Science (TV channel)

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Science (in some locations, Discovery: Science) is a cable television network produced by Discovery Communications that supposedly focuses on science, including (according to its own website) "Space, Technology, Engineering, and Earth Science." Because the shows are intended for a popular audience, they tend to be light on the science and heavy on the sensationalist, blood-and-violence-mongering, and "blow things up" style of pop-science—appealing to the 12-year old in all of us.

Unlike the History Channel very little of the programming is actually pseudoscience; most, however, is "science lite."

Channel highlights[edit]

  • Cosmos: Discovery Science aired every episode of Carl Sagan's seminal work. [1]
  • Sci-fi Science: Physics of the Impossible: Hosted by Michio Kaku, the show taps into the science fiction we love but puts a real physics twist on it.
  • Through the Wormhole: Atheist/agnostic Morgan Freeman looks as some of humanity's great questions, and some of science's modern answers. It's something of a "Horizon Lite," but still interesting and informative.
  • Wonders of the Solar System: A BBC-produced show from 2009, hosted by professor Brian Cox that explores, well, the wonders of the solar system.

Current line-up[edit]

  • An Idiot Abroad: A travel documentary series that has nothing at all to do with science. Originally a Sky1 series, it highlights just how awkward some people are when faced with foreign situations.
  • Monster Bug Wars: A show that highlights the icky oogie-boogie bugs in all their hyped-up glory. Bugs must be dangerous, ugly, or big. No ladybirds or damselflies need apply.
  • Build It Bigger: Exploring modern (and in a few episodes, ancient) monstrosities and marvels of architecture and engineering. Little real science is included, but big things are cool. Some episodes have gone into space, looking at what would be required to build bases on the Moon or Mars, and looking at the technology necessary to build the International Space Station.
  • Factory Made: Tours of big factories, where big things are made.
  • Firefly: Fictional "space western" by Joss Whedon. THIS is quality science, here.
  • Flying Anvils: One hundred pounds of gunpowder, and your own inventions. How far can you make it fly? ("Pumpkin Chunkin'" was a Halloween special of the same type of show).
  • How do They Do It: Behind the scenes of how things are made. Oh boy, science!
  • Junkies: "My team and I harvest old junk and make new creations." Science for the tinkerer and do-it-yourselfer?
  • Large Dangerous Rocketships: Well, there are actually no rocketships, despite the name. Just home made rockets in competitions to try to be the biggest and baddest. Lots of explosions and mishaps, of course.
  • Life on the Line: Fishing show gone wild. I guess there are fish, so that's biology, right?
  • Mantracker: Hunting isn't challenging enough, now it's time for human prey. More great science, here folks, cause they use compasses, not GPSs.
  • Mutant planet: Finally, some real science, sorta. An adventure show that actually goes on a quest to find uncommon critters. But the emphasis does seem to be on the adventure aspect.
  • Oddities: Focuses on an antique shop, and all the odd findings there.
  • Stuck with Hackett: "Alternative engineer" (no, we don't know what that term means) is thrust into dangerous situations and tries to not just survive, but find "luxury" in the things he invents.

What's missing[edit]

True quality, in-depth original programs about science that would open up kids' and adults' minds to the "Wonders of the Universe" or "Life." There have been a few series like How the Universe Works, but in comparison to PBS's Nova or BBC's Horizon, the episodes appear dumbed down despite the fact that they are not marketed at kids.

Position on Creationism in the classrooms[edit]

Science has publicly supported the idea that Creationism does not belong in science classrooms. [2]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Discovery: Science was launched in 1997. In 2002 it changed its name, lineup and logo to reflect "updated" views, and in turn dumped Cosmos.
  2. http://blogs.discovery.com/good_idea/2012/01/should-public-schools-teach-alternatives-to-evolutionary-theory.html