This weeks ask the Scienceblogger question is: What’s the best science show ever?
I’ll go with David Attenborough’s Life on Earth. I probably would have become a biologist without Attenborough’s example, but who can be sure. I watched our tapes of that show until they wore out. I wanted to be David Attenborough until I realized that wasn’t really a career description.
The cinematography of all of his work is just astounding, and the man can explain biological diversity with the sort of personable passion that you just don’t get often enough.
The show is available in pirated BitTorrent editions if you can’t find it at your local library or a reliable online shop.
For shows on TV right now, I’d pick Mythbusters. It illustrates the scientific method and mindset at work in ways that shows about scientists rarely do (think House, M.D. treating patients based on a hunch, or curing one patient because of the symptoms of a patient a decade earlier). Besides, Adam and Jamie blow things up.
There was a great moment in the first season of CSI, where the entire lab gathers around to watch Grissom fire a bullet made of meat. That collective fascination with a new experience was a great moment of why scientists do what we do.
But fans of Mythbusters know that meat bullets don’t work, which makes that show even better.