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PBS Series: Often Brilliant, Sometimes Blurry

THE RING OF TRUTH With Philip Morrison. Six-part weekly television series premiering October 20, 1987 on Public Broadcasting Service stations. Produced by Public Broadcasting Associates. A major government researcher once complained that his bosses used his scientific findings the way a drunk uses a lamppost: for support rather than illumination. The new PBS science series, The Ring of Truth, prepared as “an inside look at how science knows what it knows,” similarly seems to be us

Norman Kagan

THE RING OF TRUTH

With Philip Morrison. Six-part weekly
television series premiering October
20, 1987 on Public Broadcasting
Service stations. Produced by Public
Broadcasting Associates.

A major government researcher once complained that his bosses used his scientific findings the way a drunk uses a lamppost: for support rather than illumination. The new PBS science series, The Ring of Truth, prepared as “an inside look at how science knows what it knows,” similarly seems to be using the brilliance of science often for one purpose, but occasionally for the other.

The six consecutive weekly one-hour programs, which premiere October 20, are hosted by feisty MIT professor Philip Morrison. They deal with three main concerns of science: instrumentation, investigation and concepts. “Looking” and “Mapping,” the first and third in the series, both stay close to real history and real practice, and probably are the two best programs. The other four are well...

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