Paula S. Apsell
|Other names||Paula Schwartz Apsell|
|Occupation||Executive producer, NOVA|
Paula S. Apsell (born July 4, 1947) is the television Executive Producer Emerita of PBS's NOVA and was director of the WGBH Science Unit.
Among Apsell's signature award-winning NOVA productions are "The Elegant Universe" with Dr. Brian Greene, "Einstein's Big Idea" narrated by John Lithgow, and "Rx for Survival" in conjunction with Vulcan Productions.
Apsell is widely considered among the most influential journalists in science communications and education in the U.S. and abroad.
On July 4, 1947, Apsell was born in Lynn, Massachusetts.  Apsell grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts and graduated from Marblehead High School. Her father, David Schwartz, was a navigator in World War II and her mother, Evelyn, opened the first consignment clothing store in Massachusetts. Her grandfather was a cobbler and an immigrant from Kiev.
Apsell received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Southern Methodist University "for her central role in enhancing public understanding of science."
Paula Apsell began her broadcasting career right out of college at Boston's WGBH station when she was hired to type and distribute the stations daily program logs. Within a year she was hired at WGBH radio where she developed the award-winning children's series "The Spiders Web." She also served as an on-air newsreader and statehouse reporter for WGBH radio.
In 1975, Apsell switched over to WGBH-TV as a production assistant for NOVA's second season. One of Apsell's first productions was NOVA "Death of a Disease" which was the first long-form documentary on the eradication of smallpox. In the late 1970s Apsell was producing documentaries on artificial intelligence and genetic engineering; topics that rarely existed in the mainstream prior to the 21st century.
In 1981 Apsell went to Boston's ABC affiliate, WCVB, and was a producer for medical correspondent Dr. Timothy Johnson. At WCVB, Apsell produced "Someone I Once Knew," a groundbreaking program essentially introducing the story of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia into the public sphere.
Apsell was asked to take over the top post at NOVA in 1985 where she remained for the three-and-a-half decades. Among Apsell's most notable NOVA's include "The Miracle of Life" sequel "Life's Greatest Miracle," "The Fabric of the Cosmos" with Brian Greene, and "Making North America" with Dr. Kirk Johnson. Other of Apsell's acclaimed productions are the giant-screen films "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure" and "Special Effects" which was nominated for an Academy Award®.
In October 2018, Paula Apsell received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. Apsell is the first science journalist to receive this award.
In the fall of 2018, Apsell was placed on leave due to complaints of violations of WGBH’s respectful workplace policy. On May 21, 2019, WGBH announced that Apsell would be retiring, as well as being named senior executive producer emerita. WGBH also announced an annual scholarship in her name in recognition of Apsell’s career achievements in science broadcasting, communication, and education. The Paula S. Apsell/WGBH STEM Boston Public School Scholarship will be granted to Boston public school students.
Apsell is a widely sought-after speaker, moderator and lecturer at WGBH member stations, universities nationwide, film and science festivals such as Sundance and the Aspen Ideas festival  and conferences such as TEDx.
- 1994 Boston Museum of Science Bradford Washburn Award for her career contributions to science journalism.
- Carl Sagan Award given by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents
- 2007 Planetary Society’s Cosmos Award
- International Documentary Association’s Pioneer Award
- Gold Baton, the highest honor of the annual Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards
- Peabody Awards - "The Elegant Universe," "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," "Odyssey of Life"
- 2001 Emmy Award for NOVA's "BioTerror"
- Emmy Award - "Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance"
- 2002 Emmy Award - "Why the Towers Fell"
- Emmy Award - "The Elegant Universe"
- George Foster Peabody Award - "The Elegant Universe"
- 2005 Emmy Award - "Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge"
- 2009 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Informational Programming - "A Walk to Beautiful"
- 2014 Outstanding News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Science And Technology Programming.
- 2016 Prix Galien USA Award. Presented by Dr. Roy Vagelos.
- 2018 Lifetime Achievement Emmy which was presented by PBS president Paula Kerger
Acclaimed NOVA programs
"Holocaust Escape Tunnel," 2016
"D-Day’s Sunken Secrets," 2014
"Cold Case JFK," 2013
"Engineering Ground Zero" 2012
"Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," 2008
"Origins: How Life Began," 2004 
"The Deadliest Plane Crash," 2006
"Galileo's Battle For The Heavens," 2002
"Cracking the Code of Life"
"Surviving AIDS," 2000 (AAAS Westinghouse Journalism Award)
"Siamese Twins," 1995
"Machine that Changed the World," 1992
"Miracle of Life," 1983
- "The Elegant Universe".
- "Witnessing the acts of geniuses". Los Angeles Times. 2005-10-11. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "PBS' real-life medical drama". Los Angeles Times. 2005-11-01. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Paula Apsell". IMDb. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- "Who is this Woman?". blogs.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
- "Legendary science journalist Paula Apsell '69 honored with Lifetime Achievement Emmy". BrandeisNOW. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "NOVA - Senior Executive Producer". PBS. August 13, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- "SMU Honorary Degrees". sites.smu.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Paula S. Apsell | KITP". www.kitp.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
- "Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA, to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award – The Emmys". emmyonline.tv. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
- "NOVA's Paula Apsell Named Senior Executive Producer Emerita". www.wgbh.org. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "UPDATED: NOVA Executive Producer Placed On Leave For Violating Respectful Workplace Policy To Retire". www.wgbh.org. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "Paula Apsell Speaker Bio".
- "Educational Uses of Public Broadcasting | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
- Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (2017-01-04), Paula Apsell: The Art of Science Television, retrieved 2019-05-27
- "An Evening with David Pogue and Paula Apsell". WTTW Chicago. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- A Conversation with NOVA's Paula Apsell | UNC-TV Science, retrieved 2019-05-28
- "Sundance Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Mark 10th Anniversary of Collaboration Sloan Panel and Jury Members for 2013 Sundance Film Festival Announced" (PDF).
- "I'll Be Your Mirror: The Science Of Ourselves Panel -2011 Sundance Film Festival".
- "Apsen Institute: Deadly Asteroids: Can We Spot Them in Time?".
- The Aspen Institute (2010-07-09), Women at the Cutting Edge of Science: Why Should We Care?, retrieved 2019-05-28
- "TEDxNewEngland | 11/01/11 | Paula Apsell with David Pogue, NOVA, The Fabric of the Cosmos".
- "Washburn Award | Museum of Science, Boston" Check
|url=value (help). washburn-award. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "2007 Honoree Paula Apsel". www.planetary.org. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- "Pioneer Award: An Executive Producer with Exceptional Passion: Paula S. Apsell". International Documentary Association. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Columbia University Record". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "NOVA: The Elegant Universe with Brian Greene". peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "NOVA: Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial". peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Paula S. Apsell - Odyssey of Life - Peabody Award Acceptance Speech". peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "PBS Investigates Bioterror Past, Present and Future in Two Specials Airing Tuesday, November 13 | PBS About". PBS Investigates Bioterror Past, Present and Future in Two Specials Airing Tuesday, November 13 | PBS About. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 35th ANNUAL NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY® AWARDS | The Emmy Awards - The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Galien Award Present to Paula S. Apsell". pharmexec.com.
- The Emmy Awards (2018-10-02), Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech Paula Apsell, retrieved 2019-05-28
- CATLIN, ROGER. "UHart Prof's Discovery Of Holocaust Escape Tunnel Profiled On 'Nova'". courant.com. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- Robinson, Jennifer. "NOVA: D-Day's Sunken Secrets". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "'Cold Case JFK': Minds won't change". Newsday. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "The Paley Center for Media". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "The Deadliest Plane Crash — NOVA | PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "'Galileo's Battle for the Heavens'". Washington Post. 2002-10-27. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- U.S. Public Records Index, Provo, UT
- Boston Globe, Nov 25, 1985., pg. 37
- Boston Globe, Nov 4, 1994., pg. 35
- Brandeis Review
- Brandeis Alumni Society