NOVA scienceNOW

NOVA scienceNOW
NOVA scienceNOW
opening title screen
Format Science documentary
Presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 30 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Paula S. Apsell
Samuel Fine
Running time 55 minutes
Original channel PBS
Picture format HDTV
Original run January 25, 2005 – Present
External links

NOVA scienceNOW is a newsmagazine version of the long running and venerable PBS science program Nova. Premiering on January 25, 2005, the series was originally hosted by Robert Krulwich, who described it as an experiment in coverage of "breaking science, science that's right out of the lab, science that sometimes bumps up against politics, art, culture".[1] At the beginning of season two, Neil deGrasse Tyson replaced Krulwich as the show's host.



Unlike the parent program Nova, Nova scienceNOW has a whimsical production style. It is not unusual for the show to explain topics as arcane as RNA interference using cartoons, or a solution to a two-thousand-year-old math problem related in song. Whereas Nova covered a single seamless subject in each hour-long episode, NOVA scienceNOW covers several related, but distinct, story segments during the course of each program. The show also features 30-60 second short segments between each story segment, taking the place and pace of commercials in an otherwise uninterrupted program flow.

The show's humor turns on cultural references aimed at viewers from a broad spectrum of age groups. These references, for example, come from movies, TV, music, history, literature, and of course, science.

Following the whimsical format, the show's animators often place jokes or sight gags into the show's background via humorous or incongruous bits of text in signs, newspapers, etc. These gags are intentionally subtle and meant to be difficult to recognize, presumably as a challenge to the viewer's observational skills.

When Dr. Tyson took over the show, he added a final segment in which he would add his own observations on the topic. At the end of this editorial, he always states, 'And that… is the cosmic perspective.'.

The series has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and won a CINE Golden Eagle award.

The fifth season premiered January 19, 2011.[2] A sixth season has also been ordered.[3][4]


Host Robert Krulwich left the program at the end of the first season. He was replaced by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium.[5] In addition to the host, several correspondents report on many of the individual stories including Peter Standring, Chad Cohen, Ziya Tong, Carla Wohl, Rebecca Skloot, and David Duncan.

Episode list

Season 1 (2005–2006)

# # Title Original airdate Production code
1 1 "Mirror Neurons, Hurricanes, Profile: James McLurkin, Booming Sands, Kinetic Sculptor and Conundrum" January 25, 2005 (2005-01-25) 3204
2 2 "Little People of Flores, T. rex, Profile: Naomi Halas, Stem Cells and Frozen Frogs" April 19, 2005 (2005-04-19) 3209
3 3 "Fuel cells, RNAi, Fastest Glacier and Profile: Brothers Chudnovsky" July 26, 2005 (2005-07-26) 3210
4 4 "Artificial Life, Lightning, Profile: Erich Jarvis, Fish Surgery, Don't Ask the Expert: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Hurricane Katrina" October 18, 2005 (2005-10-18) 3214
5 5 "10th Planet, Twin Prime Conjecture, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Pandemic Flu, Lab Meat?, Stem Cells Update,
Stronger Hurricanes and Profile: Tyler Curiel
January 10, 2006 (2006-01-10) 3302

Season 2 (2006–2007)

# # Title Original airdate Production code
6 1 "Asteroid, Island of Stability, Obesity and Profile: Karl Iagnemma" October 3, 2006 (2006-10-03) 3313
7 2 "1918 Flu, Mass Extinction, Papyrus and Profile: Cynthia Breazeal" November 21, 2006 (2006-11-21) 3318
8 3 "Aging, Space Elevator, Maya and Profile: Bonnie Bassler" January 9, 2007 (2007-01-09) 3401
9 4 "Sleep, CERN, Emergence and Profile: Julie Schablitsky" July 10, 2007 (2007-07-10) 3410
10 5 "T. Rex Blood?, Epigenetics, Kryptos and Profile: Arlie Petters" July 24, 2007 (2007-07-24) 3411

Season 3 (2008)

# # Title Original airdate Production code
11 1 "Dark Matter, Of Mice and Memory, Profile: Hany Farid and Wisdom of the Crowds" June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25) 301
12 2 "Personal DNA Testing, Art Authentication, Capturing Carbon and Profile: Pardis Sabeti" July 2, 2008 (2008-07-02) 302
13 3 "Saving Hubble, First Primates, Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and Killer Microbe" July 9, 2008 (2008-07-09) 303
14 4 "Bird Brains, Space Storms, Profile: Yoky Matsuoka and Smart Bridges" July 16, 2008 (2008-07-16) 304
15 5 "Leeches, The Search for ET, Stem Cells Breakthrough and Profile: Edith Widder" July 23, 2008 (2008-07-23) 305
16 6 "Phoenix Mars Lander, Brain Trauma, Mammoth Mystery and Profile: Judah Folkman" July 30, 2008 (2008-07-30) 306

Season 4 (2009)

# # Title Original airdate Production code
17 1 "Diamond Factory, Anthrax Investigation, Auto-Tune and Profile: Luis von Ahn" June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30) 401
18 2 "Hunt for Alien Earths, Art Authentication, Profile: Maydianne Andrade and Autism Genes" July 7, 2009 (2009-07-07) 402
19 3 "Marathon Mouse, Dinosaur Plague, Profile: Franklin Chang-Diaz and Space Storms" July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14) 403
20 4 "Picky Eaters, Capturing Carbon, Sea Lions and Walruses and Profile: Sangeeta Bhatia" July 21, 2009 (2009-07-21) 404
21 5 "Moon Smasher, Secrets in the Salt, Bird Brains and Profile: Lonnie Thompson" July 28, 2009 (2009-07-28) 405
22 6 "Public Genomes, Algae Fuel, Arctic Ocean Seafloor and Profile: Yoky Matsuoka" August 18, 2009 (2009-08-18) 406
23 7 "Saving Hubble Update, Gangster Birds, Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and How Memory Works" August 25, 2009 (2009-08-25) 407
24 8 "Sleep, First Primates, Earthquakes in the Midwest and Profile: Sang-Mook Lee" September 1, 2009 (2009-09-01) 408

Season 5 (2011)

# # Title Original airdate Production code
25 1 "Can We Make It to Mars?" January 19, 2011 (2011-01-19) 501
26 2 "Can We Live Forever?" January 26, 2011 (2011-01-26) 502
27 3 "How Does the Brain Work?" February 2, 2011 (2011-02-02) 503
28 4 "How Smart Are Animals?" February 9, 2011 (2011-02-09) 504
29 5 "Where Did We Come From?" February 16, 2011 (2011-02-16) 505
30 6 "What's the Next Big Thing?" February 23, 2011 (2011-02-23) 506


External links

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