Science Friday

Science Friday

United States

Covering everything about science and technology -- from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies -- Science Friday is your source for entertaining and educational stories and activities. Each week, host Ira Flatow interviews scientists and inventors like Sylvia Earle, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.


Hr2: Return of the Screwworm, Hidden Figures, Political Polls  

A flesh-eating parasite, previously eradicated on U.S. soil, has decimated endangered Key deer. Can the screwworm be re-eradicated in time to save them? Plus, we remember the African American women mathematicians and engineers whose calculations got us into space.

Hr1: News Roundup, Cyber War, Science Education  

With rumblings about possible U.S. retaliation for alleged Russian-backed hacks, we ask about the rules and norms that govern international cyber conflicts. Plus, meet the educators who have turned Science Friday media into innovative classroom resources.

Hr1: News Roundup, Carbon and Reservoirs, Science Subpoenas  

How Congress, lawsuits, and other challenges are shaping scientific debate over climate science, fetal tissue research, and more. Plus, reservoirs are both sources of renewable energy and one of the worlds biggest producers of greenhouse gases.

Hr2: DTC Blood Tests, Hornless Cow, Digital Assistants  

As tech companies battle to develop the best digital assistant, we ask how they measure up, and why we so often fail to connect. Plus, researchers used gene editing to develop a dairy cow that has no horns. And what happens when direct-to-consumer lab tests take physicians out of the equation?

Hr1: News Roundup, Nobel Prize, Golden Record 2.0, Pop Up Books  

We review the sounds, images, and videos our listeners chose to represent our world. Plus, pop-up designer Matthew Reinhart engineers paper cut-outs that move and extend, sometimes reaching nearly two feet tall.

Hr2: Future Commuting, Astronaut Mike Massimino, Humans To Mars  

As rideshare companies like Uber strike deals with cities to supplement or replace traditional transit options and parking lots, we ask: What is the future of commuting? Plus astronaut Mike Massimino talks about his journey from the suburbs of Long Island to the crew of two shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. And are we ready to go to Mars?

Hr1: News Roundup, Snap Spectacles, Connected Cars, Way Things Work  

Connected cars tap into vehicle sensors to read road signs, determine traffic patterns, and find open parking spaces. Plus, artist David Macaulay on the art of explaining science in pictures.

Hr2: Oysters and Oceans, Trees and Drought, Tardigrades  

Oyster farmers have been hit hard by acidifying seas. Can they adapt? And how curiosity about tardigrades in the 1970s led to a major breakthrough in medical science.

Hr1: News Roundup, Endangered Tourism, Fitness Goals, Fashion In Physics  

Health experts tout the benefits of standing desks, and walking five miles a day. Science says otherwise. Plus theoretical physicist Roger Penrose argues against some prominent theories about the universe, calling them fashion, faith, and fantasy.

Hr2: Fog and Redwoods, Amphibian vs Fungus, AI  

As artificial intelligence advances, it could transform our world. How do we ensure it does so in the best possible way? Plus, what the fight of one frog against the deadly chytrid fungus could mean for the survival of imperiled amphibians around the globe.

Hr1: News Roundup, Telepresence, Golden Record History  

Two of the creators of the Voyager Golden Record remember how they crafted a message for alien civilizations. Plus, can a robotic avatar let you remotely experience a trip to the zoo? And Pluto may be the source of the wispy red cap on the north pole of its moon Charon.

Hr2: Antibiotic Resistance, Silicon Coyboys, Gamification and Fitness  

Activity trackers like the Fitbit and the Apple Watch aim to make fitness more fun by incorporating elements of gameplay. But does it work? Plus, how the Silicon Cowboys of Compaqs early days took on the behemoth IBM with a 28-pound portable computer.

Hr2: Abstract Art and the Brain, Dear Data  

Neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel explores the relationship between neuroscience and abstract art. Plus, what small, everyday data can reveal about our thoughts and emotions.

Hr1: News Roundup, Seaweed Farms, Audiology, Wine Perception  

An audiologist describes overcoming her hearing loss. Plus, how new research could expand the aural world for patients with hearing loss. And the sensory cues that help to enhance your enjoyment of a glass of wine.

Hr2: Alzheimers, Wind Power, Reef Soundscapes  

The U.S. is already a global leader in land-based wind energy. Now momentum is building for offshore wind power, with a new wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island. Plus, why we can be cautiously optimistic about a new drug designed to remove amyloid plaques from the brain.

Hr1: News Roundup, Plastic Clothing, Canine Communication, Lucy  

How anthropologists peer inside scarce, ancient fossil bones to find clues about our evolutionary history. Plus, how dogs pick up on our tones, gestures, and moods.

Hr2: Zika, Book Club, Mr. Robot  

The viral storm has made landfall in the U.S, but a vaccine remains elusive. Plus, Kor Adana, a write for Mr. Robot, unpacks the toolkit of real-life hackers that inspired the show. And a discussion of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwoood.

Bonus Episode: A Conversation With Margaret Atwood (SciFri Book Club)  

Margaret Atwood, author of 'Oryx and Crake,' discusses the book with Ira Flatow in a live book club discussion at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York. Recorded August 23 2016.

Hr1: News Roundup, National Parks, Teaching Math, Limbs  

Educators argue over how to shake up math education, like ditching pre-calculus and emphasizing real-world thinking. Plus what a fish and a rare amphibian can tell us about how limbs develop, grow, and even re-grow.

Hr2: Circadian Clock for Virus Infection, Dark Matter Novel, Small Launch Systems, Niku  

Mice appear to be more susceptible to viral infection during their sleep cycle, suggesting that circadian rhythms can affect our immune systems. Plus, how an icy space object with a rebellious orbit may be a clue to the mystery of the early solar system.

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