The Best Science Programming on PBS

The U.S. presidential administration recently released a proposed budget of $1.5 trillion for 2018 which includes cutting the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities all by 100%.  The requested budget from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which in part funds the Public Broadcasting Service or PBS, is $446 million or <0.03 % of the White House’s total proposed budget.

If the administration?S proposed finances turns into a truth, local public announces will be hit the toughest with the aid of a whole gutting of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. However, country wide programming, such as that from PBS, might be compelled to rely more closely on other funding. Since ~90% of the requested finances would have gone at once to public tv or radio station and related programming offers, allow?S check a number of the great (free!) technological know-how indicates that PBS has to offer.

The top 2 ranked PBS shows of all time, regardless of topic, are both science shows, namely Bill Nye the Science Guy and the original Cosmos series.

Bill Nye the Science Guy, which ran from 1993 to 1998, focused on the exploration of the science of the everyday by Bill Nye’s television scientist persona and was popular among children and adults alike. The ~100 episodes of the show featured at-home experiments for viewers, more in depth demonstrations done by experts, and, of course, celebrity guest stars. The show emphasized the use of hands-on experiments, fun visuals, and humor to explore science in an entertaining way. Although the show is no longer running, you can see many full clips on his YouTube channel.

The authentic Cosmos collection, called Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, become a 1980s tv collection written in component via Astronomer Carl Sagan and the Emmy and Peabody award prevailing author Ann Druyan (who also took place to be Carl Sagan?S wife). The collection become based on Sagan?S ebook Cosmos and is concept to have inspired an entire era of scientists with its stunning visuals and particular perspective on humanity?S region in the universe. The collection eloquently and clearly articulated the significance of studying the cosmos, as exemplified by Sagan?S famous quote ?We are all star stuff.?

Cosmos is the most widely watched PBS program and has aired in 60 countries to more than half a billion people. Although the series is now more than 30 years old, you can still find episodes on streaming sites like hulu and YouTube, as well as for sale on Amazon.  The series was also recently updated in 2014 by Astronomer Neil de Grasse Tyson who hosted a follow-up series called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey which includes episodes called ‘The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth’ and ‘A Sky Full of Ghosts’. Although the series won 4 Emmys and a Peabody Award in the Education category, there has been no confirmation on a second season.

The currently airing Nova has one main goal: making science exciting for an adult audience. Nova is the longest-running U.S. science television series and has been shown in over 100 countries. Topics range from the body, the brain, and evolution, to military espionage and ancient worlds. Episodes are freely available on YouTube, as well as Nova’s website, including recent looks at what makes scientific experimentation true and reliable, as well as why trains crash and the secret lives of ants. You can also follow Nova on Twitter @novapbs.

If the administration?S proposed price range becomes a truth, local public broadcasts might be hit the toughest through a whole gutting of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The also currently airing Nature series on PBS explores the environment and the animals with whom we share our planet. Full episodes can be found on their website, including a five part series that disguised animatronic cameras as animals to spy on previously unseen animal behavior in the wild. There are also recent episodes dedicated to Yosemite, rare giraffes, and the wildlife of the Congo.

PBS additionally has lots to offer as a long way as scientifically academic programming written mainly for kids. Ready Jet Go! Follows an alien named Jet Propulsion and his own family as they explore human customs here on Earth. Episodes include interstitial segments from Astronomer Amy Mainzer, who was the Deputy Project Scientist for NASA?S WISE project , in addition to the Principal Investigator for its followup NEOWISE challenge. In different phrases, we’ve often Amy to thank for our strolling tally of recognised near Earth asteroids.

Other STEM-focused PBS kids shows include Dinosaur Train and the previously airing Sid the Science Kid. My preschooler also can’t get enough of Peg + Cat, a show about a young girl and her cat who solve problems with math.  In addition to television programming, also has a variety of games that kids can play online to learn about dinosaurs, counting, patterns, and how to become an inventor.

The proposed price range cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting not best put applications like these at danger, however additionally in all likelihood save you the development of destiny applications that educate viewers?From adults to youngsters?Approximately technological know-how in a fun, attractive way.

Until next time, this is Sabrina Stierwalt with Everyday Einstein’s Quick and Dirty Tips for helping you make sense of science. You can become a fan ofEveryday Einstein on Facebook orfollow me on Twitter, where I’m@QDTeinstein. If you have a question that you’d like to see on a future episode, send me an email at

Image courtesy of shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *