Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of November 11

I’ll start this week’s listings by noting the Saturday night premiere (at least in the U.S.) of The Challenger Disaster.  It’s on The Science Channel, and is the first scripted movie for the channel.  It will also be broadcast on the Discovery Channel. The BBC is involved in the production, so it seems plausible that there will be other ways to watch the film this weekend for those outside of the United States.

The film focuses on the 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the subsequent investigation.  The lead character is physicist Richard Feynman, who served on the Presidential Commission dealing with the incident.  William Hurt plays Feynman, while Bruce Greenwood and Brian Dennehy play other members of the Commission.

On to the regular late night news.

First, a revision.  Bill Bryson was scheduled to appear on the October 31 episode of The Colbert Report.  He was replaced by Zach Sims of Code Academy.  The Academy provides free coding lessons over the Internet.

The big guest of the week is tonight (Monday) on Conan.  Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is back on Earth with a memoir, and he’ll talk about it and his other efforts to publicize space exploration.

Most of this week’s guests are showing up on shows that don’t often show up in these posts.  Tomorrow night Jonas Cuaron, co-writer of the film Gravity, will talk with Carson Daly.  Before that interview you can catch Malcolm Gladwell discussing his latest book on social science research in a visit with Jimmy Fallon.

But you should start off your Tuesday night viewing with Stephen Colbert, who talks with David Christian, author of Maps of Time, a textbook that covers ‘Big History.’  This interdisciplinary approach covers history from a longer timeframe than is normal, and the study of humans and their activities is not as central.  It incorporates work in many fields of science to study humans for the entirety of their existence on Earth.

Alex Ohanian, a co-founder of, will chat with Stephen on Thursday.  Colbert will appreciate his ability to sell his stake for lots of money much more than his advice for young tech entrepreneurs.