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Series List

Ancient Aliens

According to ancient alien theorists, extraterrestrials with superior knowledge of science and engineering landed on Earth thousands of years ago, sharing their expertise with early civilizations and forever changing the course of human history. But how did this concept develop, and is there any evidence to support it?

Ancient alien theory grew out of the centuries-old idea that life exists on other planets, and that humans and extraterrestrials have crossed paths before. The theme of human-alien interaction was thrust into the spotlight in the 1960s, driven by a wave of UFO sightings and popular films like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The space program played no small part in this as well: If mankind could travel to other planets, why couldn’t extraterrestrials visit Earth?

In 1968, the Swiss author Erich von Däniken published Chariots of the Gods?, which became an immediate bestseller. In it, he put forth his hypothesis that, thousands of years ago, space travelers from other planets visited Earth, where they taught humans about technology and influenced ancient religions. He is regarded by many as the father of ancient alien theory, also known as the ancient astronaut theory.

Most ancient alien theorists, including von Däniken, point to two types of evidence to support their ideas. The first is ancient religious texts in which humans witness and interact with gods or other heavenly beings who descend from the sky—sometimes in vehicles resembling spaceships—and possess spectacular powers. The second is physical specimens such as artwork depicting alien-like figures and ancient architectural marvels like Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt.

If aliens visited Earth in the past, could they make an appearance in the future? For ancient alien theorists, the answer is a resounding yes. They believe that, by sharing their views with the world, they can help prepare future generations for the inevitable encounter that awaits them.

Atom

In this three-part documentary series, Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of one of the greatest scientific discoveries ever: that the material world is made up of atoms.

Beautiful Minds

A 'Savant' is what neuroscientists call a 'knowing one'. There are around 100 recognised Savants with genius-like talents worldwide. Discovery Science's three-part series BEAUTIFUL MINDS highlights these super-talented Savants through intimate encounters with the Savants and one-on-one interviews with world renowned scientists.

In the field of brain research there is no subject more intriguing than the Savant - an individual with mental, behavioural or even physical disability who possesses acute powers of observation, mathematical aptitude or artistic talent. BEAUTIFUL MINDS introduces several Savants who have both bewildered and beguiled those around them. The series provides an enthralling look into the psychology and neuroscience of the Savants' mysterious world. Where does this tremendous knowledge origin from? How can our normal brains attain an unlimited memory bank or the creativity of someone like Einstein or the ability to read animal thoughts?

For all brain researchers, Savants offer a fascinating window into the brain. BEAUTIFUL MINDS features leading brain researchers such as Professor Gerhard Roth of University Bremen in Germany and Dr Darold Treffert of Wisconsin Medical Society, who have spent years researching on the Savant Syndrome and answering the eternal question: Is there a Savant in all of us?

Chemistry: A Volatile History

The explosive story of chemistry is the story of the building blocks that make up our entire world - the elements. From fiery phosphorous to the pure untarnished lustre of gold and the dazzle of violent, violet potassium, everything is made of elements - the earth we walk on, the air we breathe, even us. Yet for centuries this world was largely unknown, and completely misunderstood.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Discussions with Richard Dawkins

DURING HIS U.S. TOUR in 2008, Biologist and bestselling author Richard Dawkins met with some of the world's leading scientists to discuss topics such as Quantum Physics, Biology, Evolutionary Psychology, Science education, religion, atheism and more. This video brings you the fascinating unedited discussions between Richard Dawkins and Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Steven Weinberg, Physicist Lawrence Krauss, Biologist and blogger PZ Myers, and Evolutionary Psychologist David Buss.

From a public conversation at Stanford University to private conversations in Austin and Minneapolis, this collection offers a rare and inspirational opportunity to observe some of today's top scientists as they discuss some of the big issues without interruption.

Everything and Nothing

Two-part documentary which deals with two of the deepest questions there are - what is everything, and what is nothing?

In two epic, surreal and mind-expanding films, Professor Jim Al-Khalili searches for an answer to these questions as he explores the true size and shape of the universe and delves into the amazing science behind apparent nothingness.

Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking

In Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, the world's most famous living scientist explores the greatest mysteries of the cosmos. In three landmark instalments he reveals the wonders of the universe as never seen before. Definitive, provocative, surprising, and beautiful, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking is a fascinating look through the mind's eye of one of the finest brains on the planet.

Jonathan Miller's Brief History of Disbelief

In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism.

Madagascar

Miracle Planet

Miracle Planet is a 5-video series co-produced by the NFB, NHK Japan, the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. From it, we learn that the story of our planet is one in which fire and ice, heat and cold, desert and jungle have alternated, making our world the place that it is today. In Episode 1, The Violent Past, we learn (if we didn't already know) that the planet was born amidst a coalescence of gas and dust, a chance encounter of "chaos and disaster" and that, despite this difficult birth, microscopic organisms persevered against all odds to sow the earliest seeds of life. These organisms proved to be amazingly adaptable, capable of living through periods of incredible cold; for millions of years, Earth was a giant deep freeze, and Episode 2, Snowball Earth, describes the conditions of that first of several Ice Ages, in which, miraculously, life did survive. In Episode 3, New Frontiers, the Earth thawed, and life forms adapted, moving from the oceans onto land, spreading across the world as once-joined continents fractured and drifted apart. Then, something happened. Although we talk of "global climate change" as though it were new, it probably has happened before, and approximately 250 million years ago, it was the cause of mass extinction. Episode 4, Extinction and Rebirth, explores theories about that catastrophe, as well as why dinosaurs dominated the planet for millions of years. Their time came to an end as tiny mammals showed the ability to live and adapt, despite low levels of oxygen. And, they survived, largely due to good eyesight and prehensile hands - size was not their advantage. They also developed impressive brain power, and so, in Episode 5, Survival of the Fittest, we see that some primates began to walk upright, onto open grasslands, where their main defense against predators which could outrun them was the ability to fashion tools and weapons. How well that ability will serve the human species in the future is one of the questions with which viewers are left at the conclusion of the series.

Miracle Planet is visually stunning; the production values are high, and powerful use has been made of computer simulation technology, as well as interviews with scientists researching the story of life on this planet. Each video runs to just under 50 minutes, and while each can be viewed on its own, each episode does assume a fairly high level of knowledge of the Earth's evolutionary history. Teachers of senior high school biology classes will find this series provides a truly comprehensive overview of the history of life on Earth. My only caution is that teachers might want to preview the videos in order to select the most relevant sections - there is so much packed into each episode that the most effective teaching strategy might be to choose portions which are particularly illustrative. It's not easy to find public performance video which brings to life the story of life on Earth, and Miracle Planet does an excellent job of filling that need.

My Favorite Universe - Neil deGrasse Tyson Lectures

Naked Science

Naked Science is an American documentary television series that premiered in 2004 on the National Geographic Channel. The program features various subjects related to science and technology.

Science and Islam

Slavery and the Making of America

Slavery and the Making of America is a four-part series documenting the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end in the Southern states and the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction. Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship, it looks at slavery as an integral part of a developing nation, challenging the long held notion that slavery was exclusively a Southern enterprise. At the same time, by focusing on the remarkable stories of individual slaves, it offers new perspectives on the slave experience and testifies to the active role that Africans and African Americans took in surviving their bondage and shaping their own lives.

Stephen Hawking's Universe

Stephen Hawking's Universe is an astronomical documentary from 1997 made for the Public Broadcasting Service featuring the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. The six episode series discusses the history of astronomy as well as black holes and dark matter.

The Gerson Therapy

The Incredible Human Journey

The Universe

From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in HISTORY's popular series THE UNIVERSE, now back for its fourth season. With ground-breaking new discoveries and even more stunning high-definition computer animations, it's a wondrous yet deadly adventure through space and time. Fifty years have flown by since man first ventured into outer space, but the heavens are only now yielding their greatest secrets. Like the recent destructive impact on Jupiter reported to be by a comet or asteroid nearly the size of Earth, new phenomena are being discovered almost daily. Scientists are finding new planets and views into the deepest reaches of space, breaking new ground in understanding the universe and its mysteries. In this new season, viewers are transported to new and mysterious places including ones we didn't even know existed a year ago -- some harboring deadly forces that may forever impact life on Earth.

Visions of The Future

In this three-part series, leading theoretical physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku explores the cutting edge science of today, tomorrow, and beyond. He argues that humankind is at a turning point in history. In this century, we are going to make the historic transition from the 'Age of Discovery' to the 'Age of Mastery', a period in which we will move from being passive observers of nature to its active choreographers. This will give us not only unparalleled possibilities but also great responsibilities.

What We Still Don't Know

The Universe is still a place of mystery and wonder. As a cosmologist, Martin Reese is exhilarated that we can make some progress towards tackling what seem very fundamental questions.

These programs focus on: Was there a beginning? Whether we are alone? What is the future of the cosmos? What is the nature of reality? With each advance, new questions come into sharper focus. The key issue is what we still don't know.