PBS Science series Nova launches its first podcast, breaking down the science behind top headlines
PRESS RELEASE —
Boston MA, USA—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.
“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.
Alok Patel, Host
Alok Patel is a pediatrician, on-camera expert for medical news, producer, journalist, and a self-proclaimed hypomanic dreamer. His greatest passion is translating medical information or health news in a comedic, relatable, way. He has helped script and create several show pitches and continues to consult for network news outlets. He hosts NOVA’s podcast NOVA Now and co-hosts NOVA’s digital series PARENTALOGIC with comedian Bethan Van Delft. Additionally, he works as a television producer for CNN/HLN and is currently producing the third season of “Something’s Killing Me.” He is also piloting a web series for NBC News, entitled “Office Hours” in which he addresses medical topics in a “Man on The Street” format in New York City. Additionally, he has worked with ABC News, Yahoo Media, and hosts a popular web series for Medscape. Dr. Patel received his medical training at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, completed his pediatric residency at the renowned Seattle Children’s Hospital, and is currently faculty at Columbia University, Stanford University, and the University of California-San Francisco. His side interests, which he feels directly contribute to his media work include improvisational comedy, martial arts, and public health advocacy.
NOVA is the most popular primetime science series on American television, demystifying the scientific and technological concepts that shape and define our lives, our planet, and our universe. The PBS series is also one of the most widely distributed science programs around the world, and is a multimedia, multiplatform brand reaching more than 55 million Americans every year on TV and online. NOVA’s important and inspiring stories of human ingenuity, exploration, and the quest for knowledge are regularly recognized with the industry’s most prestigious awards. As part of its mission to make the scientific enterprise accessible to all, NOVA is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all its work, from the production process to the range of stories we tell and voices we feature. In addition, science educators across the country rely on NOVA for resources used in the classroom as well as in museums, libraries, and after-school programs. NOVA is a production of WGBH Boston; more information can be found at pbs.org/nova, or by following NOVA on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @novapbs.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at www.wgbh.org.
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio ranging from iconic public radio programs such as ‘The World,” “This American Life,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “TED Talks Daily,” “The Takeaway,” “Snap Judgment,” and “Reveal,” as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network, PRX generates more than 100 million podcast downloads per month. More at PRX.org.
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By NOVA NOW