Carl Sagan did more to popularize science than any man on the planet, sharing his wonder and fascination with the mysteries of the universe with millions. He was the rarest of all creatures: the celebrity scientist. While some accused him of being a grandstander, none can deny that his approach to science helped introduce millions of people to the great wonders of the universe that fascinated him all his life. Carl Sagan played many roles: professor, working scientist, bestselling author and TV personality. In his classic television series, he brought science to the masses in an accessible, entertaining format. But he also performed groundbreaking research in astronomy, and was willing to risk his reputation to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Explore the remarkable life of this visionary scientist from his childhood to his death from bone marrow disease at 62. Colleagues trace the many contributions he made to his field, while family members including his wife and sister offer insight into the private man. From Cosmos to Contact, this is the story of the dedicated man who shared his love of the heavens with millions.
Against all odds, African-American chemist Percy Julian became one of the great scientists of the 20th century. The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply segregated America. He was a man of genius, devotion, and determination. As a black man he was also an outsider, fighting to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry—a man who would eventually find freedom in the laboratory. By the time of his death, Julian had risen to the highest levels of scientific and personal achievement, overcoming countless obstacles to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire, and a civil-rights pioneer.
He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old (she turns 18 this July) was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us an inside glimpse into this extraordinary young girl’s life – from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers. - “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world." – Malala
2015 • People
Counting down from 62 to 50 we list scientists, revolutionaries, Generals… and even “the king”. But Elvis Presley isn’t the only surprise in this episode as he stands shoulder to shoulder with Amelia Earhart, Edwin Hubble and more. This episode touches on some issues which remain vital today and choices that changed the world and the way we live.
Jenny Clack recounts how she overcame setbacks before she found and described a fossil which offered new evidence of how fish made the transition onto land. For paleontologist Professor Jenny Clack, who solved one of the greatest mysteries in the history of life on Earth, success was far from inevitable. A chance discovery in 1986 in the earth sciences department of Cambridge University, of long-forgotten fossils collected from the Devonian rocks of East Greenland in 1970, was to shape the rest of her career. She recounts how she had to overcome a series of setbacks before she found and described the fossil Acanthostega, a 365 million-year-old creature that offered dramatic new evidence of how fish made the transition onto land. She authored or co-authored more than 120 research papers as well as numerous popular articles and book reviews. A measure of the significance of her work is that 15 of her research papers were published in the journal Nature. Her one book, "Gaining Ground, The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods" (2002), summarises the results of research on early tetrapods over the previous 25 years.