January 4, 1979 8:00 pm
On the morning of March 16, 1978, the US owned, Liberian registered supertanker, the Amoco Cadiz, went aground off the coast of Brittany. Over the following days and weeks its entire 68 million gallons of oil drained into the sea. A NOVA production team began filmming at the scene shortly after the disaster, the biggest oil spill in history, and recorded clean-up efforts, effects of the spill on the crucial tourism and fishing industries, and the attempts of US and French marine biologists to trace the passage of the oil through the environment.
January 11, 1979 8:00 pm
As a child, Fred Young hunted birds and wild animals with primitive weapons, spoke only the Indian languages Ute and Navajo, went to a medicine man when he was sick, and slept under the stars. NOVA profiles Dr. Frederick Young, now a nuclear physicist working on the laser fusion project at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico.
January 18, 1979 8:00 pm
In 1945, B.F. Skinner shocked the world by putting his 13 month-old daughter, Deborah, into a "box." The box was actually a climate-controlled crib designed for comfort and protection, and the young psychologist was merely testing his theory that environment controls behavior. NOVA portrays the life of this famous behavioral psychologist now in his 70's and living quietly in Cambridge as Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
February 1, 1979 8:00 pm
The bed of the northeast Pacific Ocean is covered with a "carpet" estimated to be worth a staggering ten million dollars. These manganese nodules—the bumpy carpet—are rich not only in manganese but in the key strategic minerals: copper, nickel and cobalt. NOVA examines the debate about who owns them and who has the right to exploit their use.
February 8, 1979 8:00 pm
Below the snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes, the Q'eros Indians live a life patterned on that of their ancestors thousands of years ago. NOVA takes a look at the unchanging world of these isolated mountain people.
February 22, 1979 8:00 pm
Some day hydrogen may replace the gasoline that we are now using up so rapidly. NOVA looks at the potential of hydrogen as a zero-pollution fuel.
March 1, 1979 8:00 pm
Is nuclear fusion the solution to the energy crisis? NOVA examines the promise—and problems—of fusion as a future energy source.
March 8, 1979 8:00 pm
Health care is the third largest industry in the US. As a result of billions of dollars spent for medical education in the 1960s, there are now too many specialists and too few primary care physicians, especially in underserved areas. NOVA tells the story of one medical school in Israel that is training a new kind of family doctor.
March 15, 1979 8:00 pm
One hundred years after his birth, Albert Einstein remains an enigma to most Americans. NOVA presents an insightful portrait of the man and his mind through rarely viewed film footage.
March 29, 1979 8:00 pm
Some powerful and complex painkilling drugs have just been discovered—in a place where you would least expect to find them. Endorphins and their component enkephalins are manufactured in the brain, and perform the same painkilling function as analgesics like morphine. NOVA explores some physiological mysteries, such as why acupuncture works, and how placebos can relieve symptoms, and shows how endorphins could revolutionize the treatment of pain, depression, and even schizophrenia.
October 2, 1979 8:00 pm
Is the chemical industry a boom to modern civilization, or a major threat to our health and that of future generations? NOVA examines how toxic heribicides, pesticides, and other chemicals may cause cancer, miscarriages and birth defects in humans.
October 9, 1979 8:00 pm
Sinister, sometimes even deadly, spiders have little popular appeal; yet their silken webs are among nature's loveliest creations. NOVA takes a close-look in slow motion, as spiders reveal a delicate grace and beauty, and an amazing array of lifestyles.
October 16, 1979 8:00 pm
NOVA views the history of sugar—from its scientific, religious and political history to its medical controversy.
October 30, 1979 8:00 pm
At the 1976 Olympics, East German athletes walked off with 40 of the coveted gold medals, though their country is only the size of New Jersey. NOVA investigates whether a drug responsible for their incredible success—or is American athletic training and commitment falling behind that of the Communist world?
November 6, 1979 8:00 pm
Thousands of amateur athletes are hurt every year, and many professional athletes suffer injuries that may mean the end of a career. NOVA looks at a new medical specialty—sports medicine—that promises to prevent and cure many sports related problems.
November 20, 1979 8:00 pm
Most of India lives by the same rhythm, the same tools, as in centuries past. But there is another India—with thriving commercial centers, spotless research laboratories and large-scale industry. NOVA looks at how the gap between these two extremes is shrinking because of a policy of "appropriate" technology that uses the resources of both to meet the greatest needs of all.
December 4, 1979 8:00 pm
The Iron Bridge across the River Severn in Telford, England is two centuries old this year. It remains a monument to the Shropshire iron masters who built it, and a symbol of the Industrial Revolution that was born in the area where the bridge stands. NOVA traces the development of ironmaking and its far-reaching effects on society and the world economy.
December 11, 1979 8:00 pm
Dr. Philip Morrison, Institute Professor and Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presents this thoughtful and provocative commentary on the nature of civilization.
December 18, 1979 8:00 pm
For many people the idea of life without vision is as fearful as death. NOVA looks at five people struggling to save their threatened vision using drugs, surgery, counseling and determination.