12 Science TV Shows to Watch on Netflix

Mihir Patkar 16-09-2016

Netflix viewers love science. At least that’s the message from the video streaming giant. It recently announced two new science-based shows, both featuring heavyweights of the genre. But you don’t have to wait until these new shows arrive in order to get your science fix!


Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is coming back to TV, with a Netflix original coming soon. Nye is perhaps the most celebrated popular scientist on modern TV, so Bill Nye Saves The World will be a show not to miss.

Meanwhile, the M7 Build Team from Mythbusters will be hosting their own show, titled The White Rabbit Project. Incidentally, the original Mythbusters crew gave one of the best Reddit AMAs of all time, so read that if you haven’t already done so.

If this has whet your geek appetite, don’t worry. Even before these new shows have arrived, Netflix has some scrumptious science appetizers waiting to be binge-watched.

1. Bill Nye, The Science Guy [No Longer Available]

This is no better way to celebrate Bill Nye’s return to TV than watching his classic TV show. Netflix has all 100 episodes of The Science Guy waiting for you.

Nye is what we wish every teacher was like. Kind, funny, patient, energetic, enthusiastic, and with an incredible ability to connect with students of any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, 15, or 50, you will learn something new in each episode you watch. There is no one better in this field, and I mean no one.

Nye has already stepped into the digital age as one of the best scientists to follow on Twitter Tweeting Knowledge To The Masses: 8 Popular Scientists On Twitter When thinking about scientists you wouldn't necessarily think of Twitter as being their primary means of communicating with the wider world. And that assumption would be somewhat correct. However, there are a healthy number of... Read More . And now he’s also the best scientist to watch on Netflix.

2. Cosmos [No Longer Available]

The only science presenter who can even come close to matching Nye is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. You know what sets him apart from the rest? His childlike enthusiasm and excitement about space and the mysteries of the great beyond.

You can see Tyson’s eyes twinkle when he starts talking about any subject. He knows just how much to simplify to keep his audience enraptured. He knows just how much knowledge to provide without it getting overwhelming. And he knows just when to add some humor to lighten the mood. This all makes Cosmos one of the best space documentaries of all time Watch This Space: 10 Must-See Documentaries About the Universe These are the best space documentaries to help you explore the universe from the comfort of your living room. Read More .

Tyson’s Cosmos was inspired by Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos series. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t host the original anymore. But you can still watch the original Cosmos on YouTube.

3. Edge of the Universe

Tyson tries to make astrophysics fun and educational. Edge of the Universe is for science nerds who know their basics, and now want to know more.

Netflix Science Shows Edge of the Universe

This three-part series features scientists who explore one aspect of the cosmos in each episode. First, they tackle the question of alien life and habitable Earth-like planets. Next, they look at asteroids and comets, and how they formed the Earth. Finally, they look at the beginning of the universe, and how enormous it is today.

If you ever wondered about all that lies beyond Earth, this is what you need to watch. It’s a whole new way to see and explore the universe. And if you’re interested in the origins of life on Earth, these cool sites based on the theory of evolution The Theory of Evolution: 5 Cool Sites You Must Visit on Darwin Day Evolution is fascinating and often misunderstood. These websites make it easier for non-scientific folks to visualize evolution. Read More can sate your curiosity.

4–6. The David Attenborough Classics

Sir David Attenborough is perhaps the greatest presenter in the history of television or radio. And he is unquestioningly the greatest in the nature and wildlife genre.

Netflix has three of the great man’s best documentary series available for streaming. Pick any one, pour yourself a drink, and prepare to go on an adventure.

  • Planet Earth — The biggest nature documentary ever made for television. 11 amazing episodes. Enough said.
  • The Blue Planet — About 71 percent of Earth is water. And Sir Attenborough dives deep into it in this eight-part series. There are creatures in here that you’ll have never seen before.
  • Life — This is Sir Attenborough’s greatest documentary series. Nay, it’s probably the greatest documentary series about life on this planet ever made. You can’t not love this.

7. Hidden Kingdoms [No Longer Available]

If you want a short series to watch that doesn’t require binge-watching long seasons, Hidden Kingdoms may be the perfect fit. That’s because there are only three episodes, each running for an hour, and narrated by the inimitable Stephen Fry.

The show is an ode to the tiny critters that don’t often get the same attention as predators like lions or herbivores like elephants. You’ll see chipmunks, dung beetles, the African sengi, and the tree shrew, among others. Each tiny animal’s world is shown from their perspective. While heavy rain is welcomed by big animals, it threatens to wash away a tiny animal’s home in a matter of seconds.

In a sense, Hidden Kingdoms is the story of David and Goliath in the animal kingdom. And it’s told from David’s perspective, which isn’t something you see every day.

8. Brain Games

The one reason to tune in to the National Geographic channel regularly is Brain Games. If you don’t have a NatGeo subscription, Netflix will take care of you.

Brain Games explores how the human mind is capable of tricking itself and others. The show’s greatest accomplishment is how it involves viewers and audiences. Often, you will be asked to participate in the ongoing illusion or mind trickery. It’s one of the best TV shows teaching science.

Part of the magic is Jason Silva, a fantastic host who plays both the dupe and the expert, as the situation demands. But Brain Games is not great for binge watching. Instead, I’d recommend watching one or two episodes at a time.

9. The Story of Maths [No Longer Available]

Much like Tyson makes the universe fun and accessible, Marcus du Sautoy makes mathematics entertaining. He is mathematics professor at Oxford, but there is nothing professorial in his demeanor on camera.

Netflix Science Shows The Story of Maths

The four-part series is a ride through the history of mathematics. But it is told from the sense of world history, charting its course from ancient Egypt and Greece to China and India, going back West to Europe during the Renaissance.

It’s absolutely fascinating to realize how much civilization is based on the development of numbers. In case you get inspired by the series, check out these 20 sites to learn math step-by-step The 20 Websites You Need to Learn Math Step by Step We have compiled the best sites for each level so that you can learn systematically, gain a better grasp of math one level at a time, and have fun! Read More .

10. Cybercrimes With Ben Hammersley [No Longer Available]

Cybercrime is no joke. From identity theft to the Windows support scam, technologist Ben Hammersley explains how cybercriminals work, and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.

Hammersley takes on a variety of topics. He dives deep into the Hidden Web Journey Into The Hidden Web: A Guide For New Researchers This manual will take you on a tour through the many levels of the deep web: databases and information available in academic journals. Finally, we’ll arrive at the gates of Tor. Read More to show the murky side of things we don’t see. He uncovers how Bitcoin affects real-world crime. In case after case, Hammersley expertly puts a real face and real loss to the virtual attacks.

Even if you are already well-informed when it comes to tech security, you’ll learn a few new things in this six-part series.

11. The Bionic Vet [No Longer Available]

Veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick is now more famous as The Supervet, in his new TV show. But before that, he did a small series called The Bionic Vet. Animal lovers will get a kick out of this.

Fitzpatrick takes on cats and dogs with extremely difficult problems, and comes up with novel solutions. Instead of euthanizing them, Fitzpatrick tries to cure them without compromising their quality of life. For example, the first episode has him conducting the first ever surgery to give a cat two new bionic hind legs.

There’s something about Fitzpatrick’s demeanor throughout the show that makes it even more watchable. He’s calm, he’s confident, and he explains every step of what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. Fitzpatrick says he considers himself an advocate for animals, and it’s evident.

12. Conspiracies

Put on your tin foil hat and have a little fun with this one. The first conspiracy of Conspiracy is whether it’s called Conspiracy or Conspiracies. Because while the title says Conspiracy, the show’s featured image and Wikipedia page both say Conspiracies.

Netflix Science Shows BBC Conspiracy

Now look, we all know that the internet is full of websites exploring conspiracy theories. But you don’t want to go trawling through those, as you value your sanity too much. Instead, let this 13-episode series show you some of the most popular conspiracy theories in different subjects.

Each episode tackles one subject. Like rock’n’roll, for example, which has several conspiracy theories attached to it, such as the rumor of Paul McCartney’s premature death. It’s not all about the theories themselves though. Science is at its best when it questions each aspect of a “fact”, and that’s what this show will make you do.

What Science TV Shows Did We Miss?

If I had to pick one of these shows to start with, I’d recommend one of Sir David Attenborough’s three series. Those are undoubtedly the best cinematic experiences listed above. However, the others on the list make for great viewing in their own right, so you really should add them to your Netflix list to be entertained and educated at the same time.

Looking for more geeky content? Look no further than these YouTube channels packed with wacky science experiments The 10 Best YouTube Channels for Wacky Science Experiments YouTube is a treasure trove of content. Here are the best YouTube channels full of people doing wacky science experiments. Read More  and these top sci-fi short films The Best Sci-Fi Short Films to Watch Online When you don't have time to watch a full-length sci-fi movie, these amazing sci-fi short films should scratch that itch. Read More .

Image Credits: Stuart Jenner/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Geeky Science, Media Streaming, Netflix, Television.

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  1. Garrett Clevenger
    January 20, 2018 at 4:31 am

    David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities

  2. Dan Rosenheim
    October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Me Wizard, with Don Herbert!

  3. Michael Muldoon
    September 22, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Bill Nye is NOT a scientist. He is a former engineer who now makes his living as an actor portraying a scientist. He is NOT what I want a teacher of my children or grandchildren to be. I do not want them being brainwashed into liberal agendas whether it's adding to the moral decay of this country such as homosexuals and "transgenders" or countering real scientists who use actual data to prove that human caused global warming is NOT real but uses "adjusted" data to support the attempt by liberals to take control. Oh, by the way, did you know that the Ice Ages where caused by modern man to get rid of Neanderthals? Exactly like liberals using global warming to eliminate conservatives. Excuse me but since "data" can be presented to show either global warming or global cooling the term is now "climate change". I change the climate in my house every day.... too cold turn the furnace on, too hot turn on the air conditioner!!

    • Steele, M
      April 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Too bad you cling to ideology to confirm your myopic beliefs (the earth is flat & the sun revolves around you & your planet). Get back in your air conditioned or heated cave, don't watch these EXCELLENT programs (thank you Netflix!!!!), get reborn again, this time with a brain.

    • Bryant Crocker
      May 27, 2017 at 3:04 am

      You do understand as an engineer you get huge exposure to multiple sciences at many schools you would have a more rounded science curriculum as an engineer. Anyone who graduates with a B.S. from a university is a scientist

    • Sourav
      January 26, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      So what if he has not made inventions/discoveries... he knows more about science then you and me... The guy is legit!

    • Amy
      February 7, 2019 at 11:50 am

      I'm sorry that society has let you down, you are clearly hurting from something. I know it's hard sometimes, but I feel I've gotten more out of life from those I differ from. I understand it's been some time since your comment--and I know something major must've been going on in your life for you to reply with disgust for "Bill Nye, homosexuals, & transgender" when the question was, "Which favorite science show is missing from this list?" but on the chance you read this, I want you to know that someone in this huge world cares, and I honestly hope you're doing better.

  4. Stacey F
    September 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    How about the original Cosmos

  5. Stacey F
    September 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    How about the original Cosmos?

  6. m7
    September 18, 2016 at 7:22 am

    nice article thou

  7. Dean
    September 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Just a note on referencing knights - ie people with the 'Sir' prefix. We drop the surname and use their forename. So it is Sir David rather than Sir Attenborough.

  8. Ray
    September 16, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    You missed Beakman's World.