A Science Odyssey

From DocuWiki

Jump to: navigation, search


[edit] General Information

Science Documentary narrated by Charles Hosgood and published by PBS in 1998 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: Science-Odyssey-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Travel to the dramatic frontier of scientific discovery and exploration as the most astonishing 100 years of science and technology dramatically unfold with the premiere of A Science Odyssey -- the journey of a century. Hosted by award-winning journalist Charles Osgood, this five-part, ten-hour series explores the sweeping changes that have revolutionized life and thinking in the twentieth century.

Each two-hour episode moves chronologically through the century, blending exciting historic adventures -- full of twists and turns, suspense and surprise -- with the political, economic, and cultural changes that have caused or come about because of scientific discovery. Through illuminating first-hand interviews, rare historical footage, and computer animations, A Science Odyssey offers a rich behind-the-science chronicle of the century's most revolutionary scientific and technological discoveries.

Series Overview

The airplane. Penicillin. Volcanoes. Radio. Organ transplants. The computer. Psychoanalysis. Plate tectonics. Black holes. The Model T. DNA. Apollo 8. Nylon. The Big Bang. One hundred years of unparalleled scientific and technological discovery come to life with the release of A Science Odyssey, a dynamic and dramatic five-part, ten-hour special hosted by Charles Osgood for PBS.

On the cusp of the millennium, A Science Odyssey takes a look back at the twentieth century, traveling from the days before antibiotics to the age of gene therapy; from Kitty Hawk to Cape Canaveral; from Freud's first explorations of the psyche to the latest research in neurophysiology; from the belief that the Milky Way was the entire universe to the discovery of 100 billion galaxies.

"Science is a great adventure story," says series executive producer Tom Friedman. "When you look at the history of science, you begin to realize that for each discovery, there's a discoverer. For each answer, there's a question. Who were these twentieth-century explorers? How were their discoveries made? What prompted their questions and sparked their imaginations? What were the circumstances of their times?" Across the globe and through the decades, this landmark series brings to life the twentieth century's most enduring scientific stories and achievements -- the strokes of sheer brilliance, the heart-pounding excitement of moments of discovery -- when science advanced further than in all the previous centuries combined; when every scientific discipline, from astronomy to zoology, undergoes a revolution; and when remarkable new areas of study, from quarks to computer science, emerge.

Moving chronologically, each of A Science Odyssey's five programs captures the spirit and sweep of a century of extraordinary change, illuminating the political, economic, and cultural forces that have affected, accompanied, or been brought about by scientific and technological discovery. Rich in rare archival footage and stills of the century's most important experiments, vivid first-hand accounts from the men and women who carried them out, and state-of-the-art animation that demystifies complex scientific phenomena, A Science Odyssey integrates history, science, and biography in each of five areas -- medicine; physics and astronomy; human behavior; technology; and earth and life sciences. Throughout each of the series' five programs, science is revealed to be a human endeavor, filled with its share of mortal frailties -- indecision and insecurities; pride and prejudice; greed and envy. There is no shortage of hoaxes, accusations and denials, triumphs and tragedies -- and just plain mistakes. The pursuit of scientific knowledge isn't a smooth, steady course; it is often a difficult journey, lurching ahead in fits and starts, filled with agonizing delays and disappointing setbacks.

"In science, for each success there's a failure, or two -- or three. Many of the century's most significant breakthroughs were even at first resisted," says Friedman, "and only gradually accepted. Brilliant new theories or findings are very often met with complete skepticism if not outright scorn. This series offers young people an opportunity to consider an entire century of scientific and technological achievements, to recast their perceptions of science and scientists, and to be intrigued -- even inspired -- by the personal stories behind the headlines." In the past 100 years, not only what we know has changed dramatically, but also how we have come to know it. The very nature of scientific enterprise has changed completely and irrevocably: As we approach the millennium, we expect revolutions in understanding. We assume that there will be dramatic changes in science and technology. A Science Odyssey confirms that while the revolution has become permanent, it is bound to be wholly unpredictable.

[edit] Origins (Parts 1&2)

Origins charts the quest for beginnings -- of our planet, our species, and life itself. How and when did the Earth form? What monumental forces could set entire continents in motion, build mountains, and trigger earthquakes? How could life have begun on a lifeless planet? From planetessimals to plate tectonics, Darwin to DNA, "Lucy" to "Eve," Origins explores the myriad, earth-shattering, and often mind-boggling discoveries of geologists, biologists, paleoanthropologists, and others that have led to some of the most contentious -- and exciting -- theories of modern science.

The earthquake that shatters San Francisco in 1906 opens a century of explosive discoveries and debates in the earth sciences. See the Earth through the eyes of Alfred Wegener, who struggles to convince the scientific establishment that continents move. Watch as radiodating techniques increase Earth's estimated age - sometimes inspiring skepticism if not outrage. Meanwhile, a parallel upheaval rumbles the life sciences, where new evidence of our primate ancestors and the discovery of DNA's structure stir up controversies of their own. Ancient fossils and living cells give up their secrets to change our view of our species and the mechanics of life.

Highlights include: Age and origins of the Earth. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. Alfred Wegener. Continental drift. Harry Hess. Plate tectonics. The Himalayas. The formation of mountains. Religion, myth, and science. Human origins. The Scopes trial. The legacy of Charles Darwin. Mutation and adaptation. Paleoanthropology. Louis and Mary Leakey. Donald Johanson and "Lucy." Primordial soup. DNA. Origins of life.

[edit] Mysteries of the Universe (Parts 3&4)

Mysteries of the Universe charts the twin revolutions in physics and astronomy and the century-long struggle to discover the fundamental laws of Everything. Meet George Ellery Hale, who, obsessed with building the world's largest telescope, devotes almost a decade to the construction of a 100-inch marvel, so powerful it can detect the flicker of a candle 5,000 miles away. And Jocelyn Bell, a graduate student at Cambridge University, who stumbles across "a funny, scruffy, messy, unclassifiable signal from the sky" -- not signals from "little green men," as she once joked, but pulsars.

At the beginning of the century, discoveries about the hidden workings of the everyday world suggest all is not as it seems. Quantum theory, relativity, nuclear power, and clues about the birth and death of the universe have rocked our deepest beliefs. Journey from the subatomic world of the atom to the farthest reaches of space and time, and into the laboratories of the men and women whose work has forever altered physics and astronomy.

Highlights include: George Ellery Hale and the Mount Wilson telescope. Henrietta Leavitt. Edwin Hubble. Albert Einstein. Niels Bohr and the Quantum Theory of Matter. The structure of the atom. Jocelyn Bell and pulsars. The size of the universe. The Big Bang. Black holes. Quarks. Super colliders. Unified field and string theories.

[edit] In Search of Ourselves (Parts 5&6)

Still another dramatic frontier -- much closer to home -- begs for exploration. Discover what we've learned about ourselves these last hundred years -- and how much more we have yet to understand. Are we the product of complex biological processes that are genetically determined -- or are we shaped by our environment and the ways we experience the world? Is it nature or nurture that bears the primary responsibility for shaping us? By highlighting some of the century's most provocative case studies, movements, and experiments -- from shell shock to schizophrenia, standardized tests to selective breeding, psychoanalysis to psychotropic drug therapies -- A Science Odyssey traces the twentieth-century trek to the wellsprings of human behavior.

It's all in the genes. Or is it? In Search of Ourselves traces the pendulum swing of psychological theory from nature to nurture and back again. Case studies, classic experiments, and research on the brain blaze this trail of discovery, revealing what we have learned about ourselves and what still remains a riddle. We also see the dark side of our faith in the perfectibility of human nature, as scientific ideas are twisted to fit political agendas. This is a story of the lessons learned, as well as the ways which we have learned them. As the century draws to a close, human behavior remains an irresistible frontier.

Highlights include: Jean-Martin Charcot and hysteria. Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis. Shell shock. IQ tests. Eugenics. Scientist-turned-ad-man John B. Watson and the behaviorist movement. Conditioning. B. F. Skinner. Harry Harlow and the power of love and comfort. Frieda Fromm Reichmann and the treatment of schizophrenia at Chestnut Lodge. Mental institutions. Drug therapy. Alzheimer's disease.

[edit] Matters of Life and Death (Parts 7&8)

Witness the remarkable breakthroughs in surgery and organ transplantation, drugs, and medical technologies -- and how medicine has become a science of everyday miracles. There is the stroke of luck that prompts Alexander Fleming's chance discovery of the penicillium mold and penicillin -- a discovery that goes unrealized for a decade, until the Second World War prompts a desperate search for antibiotics. And the moment when Frederick Banting and James Collip, on the brink of purifying insulin, nearly come to blows in the laboratory. At stake are the wealth and fame that would come with a patent on a lifesaving treatment.

From the days of house calls to the era of high-tech hospitals, Matters of Life and Death tracks the passion and determination of medical science in the twentieth century. Dramatic experiments, the politics of science, and races against the clock form a backdrop to the discovery of new treatments, antibiotics, and advances in surgery and medical technology that have lengthened our lives and force us to rethink our assumptions about life and death.

Highlights include: Bubonic plague. Joseph Goldberger and pellagra. Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip and insulin. Chronic illness. Alexander Fleming and penicillin. Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. Open heart surgery. Kidney and heart transplants. The mechanics and politics of organ transplantation. Cancer.

[edit] Bigger, Better, Faster (Parts 9&10)

Bigger, Better, Faster shifts A Science Odyssey into high gear to journey through the century's technological revolutions, when science ushers in the airplane, automobile, synthetic materials, radio, the World Wide Web -- inventions that have changed the way we live, work, think, and dream. Meet Wallace Carothers, a chemist who "grows" the world's first synthetic fibers -- and whose personal demons eventually overtake his remarkable professional achievements. Learn about radio -- the mass medium that almost wasn't. Discover how competition from abroad helps spur the turn-of-the-century development of the airplane, and as the Cold War heats up, how competing ideologies drive the evolution of the modern computer.

Our science odyssey starts in a modest, turn-of-the-century home. Inklings of change are evident, but are the residents prepared for the technological transformation the coming years will bring? The startling view of gravity-defying humans flying free from the earth is just an introduction to the surprises ahead. And each new technological development, whether a car for the masses or a worldwide computer network, brings profound changes to homes across the country and the globe - and to the lives of the people in them.

Highlights include: The Wright brothers. France and the U.S. compete for the first in flight honors. Cal Rodgers, the "Vin Fiz" Flyer, and the first trans-American flight. The airplane goes to war. Henry Ford and the Model T. Mass production - and consumption. Technology pushes social change. Radio. The 1939 World's Fair. Breaking the polymer barrier. Wallace Carothers and nylon. The Whirlwind. NASA and the space race. The Internet and the World Wide Web.

[edit] Screenshots

[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XviD
  • Video Bitrate: ~1500-1800kb/s
  • Video Resolution: 544x416
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3 (1.31:1)
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio BitRate: 224 kb/s (112/ch, stereo) CBR
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • RunTime Per Part: ~60 Min (600 Min Total)
  • Number Of Parts: 10
  • Part Size: ~700 MB
  • Ripped by DeadFish

[edit] Links

[edit] Related Publications

A Science Odyssey: 100 Years of Discovery, by Charles Flowers, is the book that accompanies this series. See it on:

  1. Amazon US
  2. Amazon UK

[edit] Release Post

[edit] Official Website

PBS - A Science Odyssey

[edit] Related Documentaries

[edit] ed2k Links

Personal tools