Paula Apsell is arguably the most influential person in the area of science education when it comes to the country's general public. In addition to overseeing the production of NOVA documentaries and miniseries for television, she has directed the series' diversification into other media-most notably online, where NOVA is the most-visited site on PBS.org. NOVA can also be found in classrooms nationwide, where it is the most widely used video resource among high school science teachers.
In January 2005, Apsell introduced a NOVA spinoff in NOVA scienceNOW, a critically acclaimed science newsmagazine hosted formerly by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and now by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. Other recent signature NOVA and Science Unit productions include "The Elegant Universe," "Origins," "Einstein's Big Idea," "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," "Making Stuff," and the large-format feature "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure."
Today, NOVA is the most popular science series on American television and online. Under Apsell's leadership, NOVA has won every major broadcasting award, some many times over, including the Emmy, the Peabody, the AAAS Science Journalism Award, and the Gold Baton duPont-Columbia, as well as an Academy Award® nomination for "Special Effects." In 1998, the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation awarded NOVA its first-ever Public Service Award.