Wired Science debuts tonight


The long-awaited Wired Magazine / PBS television lovechild "Wired Science" debuted tonight -- here's a clip with host Chris Hardwick, who many Boing Boing readers will know as half of the comedy duo Hard 'n' Phirm (here's a previous BB post about an anatomically-correct valentine song they did, LOL). Hardwick is awesome, he's a wonderful host. Video Link.

From Wired Science executive producer Melanie Cornwell (she's from the Wired Mag side of the project):

WIRED Science is the first new prime-time series on PBS in 5 years. Hosted by the most excellent Chris Hardwick, Kamala Lopez, and Ziya Tong, the show translates Wired Magazine to television. In the premier episode, Wired contributing editor Josh Davis reports on the botnet attack that took out much of Estonia's online infrastructure this past spring (Davis simultaneously reported this story for the magazine and Wired Science in Tallin and Moscow); Tong tests software from the MIT Media Lab that is designed to help kids with Asperger's Syndrome do something the rest of us take for granted-- read emotions on people's faces; Wired senior editor Adam Rogers goes in search of chemistry and ends up needing to be decontaminated at the aptly named United Nuclear in New Mexico; plus we'll see a RoboDoc performing cardiac surgery at UCLA-- fascinating but definitely not for the squeamish. There are also studio segments, including Hardwick bringing 'What's Inside' from the mag hilariously to life; a demo of Photosynth software; and a chat with Paul Kedrosky, a VC who's in the more-than-highly speculative business of moving science out of labs and into markets.
The website launching with the show has lots of original content, including a blog with 8 contributors, most of whom are scientists. Congrats on the launch, guys!

Below, Adam Rogers prepares to demonstrate dangerous toy chemistry sets.


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  1. I caught it earlier tonight! It was great. I’ll never eat cool whip again.
    Alternative breakfast suggestions are welcome.

  2. For me, Kamala Lopez was just “way over the top” with her facial expressions and actions in general. I thought that news reporters were bad!

    Other than that, it was great to watch!

  3. I haven’t felt this way while watching TV since I used to watch Bill Nye in early elementary school.

    Wait. A. Second.

    This is Bill Nye for Grown-Ups! Interesting, non-documentary science information in an appealing format. Wow! Why didn’t this exist earlier?

  4. Show looks awesome but those of us without a television set are disappointed content paid for by our tax dollars is not universally available as podcasts.

  5. Hardwick was, of course, the former host of MTV’s “Singled Out,” which also launched the non-nude career of Jenny McCarthy. Though now that she’s seeing Jim Carrey, that’s an onerous credential.

    Now Hard n’ Phirm’s “Pi” song and video makes more sense as an extension of their arskum geekiness.

  6. I kept thinking that this was a weird thing, Wired magazine + PBS; but then I realized that this was just the latest of the PBS “Magazine Science” shows! “Discover: The World of Science” with Peter Graves (somehow missing from IMDb) and Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda. It looks great, I’m sorry I forgot it was on…

  7. “Show looks awesome but those of us without a television set are disappointed content paid for by our tax dollars is not universally available as podcasts.”

    Maybe the clips available on youtube = the % of the show that was paid for by tax $.

  8. I met Chris when I taped a short segment with him on my Steampunk creations back in August – he’s a really great guy and made it a point to put me at ease as I was a bit nervous!

  9. Oh! did you notice they edited the KY jelly out of the dialog during the “What’s Inside” segment? You can see it on the table but it just appears with no comment.

  10. This show sucked. It was like watching an especially chirpy version of CNet TV from about ten years ago.

    I think NOVA is still better. Heck even Alan Alda does a better host job on Scientific American Frontiers.

  11. This show seems pretty cool, but I’m a little disconcerted by the blatant corporate sponsorship of a show on PBS. I realize that The News Hour is heavily subsidized by ADM, but it’s not as though the show is called The ADM News Hour. Well at least Wired is owned by Conde Naste which is on the nicer side of corporations.

  12. Unlike the pilot, which I thought sucked (compared to, say, ’22nd Century’ competing for the slot), the premiere episode covered some of the best topics I’ve heard in the past year or so.

    Botnets and worms are the result of some of the first people to take writing software “on the internet”, as opposed to software on a server connected to the internet, seriously. Yet it’s dismissed because the pioneers generally only think of destructive first applications, but it’s a small leap to think of using this distributed computing for more productive purposes. I would like to see a follow-up article about Honeynets.

    Photosynth and Zooming User Interfaces (ZUI) in general give me real hope for the future of human-computer interaction. From Jef Raskin’s ‘Humane Interface’ to Blaise Aguera y Arcas’s work now, he’s dead on about this being the future of cyberspace. (Great to see him show-off again since the TED conference.) I would like to see a follow-up article with Jeff Han about FTIR multi-touch displays.

    Also great to see the “safe chemistry sets leads to lack of interest in chemistry” make a comeback; I think I first stumbled upon that meme here. (although I treasure my copy of the Golden Book of Chemistry, which made an appearance in the show.)

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