The art of science and the science of art.

‘Cosmos’ and ‘Your Inner Fish’ Pack the 1-2 Punch


Two weeks from today, on April 9th, PBS will air the first of a three-part series adapted from Neil Shubin's popular book, Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year-History of the Human Body. If you've ever wondered why we're built the way we are - with five fingers on each hand, testes that hang outside our bodies, and backs and knees that leave us vulnerable to slipped discs and torn ligaments - this series will take you on a journey of discovery you won't soon forget.

It's an exciting series in its own right, but combined with the concurrent Cosmos series, it feels like something bigger is afoot in science communication: a new generation of inspiring science programming that uses incredible graphics with dynamic stories and larger-than-life personalities. The two programs have distinctly different styles, though, and with any luck will appeal to the broadest audience possible. Assuming you've already gotten a feel for Cosmos, here's a sampling of what's in store with Your Inner Fish:

Before April 9th, check your local television listings to see when and where you can catch the series. In the meantime, the producers have created an extensive website with teaching resources, episode guides, interactive graphics and more. It is something else!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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