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  • 1962-01-05T01:00:00Z on CBC (CA)
  • 45 mins
  • 18 hours, 0 mins
  • Canada
  • English
  • Documentary

The Nature of Things is one of the most successful series in the history of Canadian television. Hosted by the world-renowned geneticist and environmentalist, David Suzuki, the program is in its 57th season, a landmark by any standard.

Every week, the influential program presents stories that are driven by a scientific understanding of the world. Stories full of adventure, drama and insight. Our programs entertain and inspire audiences by engaging with the people and personalities behind the science.

From the search for other life in the universe to the psychology of babies, from the furry animals that invade your backyard to the consequences of human progress, The Nature of Things throws open the door to the wonder and accomplishments of science.

24 episodes

2x01 Looking Ahead

  • Season Premiere

    1962-01-05T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

An examination of promising areas of scientific research and some of the scientists involved. Includes plasma research being done by Dr. Morell Bachynski at the RCA Victor laboratory in Montreal for use in space exploration.

2x02 Photography in Science

  • 1962-01-12T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

A slow motion, time lapsed film examining animals, plants, ice, blood, solar eclipses, cells, rockets, the setting sun and the habits of eagles.

2x03 To Educate a Scientist

  • 1962-01-19T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Dr. Patterson Hume and Dr. Donald Ivey of the University of Toronto illustrate methods developed by the Physics Science Study Committee, and initiated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Science Foundation, to teach physics using simple, homemade apparatus. They also discuss whether students should make their own scientific apparatus.

2x04 The Situation Is Fluid

  • 1962-01-26T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Donald Crowdis of the Nova Scotia Science Museum discusses liquids, how detergents remove dirt, and how one liquid passes through another.

2x05 Gallstones

  • 1962-02-02T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Donald Crowdis, Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science hosts this show on gallstones. A.J. Harding Range, professor of medical surgery at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School explains what gallstones are, how they are formed, and how they are removed. Includes footage of the bacterologists at work in the Charing Cross laboratories, with comments by Range on the research being done on gallstones. Dr. N.C. Tanner of the Charing Cross Hospital performs a gallstone operation.

2x06 The Upper Mantle Project

  • 1962-02-09T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Program guest J. Tuzo Wilson, Professor of Physics, University of Toronto, and host Lister Sinclair look at a Canadian plan to survey that part of the earth laying immediately under the crust in an effort to learn more about the earth's formation, its landscapes and weather. Also, they show why a piece of lava is unreliable evidence of what lies beneath the earth's surface.

2x07 The Physics of Music

  • 1962-02-23T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Host Lister Sinclair and Professor Harvey Olnick of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music explain the physics of music; how the various instruments produce sound; the physics of sound waves; oscilliscope (including a film by Dr. Hugh Lelaine of the National Research Council); quality and overtones of musical notes; and resonance (including film footage).

2x08 Survival

  • 1962-03-02T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

An appraisal of the probable effects of a large-scale nuclear blast over a North American city.[8] Dr. Tom Stonier of the Rockefeller Institute discusses what can be expected to happen to people and property as a result of such a blast and resultant fallout.

2x09 Man and the Moon

  • 1962-03-09T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Program examines the type of surface man may find if and when he lands on the moon; it shows what is known about the moon's surface, and how this knowledge is used in the design of vehicles and other equipment for lunar exploration. Ewen Whitaker of the Lunar and Planetary Observatory of the University of Arizona describes surface details as seen through optical telescopes. Allyn Hazard of the Space General Corp. of Glendale, California discusses possible vehicles and clothing to be used by lunar explorers.

2x10 Hibernating Molecules

  • 1962-03-16T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Hosts Dr. Donald Ivey and Dr. Patteron Hume talk about conditions at extremely cold temperatures when matter "hibernates" and molecular action slows almost to a complete stop; and how this allows the physicist to study the basic structure of matter.

2x11 Monkey Curiosity

  • 1962-03-30T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

This episode focuses on scientists' views of the nature of science. Seen are: Dr. Alfred Romer, zoologist; Dr. Harold Urey, Nobel Prize winning chemist; Dr. Margaret Mead, anthropologist; Dr. Omond Solandt, physiologist; Dr. Norman Alcock, physicist; and Dr. Harrison Brown, geochemist.

2x12 Spermatozoa

  • 1962-04-06T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Lord Rothschild of Cambridge University describes the results of his research in the field of spermatozoa.

2x13 Animals With Feathers

  • 1962-04-13T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

Dr. William Swinton, head of the Royal Ontario Museum's Life Sciences Department, and John Livingston, executive director of the Audubon Society of Canada, trace the history of birds.

2x14 Getting the Upper Hand

  • 1962-04-27T01:00:00Z — 45 mins

A look at the Dutch Elm disease and biological efforts to control it. Host John Livingston outlines the history of the disease in Canada; explains the nature of the disease; how it is transmitted; the failure of attempts to stop it with DDT spraying; and methods of elm tree "sanitation". The technique of bilogical control and its dangers is examined including: the disastrous results of the introduction of the Indian mongoose in Trinidad to control rats; the biological control of rose aphids; and the successful campaign in Florida to eliminate the screw worm fly by the introduction of sterile males.

2x15 Thinking about Math

  • 1962-05-04T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Host Lister Sinclair discusses the sort of thinking that goes into the science of mathematics. Using animatedfilm and studio demonstrations, he explains what mathematical logic is.

2x16 The Plague

  • 1962-05-11T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Host Donald Crowdis traces the history of the bubonic plague - the causes, how it spread, and how it was and is treated. He tells how over a period of years, scientists discovered that the plague was really a disease of animals rather than people.

2x17 Instant Heat

  • 1962-05-18T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Drs. Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey, of the University of Toronto are co-hosts. They show how electricity can be produced directly from heat, and vice-versa. They discuss the practical difficulties of transforming thermal energy into electrical energy.

2x18 A Science Newsreel

  • 1962-05-25T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

A Science Newsreel, film clips showing current scientific projects including the Soviet and American space programs. Host to be announced.

2x19 Learning

  • 1962-06-08T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

An examination of the young child's ability to learn, and a comparison of the human child's learning rate to that of lower animal forms such as an octopus. A group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains its findings on the ability of simple brains to learn. Dr. Omar K. Moore of Yale shows his laboratory for the study of child learning in Connecticut.

2x20 A Bang-Up Job

  • 1962-06-22T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Dr. Robert Knott, G.R. Phare of the CIL Research Division, and host Lister Sinclair examine the properties, types and uses of explosives. Includes an explanation and film illustration of: ballistic pendulum; fall hammer; hydromex; cushion blasting; and shape-end charges.

2x21 Out of Africa

  • 1962-06-29T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Naturalist John Livingston is host of this program about man's place in nature and the problems of new African nations in supplying growing populations with an adequate supply of animal protein. In a recently-filmed interview, Sir Julian Huxley discusses the change in the old balance between man and nature in Africa. Canadian freelance writer and biochemist Lillian Andrews conducts the interview. The program also includes footage of game herds in Africa.

2x22 Count on Me

  • 1962-07-13T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Drs. Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey of the University of Toronto explain what electronic computers can do and how they do it.

2x23 Blood in the Balance

  • 1962-07-20T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

A look at the new field of ballistocardiography. Host Dr. Patterson Hume of the University of Toronto explains the principals behind ballistocardiography. Donald Crowdis of the Nova Scotia Science Museum explains the functioning of the human heart with the aid of a model. Dr. Wilhelm Josenhans of the Department of Physiology at Dalhousie University explains his research and experimental apparatus to measure the ballistics of the flow of blood in the body. Also he explains his mechanical model of the heart pumping system and discusses some of the uses of his research.

2x24 Getting Us Typed

  • 1962-07-27T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Examines work of Dr. William Sheldon, who has spent about 30 years gathering statistics about the human physique, classifying body types, and correlating this information to medical and psychiatric studies.

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