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  • 1964-05-06T00:00:00Z on CBC (CA)
  • 45 mins
  • 9 hours, 45 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.

13 episodes

4x01 Einstein, Man & Mathematician

  • Season Premiere

    1964-05-06T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

An examination of the personality and achievement of Albert Einstein. Dr. Jacob Bronowski of the Salk Institute for Advanced Biological Studies at La Jolla, California, one of the most distinguished and articulate interpreters of Einstein, shows the practicality and simplicity of Einstein's thinking. Einstein's ideas are demonstrated with the aid of models specially constructed for the show. Also includes film of Einstein's early days in Europe and a short film in which Einstein explains the relationship between matter and energy.

4x02 About the Size of It

  • 1964-05-13T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Scientist and broadcaster William Whitehead and Dr. W.E. Swinton, Director of the Royal Ontario Museum discuss how size differences in the animal kingdom are the result of their environment and their habits. Examined in detail are the shrew, the elephant and the whale.

4x03 Standards for Comparison

  • 1964-05-20T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Universal standards of measurements are explained in laymen's terms by Dr. Patterson Hume and Dr. Donald Ivey of the University of Toronto.

4x04 Excursion Into Hell

  • 1964-05-27T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Centuries ago, people in warmer parts of the earth believed that a dread disease was contracted from unhealthy air generated in swamps. From this belief came the word "malaria," which means "bad air". The word is still used to describe a parasitic disease that remains one of the world's major public health problems. Efforts to find and isolate the causes of malaria make one of the greatest scientific detective stories of all time. Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles were found to be implicated. But so far, their control is far from accomplished. Program features Dr. A. Murray Fallis, parasitologist with the Ontario Research Foundation and professor at the University of Toronto. Host is Lister Sinclair.

4x05 Surgery for Parkinson's Disease

  • 1964-06-03T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

This program shows surgical techniques used in a new treatment for Parkinson's Disease. The actual brain operation is seen, an an electric probe is inserted in the brain to destroy the area responsible for the tremors and other symptoms of the disease. Dr. R.R. Tasker, Toronto neurosurgeon, explains the technique. He is interviewed by Donald Crowlis, Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science.

4x06 Science in Sports

  • 1964-06-10T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Host Lister Sinclair and guest Lloyd Percival, sports authority, discuss and demonstrate how various sporting activities can now be precisely measured and how they can thus be improved. Gordie Howe is one of the athletes shown.

4x07 Lasers

  • 1964-07-01T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Dr. Patterson Hume and Dr. Donald Ivey explain the recent developments of the laser beam since 1960, how it works, and its potential uses in medicine, war and communications.

4x08 Blood, Sea and Tears

  • 1964-07-08T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Man still carries around in him an isolated pool of the early Palaeozoic ocean that fed his plankton ancestors. Our blood is packaged sea water. This program is a study of the relation and functions of three salty liquids important in evolution - blood, sea water and tears.

4x09 Cartography

  • 1964-07-15T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Host and writer Lister Sinclair talks about map projection, and the problems of taking a spherical object, the earth, and representing it in two dimensional form such as the Mercator projection and equal area projection. Many maps, both old and new, are used to show how the science of map-making has gradually developed. Sinclair also talks about projection, or perspective, in art.

4x10 The World of Water

  • 1964-07-22T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

In this program Donald Crowdis, Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science, talks about water, its properties and its importance as a solvent of enormous quantaties of minerals, its ability to become either an acid or a base, and its mechanical power.

4x11 Immunology

  • 1964-08-05T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

In this program Donald Crowdis, Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science, talks about transplants and the new study of immunology - how to make the body repress its defence system and accept foreign organs. His guests are Dr. R.E. Wilson of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, a member of the most experienced organ transplant surgical team in North America, and Dr. Lionel Reese, who recently performed a kidney transplant operation in London, Ontario.

4x12 The Way the Ball Bounces

  • 1964-07-29T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

Drs. Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey demonstrate the principles behind the bounce in a rubber ball. The atomic structure of rubber - its atoms are connected in polymer chains - is shown.

4x13 Immunology

  • 1964-08-05T00:00:00Z — 45 mins

In this program Donald Crowdis, Director of the Nova Scotia Museum of Science, talks about transplants and the new study of immunology - how to make the body repress its defence system and accept foreign organs. His guests are Dr. R.E. Wilson of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, a member of the most experienced organ transplant surgical team in North America, and Dr. Lionel Reese, who recently performed a kidney transplant operation in London, Ontario.

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