NOVA: The Great Math Mystery (April 2015)
Director: Dan McCabe and Richard Reisz
“The Great Math Mystery,” an episode of the long-running PBS science show Nova, is in essence an analysis of mathematics and analytic philosophy. In the program, about 99% of the show consists of people from the analytic philosophical school talking about math, plus one token representative from the Continental Philosophy school (Stephen Wolfram) and a few comments by analytic philosophy people about the Continental Philosophy view. What this show desperately needed was a dose of the “fairness doctrine” by giving something closer to 50% of the airtime to the Continental view. Ideally, Alain Badiou would have been featured, because he is perhaps the most well-known living philosopher to argue about the nature of mathematics from outside the caste of “working mathematicians”. Count this episode among the many that PBS airs that is a polemic disguised as an even-handed treatment.