The Johns Hopkins Science Review

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The Johns Hopkins Science Review
Television screenshot looking up at the bell tower of a building through tall trees. The  words "The Johns Hopkins Science Review" are superposed on the image.
Opening credit from the October 8, 1951, episode
Created by Lynn Poole
Starring Lynn Poole
Robert Cochrane
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 303
Running time 30 minutes
Original network CBS (1948-1950)
DuMont (1950-1955)
Original release December 31, 1948 (CBS)
October 1950 (DuMont) – October 1950 (CBS)
March 1955 (Dumont)

The Johns Hopkins Science Review is a US television series about science that was produced at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1948-1955.[1][2] Starting in 1950, the series aired on the DuMont Television Network until the network's demise in 1955. The series' creator was Lynn Poole, who wrote or co-wrote most of its episodes and acted as the on-camera host. In 2002, Patrick Lucanio and Gary Coville wrote that, "In retrospect, Lynn Poole created one of those unique series that allowed television to fulfill its idealized mission as both an educational and an entertainment medium."[3]

The original series was followed by three related series produced by Poole at Johns Hopkins University: Tomorrow (1955), Tomorrow's Careers (1955-1956), and Johns Hopkins File 7 (1956-1960). Johns Hopkins University ended its production of television series in 1960.[1]

Broadcast history[edit]

The original series aired from March 9, 1948, to March 6, 1955. Initially, the show was broadcast only in the Baltimore area. Starting with the December 17, 1948, episode, shows were broadcast by CBS from stations along the east coast.

As was typical in the early days of television broadcasting, each show was broadcast live from a studio at Johns Hopkins University. Each week's show involved one or more guests, often from the Johns Hopkins faculty and staff. Poole acted as the host and interviewer. The guest might show how a scientific apparatus such an electron microscope or an oscilloscope worked, or would briefly explain scientific ideas to the viewers. In the December 5, 1950, episode, the live broadcast of a fluoroscope screen was used by doctors in New York and Chicago to diagnose the injuries to a machinist in the hospital in Baltimore. In the April 21, 1952, episode, a scientist drank a solution containing the radioactive isotope of iodine, and then followed its progress in his own body with a Geiger counter. The guests were sometimes national figures like Wernher von Braun (October 20, 1952), George Gamov, and Harold Urey. The show famously showed a live birth and gave instructions to women viewers about breast self-examination.[1][4]

Each half-hour episode was broadcast from WAAM in Baltimore. The series moved to the DuMont Television Network in November 1949 through station WMAR.[1] The program aired Tuesdays at 8:30 pm EST during the 1950-51 season, Mondays at 8:30pm EST during the 1951-52 season, and Wednesdays at 8pm EST during the 1952-53 season. According to the 1953-54 United States network television schedule, the show remained in the Wednesday at 8pm EST slot for the 1953-54 season.

The series would win the network Peabody Awards in 1950 (honorable mention) and 1952.[5][6]

A spin-off program, Johns Hopkins File 7, aired on a syndicated basis from 1956 to 1960. Like the Review, File 7 was broadcast by WAAM and featured host Lynn Poole.[1][7]


Approximately 303 episodes of the original series were made. There are records of 238 episodes, and kinescope films from 186 episodes, stored in Special Collections of the Milton Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University.[1] This means it has the most surviving episodes of any DuMont Network program.[citation needed] The earliest surviving kinescope is from November 21, 1950. At least three episodes survive at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[citation needed]

In addition, Johns Hopkins University has records and films of the three successor series.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sobol, Cathy (2004). "Johns Hopkins Television Programs 1948-1960". Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 2012-05-19.  The title, original date of broadcast, an abstract, and credits are given for each episode with a surviving kinescope.
  2. ^ LaFollette, Marcel Chotkowski (2013). Science on American television : a history. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-92199-0. 
  3. ^ Lucanio, Patrick; Coville, Gary (2002). Smokin' Rockets: The Romance of Technology in American Film, Radio and Television, 1945-1962. McFarland. pp. 108–114. ISBN 9780786412334. 
  4. ^ De Pasquale, Sue (February 1995). "Live from Baltimore -- It's the Johns Hopkins Science Review!". Johns Hopkins Magazine. 47 (1). 
  5. ^ "The Peabody Awards: Winners - 1950s". The University of Georgia. 
  6. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 438–439. ISBN 0-14-024916-8. 
  7. ^ Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh (1985). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 to Present p. 433. Ballantine: New York. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]