TV Programs

January - December 1989

Hot Enough for You?
Was the searing summer of 1988 a taste of things to come? NOVA looks at the greenhouse effect, which portends higher temperatures, rising sea levels and other environmental disasters.
Original broadcast date: 01/17/89
Topic: environment/ecology

Last Journey of a Genius (The)
NOVA looks at the bongo-playing scientist, adventurer, safecracker and yarn-spinner Richard Feynman, most recently famous for his role as gadfly of the Presidential Commission investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Original broadcast date: 01/24/89
Topic: biography

Strange New Science of Chaos (The)
NOVA explains "chaos," a new science that is making surprising sense out of chaotic phenomena in nature, from the weather to brain waves.
Original broadcast date: 01/31/89
Topic: science/methods, ethics & education

Back to Chernobyl
NOVA goes to the Soviet Union for an inside investigation of the world's most catastrophic nuclear power accident with correspondent Bill Kurtis.
Original broadcast date: 02/14/89
Topic: technology/energy

God, Darwin and Dinosaurs
In an Idaho classroom, teacher Phil Gerrish puts an unorthodox interpretation on the day's biology lesson. As students take notes, he explains that creationism is a valid scientific explanation for the origin on life. Once relying solely on the literal word of the Bible to make their case, creationists now argue that the scientific evidence is on their side. NOVA reports on this new twist in the long-running battle between creationism and evolution.
Original broadcast date: 02/21/89
Topic: science/methods, ethics & education

Adrift on the Gulf Stream
NOVA explores the importance of the Gulf Stream to ocean life, climate and human history.
Original broadcast date: 02/28/89
Topic: geography/oceanography

Secrets of Easter Island
In this two-part series, NOVA investigates the mystery of Easter Island in the South Pacific. Who built its celebrated statues and why?
Original broadcast date: 03/07/89
Topic: anthropology/ancient

Legends of Easter Island
In the second part of this two-part series, NOVA explores ancient legends hold the clues to the violent history of the South Pacific's Easter Island.
Original broadcast date: 03/14/89
Topic: anthropology/ancient

World is Full of Oil! (The)
Scientific detectives test their ingenuity in the effort to find underground oil deposits.
Original broadcast date: 03/21/89
Topic: technology/energy

Confronting the Killer Gene
Arlo, Nancy and Janice each have a 50/50 chance of developing a devastating nerve disorder. A laboratory test can tell them if in fact they will fall victim. In their shoes, would you take the test? Thousands of others face a similar choice: to know, or not know, if they will carry the genetic time bomb of Huntington's disease. NOVA looks at this incurable disease which affects 20,00 people in the US and threatens tens of thousands of others.
Original broadcast date: 03/28/89
Topic: medicine/disease & research

Hidden City (The)
Actor Judd Hirsch narrates this behind-the scenes look at what makes New York City tick. Water, power and waste are the critical systems that usually work, but sometimes break down with disastrous consequences.
Original broadcast date: 10/03/89
Topic: technology/energy

Controversial Dr. Koop (The)
In this profile of the former Surgeon General, NOVA follows events as they unfold in a unique behind-the-scenes account of a man who speaks his mind on AIDS, smoking and abortion.
Original broadcast date: 10/10/89
Topic: biography

Design Wars!
Five architects compete for the approval of architecture-obsessed Chicagoans in the contest to build the city's new public library. NOVA looks at the strengths and weakness of each of the suprisingly varied entries.
Original broadcast date: 10/17/89
Topic: technology/engineering

Echoes of War
The atomic bomb might have ended World War II, but radar was the quiet miracle that won battles. NOVA tells the little-known wartime history of radar.
Original broadcast date: 10/24/89
Topic: technology/weapons & warfare

Decoding the Book of Life
Biologists around the world gear up to decode the three-billion-letter genetic message that describes how humans are made. Ethicists warn that it may not be such a good idea.
Original broadcast date: 10/31/89
Topic: genetics

NOVA studies hurricanes—the lurking giants waiting to destroy many coastal areas—by flying straight into one. Scientists hope that such close-up studies will supply the data to make better predictions.
Original broadcast date: 11/07/89
Topic: environment/weather

Will Venice Survive Its Rescue?
Increasingly awash in high water, the romantic city of Venice is counting on high-tech floodgates to save it from drowning. Environmentalists worry that the gates may destroy the fragile lagoon that surrounds the city.
Original broadcast date: 11/14/89
Topic: environment/ecology

What Is Music?
NOVA explores the science of musical sound—from what makes a classic violin to how the human brain perceives music. Bells, trumpets, human voices and computers all perform.
Original broadcast date: 11/21/89
Topic: social sciences/miscellaneous

Yellowstone's Burning Question
The 1988 Yellowstone fire may have been one of the worst in human memory, but nature has had eons of experience with such events. NOVA accompanies scientists who are studying the suprisingly rapid recovery from the blaze.
Original broadcast date: 12/05/89
Topic: environment/ecology

Schoolboys Who Cracked the Soviet Secret (The)
NOVA re-enacts a classic case of classroom detection when English schoolboys track down a secret Soviet launch site. Docudrama.
Original broadcast date: 12/12/89
Topic: science/methods, ethics & education


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