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5 TV Series That Changed Public Perception of Science

From exploring the depths of the cosmos to unraveling the mysteries of the natural world and even delving into the intricate world of chemistry, television has played a pivotal role in shaping public perception of science. These five iconic series have captured the imagination of viewers worldwide, making complex scientific concepts not only understandable but also engaging and entertaining.

1. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980) & Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)

Imagine being transported on a cosmic odyssey, traversing the vastness of space and time, guided by the charismatic presence of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. That’s precisely what the Cosmos series accomplished, reigniting a sense of wonder and curiosity about the universe. With its awe-inspiring visuals, poetic narration, and a knack for making the complex seem simple, Cosmos transformed our perception of science from a dry academic pursuit to a grand adventure of exploration and discovery.

2. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad

Who would have thought that a show about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal meth kingpin could make science cool again? Breaking Bad did just that, weaving intricate scientific principles into its gripping narrative. From the intricate process of cooking meth to the chemistry behind explosive devices, the show’s attention to detail and accuracy in portraying science made it relatable and exciting. Suddenly, chemistry wasn’t just about balancing equations; it was a matter of life and death, with real-world consequences.

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3. The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)

The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon Cooper and his gang of quirky scientists may have been socially awkward, but they were also endearing, relatable, and downright hilarious. The Big Bang Theory broke down stereotypes surrounding scientists, portraying them as multidimensional characters with their own struggles, passions, and quirks. Through its clever humor and heartwarming moments, the show made science approachable, demystifying complex concepts and showing that intelligence and geekiness can be celebrated.

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4. Planet Earth (2006) & Planet Earth II (2016)

Planet Earth II Continues - Official Trailer
Planet Earth II Continues – Official Trailer

Nature documentaries have never been the same since the release of the Planet Earth series. With its breathtaking visuals, innovative filmmaking techniques, and Sir David Attenborough’s iconic narration, these shows transported viewers to the farthest corners of the globe, unveiling the beauty and complexity of our planet’s ecosystems. From the majestic creatures that roam the Earth to the intricate relationships within ecosystems, Planet Earth ignited a newfound appreciation for the natural world and the importance of preserving it.

5. MythBusters (2003–2018)

MythBusters
MythBusters

Science has never been more fun than when Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman took on the task of busting (or confirming) popular myths and urban legends. MythBusters combined entertainment with education, using scientific principles and experimental methods to test the validity of outrageous claims. From explosions to quirky experiments, the show made science accessible and engaging, inspiring viewers to question the world around them and seek out the truth through experimentation.

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These five groundbreaking series have left an indelible mark on popular culture, sparking curiosity, fostering an appreciation for science, and making complex concepts accessible to audiences of all ages.

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