Science Night 9/11

Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: Africa at 7 pm
Fly and arrow-dive with cape gannets among sharks, dolphins, whales and the great sardine run. Soar with fish eagles, flamingoes, kelp gulls and vultures to see the most animal-packed continent with fresh eyes.

Nova Ground Zero Supertower at 8 pm
NOVA returns to Ground Zero to witness the final chapter in an epic story of engineering, innovation, and the perseverance of the human spirit: the completion of One World Trade Center, the skyscraper rising up 104 stories and 1,776 feet from the site where the Twin Towers once stood. In this update of NOVA’s “Engineering Ground Zero, ” which featured behind-the-scenes access to the struggles of the engineers and architects working at 1 WTC and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, NOVA goes inside the construction of the new tower’s final floors and the installation of its soaring, 800-ton spire and beacon. But 1 WTC isn’t the only engineering marvel taking shape here: NOVA goes underground to see the construction of a multi-billion dollar transit center whose sweeping, sinuous design is said to be inspired by the shape of a bird being released from a child’s hand. Will the buildings be completed on time under competing business, environmental, and safety demands? And will the final product be a fitting site for national remembrance?

Brains on Trail with Alan Alda: Determining Guilt at 9 pm
On trial is Jimmy Moran, who at 18 took part in a store robbery during which the storeowner’s wife was shot and grievously injured. Presiding is distinguished U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who has a longstanding interest in neuroscience and its conceivable effect on criminal law. The trial raises common questions: Is a witness lying? How reliable is eyewitness testimony? What’s the best way to avoid a biased jury? How well can the defendant’s intentions be judged? Alan Alda explores how brain-scanning technology is providing insights into these questions and discusses the implications of neuroscience entering the courtroom. This episode showcases the guilt phase of Moran’s trial. We peer into the brains of others in the courtroom: the witnesses, judges and jurors.