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Science Friday : About

Airs Friday at 2pm on 93.9 FM

Science Friday is a weekly science talk show from NPR. Each week, Science Friday's host Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, looks at science topics that are in the news brings an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science -- to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.

 

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Show Archive

Latest Stories from Science Friday

Ben Franklin: Sonic Explorer

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Ben Franklin’s sonic experiments included inventing a new musical instrument and testing the limits of the human voice.

Do Your Patriotic Duty: Learn Math

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Mathematician Edward Frenkel says a well-educated public is essential to democracy—and that includes being knowledgeable about math.

Meet the Mohawk Behind NASA’s Curiosity Mission

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

NASA’s “Mohawk Man,” Bobak Ferdowsi, talks public and private space exploration, plans for Europa, and whether or not we’ll be putting a human on Mars.

Celebrating Nature’s Summer Light Show, Fireflies

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

The flashing of lightning bugs is a favorite part of a lazy summer evening, but there’s a lot of hidden nighttime drama.

How New Rules and Smart Tech Are Reinventing the Grid

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

After Superstorm Sandy, there was a lot of talk of a more distributed smart grid—a more resilient system. But how far have we come?

A Web of Doubt

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Author Charles Seife spots the falsehoods and fakes that make their way onto the information super highway.

Shedding Light on the Science of Sunscreen

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

How does sunscreen protect our skin from harmful radiation, and what is the meaning behind SPFs?

Food Failures: Avoiding Grilling and Barbecue Pitfalls

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Marinade myths, charcoal chemistry, and the elusive “smoke ring”—the science behind barbecue and grilling.

Getting a Grasp on the Clever Cephalopod

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

The nautilus, the “living fossil” of cephalopods, can uncover the origins of the complex brain of modern cephalopods.

3-D Mammography Detects More Cancers, But Will It Save Lives?

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

A new study suggests that 3-D mammography detects more cancers than traditional digital mammography. But the technology is expensive, and there's no indication yet that it catches more dangerous cancers, or is saving more lives.

Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to genetic surveillance with artworks made from strangers’ DNA.

Dr. Arnold Relman, Health System Critic, Dead at 91

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Relman called the American health care system a "new medical-industrial complex." We remember him here with two archival clips.

Reinventing How City Dwellers Get Around

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

Portland, Oregon, is a hotbed for transit innovation. Will other cities catch on?

What Happens After the Robot Apocalypse?

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

In Robogenesis, sci-fi author Daniel H. Wilson imagines the world post-robot uprising.

Untangling the Web of Spider Science

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

Arachnologist Greta Binford traces the evolution of spiders by examining their venom.

At Reed College, Nuclear Education That’s Really 'Hands-On'

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

At Reed College, undergraduates keep a nuclear reactor running.

Beer Science: Crafting the Perfect Pint

Monday, June 16 2014 06:00 PM

Two of Oregon’s craft brew experts pore over hops, yeast, malt, and the microbiology of beer.

Rep. Rush Holt: Science and Congress

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Representative Rush Holt talks about how “thinking like a scientist” can help the political process.

Your Summer Science Book List

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Lee Billings and Maria Popova compile your perfect summer science book list.

The Science of the ‘Brazuca’

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

How will the “Brazuca” fly? Scientists put the World Cup soccer ball through its paces.

Pre-Surgery Routine Needs an Update, Says Doc

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Robert Cima of the Mayo Clinic says science doesn't back up pre-surgical practices like fasting and colon cleanses.

Is NASA Ready to Make the Leap to a Manned Mission to Mars?

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

What technologies, budget, and partners would NASA needed for a successful manned mission to Mars?

‘Do Fathers Matter?’ Explores Dad's Influence

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

In his new book, Paul Raeburn writes of the surprising biological and genetic connections fathers have with their children.

The EPA's New Proposal to Curb Carbon Emissions

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

The EPA's proposal sets a 30 percent decrease in power plant carbon emissions by 2030.

It's a Material World

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

In his book Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik explains why the everyday materials around us are truly extraordinary.

The Goat Brigade

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

A herd of “elite” brush-clearing goats demonstrate why they are a versatile tool to shield against wildfires in Southern California.

Documenting the Oldest Living Things in the World

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

In her new book of photography, The Oldest Living Things in the World, artist Rachel Sussman documents the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet.

Making Summer Travel Plans With Climate Change in Mind

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

With projections of warmer temperatures and rising sea levels, which tourist destinations should you plan to visit sooner rather than later?

How Touch Helps Us Emotionally Experience the World

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

Researchers describe a type of nerve that helps us understand social interactions and emotion.

Laser Blast Can Regrow Teeth, in Rats

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

Zapping dental stem cells with lasers appears to switch on production of new dentin, the hard stuff under tooth enamel.

Why Do Some Songs Stick in Our Heads?

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

“Earworms” are song fragments that get stuck in our mind.

The Lineup of Cancer Threats Is Changing

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

A recent study projects that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will become the second most deadly type of cancer in the U.S. after lung cancer.

A Decade After the Genome, Scientists Map the 'Proteome'

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

Nearly all the body's cells contain identical DNA. So why does a neuron grow up so differently than a liver cell? Proteins, says Akhilesh Pandey, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University.

How Can Airline Tracking Improve?

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

How can a commercial airliner go missing, and what can we do to improve tracking technology?

What’s ‘I,’ and Why?

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

In Me, Myself, and Why, science writer Jennifer Ouellette probes the science of self.

Is It Possible to Make Matter From Light?

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

Scientists mapped out the plan for a potential “photon-photon collider” that could convert light into matter.

The Debate Over Net Neutrality

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

What does the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality plan mean for consumers?

Why Science and the Humanities Are Better Together

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

Biographer Walter Isaacson explains why the future belongs to those who can merge the arts and the sciences.

Are Microbes Winning the Antibiotic Arms Race?

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

We're running out of antibiotics, and drug companies have little incentive to develop new ones. Can we save the ones we already have?

Customizing Your Cryptocurrency With Altcoins

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

ZeroCash, Litecoin, and SolarCoin are digital currency alternatives to Bitcoin.

New Meteor Shower May Offer Skygazers a Treat...Or Not

Thursday, May 22 2014 06:00 PM

Late Friday night, Earth will sail through debris left by the comet 209P/LINEAR. Scientists are calling the shower the Camelopardalids.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Slipping Into the Sea

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

Scientists confirmed a West Antarctic ice sheet the size of the Dakotas is melting.

Should the Last Samples of Smallpox Virus Be Saved?

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

World health experts will meet to discuss whether or not to destroy the last live samples of smallpox virus.

Can’t Read This Headline? It’s Written in Invisible Ink

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

Prisoners, Lovers, & Spies tells the story of invisible writing, from lemon juice to microdots.

Listening In on Seizures

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

A “brain stethoscope” turns seizure patients’ brainwaves into music.

Is Graphene the New 'Wonder' Material?

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

Graphene is stronger than steel and more conductive than copper—a look at the applications and limitations of this ‘wonder’ material.

Remembering Nereus, Explorer of Ocean Depths

Thursday, May 15 2014 06:00 PM

The robotic deep-sea submersible Nereus was destroyed while diving over six miles beneath the surface in the Kermadec Trench.

Young Blood Sharpens Memory in Old Mice

Thursday, May 08 2014 06:00 PM

The blood of young mice seems to rejuvenate older mice, both strengthening their muscles and improving their ability to learn and remember.

Science Goes to the Movies: 'Transcendence'

Thursday, May 08 2014 06:00 PM

SciFri’s scientist-film critics weigh in on the science behind the Hollywood techno-thriller Transcendence.

What’s Shaking Up Oklahoma?

Thursday, May 08 2014 06:00 PM

Earthquakes have increased by 50 percent in Oklahoma since 2013 and may be linked to drilling disposal wells.