Scientific American Frontiers

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Scientific American Frontiers was an American television program primarily focused on informing the public about new technologies and discoveries in science and medicine. It was a companion program to the Scientific American magazine. The show was produced for PBS in the U.S. by The Chedd-Angier Production Company, Watertown, Massachusetts (as was its predecessor, Discover: The World of Science, a companion program to Discover magazine), and typically aired once every two to four weeks. The shows are available on-line at their website,[1] but continue to air regularly on the national digital channel World.[citation needed]

Hosts[edit]

The show first aired in October 1, 1990 with MIT professor Woodie Flowers who served as the original host from 1990 to the spring of 1993.[2] Actor Alan Alda became the permanent host starting in the fall season of 1993 and continued until the show ended in 2005.[3] Alda's tenure has been notable for his humble and often humorous approach:[1] in one memorable segment, he became car sick while driving an experimental, virtual reality vehicle. In 2005, Alda published his first round of memoirs, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: and Other Things I've Learned, published by Random House (ISBN 1-4000-6409-0); in the book, he recalls his intestines becoming strangulated while on location in Chile for the show, an incident that nearly cost him his life since he was in a remote region and it was difficult to get to a doctor. Finally he found one, who turned out to be a M*A*S*H fan. Further, the treatment (an end-to-end anastomosis following resection of the necrotic section) was familiar to Alda; the historical development of techniques for vascular anastomosis during the Korean war had featured in the show's scripts.

Format[edit]

Most programs include about three short documentaries, but some shows follow a different pattern. The show has been popular among people interested in science and technology. Some early viewers of the program who were young at the time have ended up appearing as guests in later episodes, often stating that the program inspired them to continue their scientific pursuits.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1990-1991)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Episode 1 October 3, 1990
2 Episode 2 November 14, 1990
3 Episode 3 December 12, 1990
4 Special from the Soviet Union January 9, 1991
5 Episode 5 February 27, 1991

Season 2 (1991-1992)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Episode 1 October 23, 1991
2 Episode 2 November 20, 1991
3 Episode 3 December 18, 1991
4 Special from France January 15, 1992
5 Episode 5 February 12, 1992

Season 3 (1992-1993)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Episode 1 October 21, 1992
2 Episode 2 November 11, 1992
3 Episode 3 December 2, 1992
4 Special from Egypt and Israel January 13, 1993
5 Episode 5 February 10, 1993

Season 4 (1993-1994)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Bionics October 13, 1993
2 Contests November 3, 1993
3 Science and Sports December 1, 1993
4 Special from Germany January 19, 1994
5 Science 911 February 16, 1994

Season 5 (1994-1995)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Life's Big Questions October 5, 1994
2 About All You Can Eat November 2, 1994
3 Science Italian Style January 11, 1995
4 Prime Time Primates February 8, 1995
5 It's A Kid World April 29, 1995

Season 6 (1995-1996)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Wild West October 4, 1995
2 Dragon Science November 8, 1995
3 Flying High January 17, 1996
4 Creatures of the Deep February 7, 1996
5 21st Century Medicine April 3, 1996

Season 7 (1996-1997)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Inventing the Future October 23, 1996
2 Science Safari November 20, 1996
3 Pieces of Mind January 22, 1997
4 Going to Extremes February 12, 1997
5 Robots Alive! April 9, 1997

Season 8 (1997-1998)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Expedition Panama October 8, 1997
2 Beyond Science? November 19, 1997
3 Nordic Sagas January 21, 1998
4 The Art of Science February 18, 1998
5 The New Zoos April 8, 1998

Season 9 (1998-1999)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Science in Paradise October 7, 1998
2 Journey to Mars November 11, 1998
3 Animal Einsteins January 20, 1999
4 Life's Little Questions February 24, 1999
5 Spiders April 21, 1999

Season 10 (1999-2000)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Voyage to the Galapagos October 5, 1999
2 Natural Born Robots November 2, 1999
3 Never Say Die January 25, 2000
4 Mediterranean on the Rocks March 28, 2000
5 The Frontiers Decade April 25, 2000

Season 11 (2000-2001)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Changing Your Mind November 21, 2000
2 Superpeople November 28, 2000
3 Life's Really Big Questions December 19, 2000
4 Affairs of the Heart January 23, 2001
5 Life's Little Questions II January 30, 2001
6 Wild Places February 6, 2001
7 The Bionic Bunny March 27, 2001
8 Chimps R Us April 3, 2001
9 Flying Free April 10, 2001
10 Fat and Happy May 1, 2001

Season 12 (2001-2002)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Pet Tech October 16, 2001
2 The Gene Hunters October 23, 2001
3 Dead Men's Tales October 30, 2001
4 Alien Invasion November 6, 2001
5 Growing Up Different November 13, 2001
6 On the Ball March 19, 2002
7 Beneath the Sea May 14, 2002
8 Games Machines Play May 21, 2002
9 Body Building May 28, 2002
10 A Different Way to Heal? June 4, 2002

Season 13 (2002-2003)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Unearthing Secret America October 8, 2002
April 22, 2003 (R)
2 Make Up Your Mind October 15, 2002
3 The Intimate Machine October 22, 2002
4 Forever Wild? November 5, 2002
5 Mysteries of the Deep November 26, 2002
6 Deep Crisis January 28, 2003
7 The Wonder Pill February 18, 2003
8 Calls of the Wild April 1, 2003
9 You Can Make It On Your Own April 8, 2003
10 Worried Sick June 3, 2003

Season 14 (2004)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Losing It January 20, 2004
1b Losing It (re-airs) January 27, 2004
2 Don't Forget May 11, 2004
3 Future Car May 18, 2004
4 Hot Times in Alaska June 15, 2004
5 The Dark Side of the Universe June 22, 2004
6 Coming To America July 20, 2004

Season 15 (2005)[edit]

No. Episodes Release Date
1 Surgical Slimmers January 19, 2005
March 23, 2005 (R)
2 Cars That Think January 26, 2005
3 Going Deep February 2, 2005
4 Chimp Minds February 9, 2005
5 Hot Planet-Cold Comfort February 16, 2005
6 Hydrogen Hopes February 23, 2005
7 Hidden Motives March 2, 2005
8 The Secret Canyon March 30, 2005
9 Cybersenses April 6, 2005
10 Robot Pals April 13, 2005

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]