Galileo

Galileo (Галилео) is a Russian popular science/talk show. It’s been around in various formats since 2007; new episodes have not aired since 2015, but supposedly the show has not actually been canceled. Episodes in the first five seasons were a half hour; episodes in the next nine were 45 minutes. The show is based on a German show, also named Galileo.

The show has a typical format, with various talk segments and then one on-air experiment. Over the years there have been such segments as “To be or not to be?” (“БЫТ или не БЫТ?”), “In the beginning was the word” (“В начале было СЛОВО”), “Inside us” (“Внутри нас”), “War trophy” (“Военный трофей”), “Time machine” (“Машина времени”), “Not high tech” (“НЕ ХАЙ TECH”), “Well—you’re an animal” (“Ну, ты — ЖИВОТНОЕ”), “Surprise” (“Сюрприз”), “Who is who?” (“Кто кого?”), “Dinner is served” (“Кушать подано”), and “Brave people” (“Смелые люди”)–clearly an extremely wide range, in topic and scientific-ness.

The show has been led by the same host since the beginning: Aleksandr Pushnoy (Александр Пушной), who is not a scientist but an actor, a musician who plays multiple instruments, and a former KVN participant on the team Siberian Siberians (Сибирские сибиряки). In addition to Galileo, he has hosted Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader (of course, the Russian version—Кто умнее пятиклассника?) and a few other shows. He’s also well known for his parodies of popular songs, so I guess that makes him sort of a cross between Bill Nye and Weird Al. If you’re wondering whether an actor/musician has had trouble performing scientific experiments on air, you’ll be interested to know that he did, in fact, burn his arm badly while trying to do an experiment called “Termite” (“Термит”).

 

Directors: Kirill Gavrilov (Кирилл Гаврилов), Yelena Kaliberda (Елена Калиберда)
Host: Aleksandr Pushnoy (Александр Пушной)
Production company: GalileoMedia (ГалилеоМедиа)
TV channel: STS (СТС)

 

The show’s official website, on the site of TV channel STS.

 

An clip from a 2010 episode of Galileo, about hypnotizing hens!:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.