On-Air Highlights

What Makes Us Human?

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Oct 7, 2012 11:41 AM

David Pogue, popular technology reporter for The New York Times, takes viewers on a six-week journey of provocative, themed episodes that feature the latest scientific breakthroughs that could contribute to a better understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

Each week, NOVA scienceNOW tackles a new theme with four intriguing stories on every topic. In “How Smart Can We Get?” Pogue finds out how the anatomy of his brain measures up to Albert Einstein’s; and in “What Are Animals Thinking?” the tech-savvy host racing against homing pigeons without the aid of his iPhone’s GPS.

Other stories follow Pogue as he discovers how much Neanderthal DNA he’s carrying; tag along as he meets the inventors and engineers working to create mind-reading machines and thought-controlled video games; venture with him into secret kitchen labs to uncover the hidden truths behind the mouth-watering flavors more and textures we take for granted each day; and much more.

This week on witf-tv:

What Makes us Human?  Wednesday October 10th at 10pm
Scientists have struggled for centuries to pinpoint the qualities that separate human beings from the millions of species that have evolved on this planet. David Pogue explores the traits we once thought were uniquely ours - language, tool-making, even laughter - to uncover their evolutionary roots. As he traces some of the crucial steps that transformed cave men into accountants, he’ll investigate the fate of our close cousins the Neanderthals. Not only will Pogue be transformed into a Neanderthal before our eyes, he’ll discover why Neanderthal genes live on today and find out if any are hidden in his own DNA. Then, NOVA scienceNOW profiles Ethiopian anthropologist Zersenay Alemseged, who struggled against all odds to make one of the biggest recent discoveries in human origins: the fossil bones of Selam, a 3.3 million-year-old human ancestor.

Join us for Nova scienceNOW Wednesday at 10pm on witf, part of Exploration Wednesdays with Nature and Nova.

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