
Topic: physics


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