PBS Science series Nova breaks down the science behind top headlines in launches its first podcast

"As teachers, parents, students of all ages, and science enthusiasts increasingly turn to digital platforms for science news and education, NOVA..."

The long-running PBS science series NOVA, a production of WGBH Boston, will launch a new podcast titled NOVA Now. Produced by public media organizations WGBH and PRX and hosted by pediatrician and on-camera medical news expert Dr. Alok Patel, pictured above, the podcast will unpack the science behind today’s top news stories.

NOVA Now will premiere on Thursday, August 27 with an in-depth examination of the technology and systems behind mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 election. New episodes will be released every other week. In each episode, Patel will speak with the people — scientists, engineers, technologists, mathematicians and more — at the center of research, developments and theories in the headlines. Just as NOVA’s award-winning films have long provided context and clarity around thorny questions at the intersection of science and society, the NOVA Now podcast will turn that same crystallizing lens to urgent topics while offering listeners a trusted understanding of how science affects them on a daily basis.

Credit: pbs.com

“With each week bringing news of COVID-19 vaccine research, new studies about mask efficacy, and a myriad of non-pandemic developments, from climate change to CRISPR, it’s more critical than ever that we are able to distinguish scientific fact from fiction,” said Dr. Patel. “I’m thrilled to work with NOVA to share these fascinating, timely stories with our listeners.”

NOVA Now is the latest step in NOVA’s expansion of its multi-platform offerings. As teachers, parents, students of all ages, and science enthusiasts increasingly turn to digital platforms for science news and education, NOVA has expanded its digital offerings to meet viewers on their platform of choice — and broadened its audience as a result. Earlier this summer and in partnership with PBS Digital Studios, NOVA launched its new digital series, PARENTALOGIC, which focuses on the science behind parenting and is co-hosted by NOVA Now’s Patel and comedian Bethany Van Delft.

“NOVA is one of the country’s most trusted science media sources, and as a public media entity it’s crucial that our content be as accessible and available as possible,” said Julia Cort, NOVA Co-Executive Producer. “These are exciting and important stories, and we want everyone to be able to engage with science in whatever way that works for them, whether that’s a YouTube video, a podcast, or a visit to our website. With Alok helming NOVA Now — our first podcast — we’re poised to foster a new generation of NOVA fans, and to reintroduce ourselves to others on an ongoing basis.”

“For decades, NOVA has been sharing the joy of scientific discovery with its viewers and helping people see the links between science and their own lives. With NOVA Now, we continue that mission in audio format, providing our listeners with clear-eyed information while still inspiring wonder in the scientific world,” said Chris Schmidt, NOVA Co-Executive Producer.

“It’s been so exciting to collaborate with NOVA and this talented podcast team in imagining how the incredible public television program might translate to sound,” said Jocelyn Gonzales, Director of PRX Productions. “Alok Patel’s energy and curiosity is infectious, and we can’t wait for listeners to hear this timely and information-rich podcast.”

NOVA Now is a production of WGBH and PRX. Producers for NOVA Now are Ian Coss, Ari Daniel, Jocelyn Gonzales, Isabel Hibbard, Sandra Lopez-Monsalve, and Nina Porzucki.

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