Nova ScienceNow


Nova ScienceNow (styled NOVΛ scienceNOW) is a spinoff 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. Tyson announced he would leave the show and was replaced by David Pogue in season 6.

Nova ScienceNow
Presented byRobert Krulwich (2005-2006)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (2006-2011)
David Pogue (2012)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes36 (list of episodes)
Executive producersPaula S. Apsell
Samuel Fine
Running time55 minutes
Production companyWGBH
Original networkPBS
Original releaseJanuary 25, 2005 (2005-01-25) –
November 14, 2012 (2012-11-14)

The show was originally intended to return with more new episodes in 2015.[2]


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 Tyson became host, 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.


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.[3] 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. David Pogue is the host of the show's sixth season.


  Season Episodes Premiere Finale Summary Notes  
1 5 January 25, 2005 (2005-01-25) January 10, 2006 (2006-01-10)
2 5 October 9, 2006 (2006-10-09) July 24, 2007 (2007-07-24)
3 6 June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25) July 30, 2008 (2008-07-30)
4 8 June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30) September 1, 2009 (2009-09-01)
5 6 January 19, 2011 (2011-01-19) February 23, 2011 (2011-02-23)
6 6 October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) November 14, 2012 (2012-11-14)


Season 1 (2005–2006)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
11"Mirror Neurons, Hurricanes, Profile: James McLurkin, Booming Sands, Kinetic Sculptor and Conundrum"January 25, 2005 (2005-01-25)3204
22"Little People of Flores, T. rex, Profile: Naomi Halas, Stem Cells and Frozen Frogs"April 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)3209
33"Fuel cells, RNAi, Fastest Glacier and Profile: Brothers Chudnovsky"July 26, 2005 (2005-07-26)3210
44"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
55"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)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
61"Asteroid, Island of Stability, Obesity and Profile: Karl Iagnemma"October 3, 2006 (2006-10-03)3313
72"1918 Flu, Mass Extinction, Papyrus and Profile: Cynthia Breazeal"November 21, 2006 (2006-11-21)3318
83"Aging, Space Elevator, Maya and Profile: Bonnie Bassler"January 9, 2007 (2007-01-09)3401
94"Sleep, CERN, Emergence and Profile: Julie Schablitsky"July 10, 2007 (2007-07-10)3410
105"T. Rex Blood?, Epigenetics, Kryptos and Profile: Arlie Petters"July 24, 2007 (2007-07-24)3411

Season 3 (2008)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
111"Dark Matter, Of Mice and Memory, Profile: Hany Farid and Wisdom of the Crowds"June 25, 2008 (2008-06-25)301
122"Personal DNA Testing, Art Authentication, Capturing Carbon and Profile: Pardis Sabeti"July 2, 2008 (2008-07-02)302
133"Saving Hubble, First Primates, Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and Killer Microbe"July 9, 2008 (2008-07-09)303
144"Bird Brains, Space Storms, Profile: Yoky Matsuoka and Smart Bridges"July 16, 2008 (2008-07-16)304
155"Leeches, The Search for ET, Stem Cells Breakthrough and Profile: Edith Widder"July 23, 2008 (2008-07-23)305
166"Phoenix Mars Lander, Brain Trauma, Mammoth Mystery and Profile: Judah Folkman"July 30, 2008 (2008-07-30)306

Season 4 (2009)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
171"Diamond Factory, Anthrax Investigation, Auto-Tune and Profile: Luis von Ahn"June 30, 2009 (2009-06-30)401
182"Hunt for Alien Earths, Art Authentication, Profile: Maydianne Andrade and Autism Genes"July 7, 2009 (2009-07-07)402
193"Marathon Mouse, Dinosaur Plague, Profile: Franklin Chang-Diaz and Space Storms"July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14)403
204"Picky Eaters, Capturing Carbon, Sea Lions and Walruses and Profile: Sangeeta Bhatia"July 21, 2009 (2009-07-21)404
215"Moon Smasher, Secrets in the Salt, Bird Brains and Profile: Lonnie Thompson"July 28, 2009 (2009-07-28)405
226"Public Genomes, Algae Fuel, Arctic Ocean Seafloor and Profile: Yoky Matsuoka"August 18, 2009 (2009-08-18)406
237"Saving Hubble Update, Gangster Birds, Profile: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa and How Memory Works"August 25, 2009 (2009-08-25)407
248"Sleep, First Primates, Earthquakes in the Midwest and Profile: Sang-Mook Lee"September 1, 2009 (2009-09-01)408

Season 5 (2011)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
251"Can We Make It to Mars?"January 19, 2011 (2011-01-19)501
262"Can We Live Forever?"January 26, 2011 (2011-01-26)502
273"How Does the Brain Work?"February 2, 2011 (2011-02-02)503
284"How Smart Are Animals?"February 9, 2011 (2011-02-09)504
295"Where Did We Come From?"February 16, 2011 (2011-02-16)505
306"What's the Next Big Thing?"February 23, 2011 (2011-02-23)506

Season 6 (2012)Edit

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Production
311"What Makes Us Human?"October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10)601
322"Can Science Stop Crime?"October 17, 2012 (2012-10-17)602
333"How Smart Can We Get? feat. USA Memory Champion Chester Santos"October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24)603
344"Can I Eat That?"October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31)604
355"What Are Animals Thinking?"November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07)605
366"What Will The Future Be Like?"November 14, 2012 (2012-11-14)606


NOVΛ scienceNOW has received generally positive reviews from television critics and parents of young children. New York Daily News wrote, "★★★★ Lightyears from the norm."[4]


  1. ^ "Transcripts – NOVA scienceNOW: January 25, 2005". PBS. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  2. ^ "NOVA scienceNOW Sponsorship". SGPTV. PBS. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015.
  3. ^ "About the Series Host". PBS. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  4. ^ " - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". June 25, 2008. Retrieved 2019-12-19.

External linksEdit

  • Nova ScienceNow Home page
  • NOVA scienceNOW at IMDb