Ira Flatow

Host and executive producer of Science Friday

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

Award winning science correspondent and TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Science Friday, heard weekly on PRI, Public Radio International, and online. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing radio and Internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space, and the environment. Ira is also founder and president of the Science Friday Initiative, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit company dedicated to creating radio, TV, and Internet projects that make science “user-friendly.”

Flatow’s interest in things scientific began in boyhood—he almost burned down his mother’s bathroom trying to recreate a biology class experiment. “I was the proverbial kid who spent hours in the basement experimenting with electronic gizmos, and then entering them in high school science fairs,” Flatow says. Mixing his passion for science with a tendency toward being a bit of a ham, Flatow describes his work as the challenge “to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table.”

He has shared that enthusiasm with public radio listeners for more than 35 years. As a reporter and then news director at WBFO-FM/Buffalo, New York, Flatow began reporting at the station while studying for his engineering degree at State University of New York in Buffalo. As NPR’s science correspondent from 1971 to 1986, Flatow found himself reporting from the Kennedy Space Center, Three Mile Island, Antarctica, and the South Pole. In one memorable NPR report, Flatow took former All Things Considered host Susan Stamberg into a closet to crunch Wint-O-Green Lifesavers, proving they spark in the dark.

His most recent book is entitled Present At The Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations On Science and Nature (HarperCollins).

On television, Flatow has discussed the latest cutting edge science stories on a variety of programs. He also hosted the four-part PBS series Big Ideas, produced by WNET in New York. His numerous TV credits include six years as host and writer for the Emmy award-winning Newton’s Apple on PBS, science reporter for CBS This Morning, and cable’s CNBC. He wrote, produced, and hosted Transistorized!, an hour-long documentary about the history of the transistor, which aired on PBS. He has talked science on many TV talk shows including Merv GriffinTodayCharlie Rose, and Oprah. He has co-starred twice on the CBS hit series The Big Bang Theory.

On the Internet, Flatow has hosted numerous science-related web casts for Discovery Online, The Great Planet Debate, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

In print, Ira has authored articles for various magazines ranging from Woman’s Day to ESPN Magazine to American Lawyer. His commentary has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, and Current newspapers. Public speaking and moderating discussions are a regular part of his schedule. He has spoken at Rockefeller University, the World Economic Forum, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, Calvin Academy, Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, University of Wisconsin, OSHU, National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, and the Kentucky Author Forum. In 2004, Ira was resident scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. His recent honors include: the Isaac Asimov Award (2012,) the Nierenberg Prize (2010), Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, membership (2008), National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award (2007), the National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), World Economic Forum Media Fellowship (2005), AAAS Journalism award (2000), Brady Washburn Award (2000), and the Carl Sagan Award (1999). Ira is member of the National Association of Science Writers, AFTRA, and Screen Actors Guild. His hobbies include tennis, golf, gardening (especially orchids), and electronic gadgets. He loves the theater. A native of New York, Flatow now lives in Connecticut.

Shows:

Ira Flatow appears in the following:

Frans de Waal, Inactive Ingredients, Street View, and Gentrification

Friday, March 15, 2019

Primatologist Frans de Waal catalogues the vast spectrum of emotional behaviors in animals. Plus, how researchers are using big data to map gentrification before it’s obvious.

Youth Climate Protest, Science Talent Search Winners, Snowflake Changes

Friday, March 15, 2019

Students across the world join together to protest government inaction against climate change. Plus, we talk with some of the winners winners of the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Science Friday 2019-03-15

Friday, March 15, 2019

TEASE

SciFri Extra: Celebrating The Elements

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the periodic table, Ira opens up the Science Friday vaults to share tales of chemical discovery and creation.

SciFri Extra: Celebrating The Elements

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

TEASE

HIV Remission, Bones, Jumping Spiders

Friday, March 08, 2019

A new book tells the story of how our skeletons evolved to look they way they do. Plus, why gene therapy—not bone marrow transplants—could be a step in neutralizing HIV worldwide.

NASA Administrator, California Wildfires, Lichens

Friday, March 08, 2019

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talks about agency ambitions beyond planet Earth. Plus, using the types of lichens living in a patch of forest as an indicator of ecological health.

Science Friday 2019-03-08

Friday, March 08, 2019

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine talks about agency ambitions beyond planet Earth. Plus, why gene therapy—not bone marrow transplants—could be one step to neutralizing HIV worldwide.

Icefish, Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, Wireless Baby Monitoring

Friday, March 01, 2019

A new book tells the story of the missteps that led to the Chernobyl disaster. Plus, scientists take a closer look at the secrets of the strange, white-blooded Antarctic icefish.

Synthetic Genomes, Climate Panel, Local Recycling

Friday, March 01, 2019

Scientists are synthesizing genomes to better understand DNA—and create new medicines and fuels. Plus China won’t take our sub-par plastics anymore. What’s next for your recycling plant?

Black Holes, California Megaflood

Friday, February 22, 2019

Do black holes emit a sort of cosmic wind? Plus, the worst flood in California history was once thought to be incredibly rare. But new data—and climate change—are changing the equations.

Telescope Decisions, Grape Plasma, Israeli Moon Lander

Friday, February 22, 2019

Four telescope projects have been nominated to be NASA’s next great observatory. But who will win? Plus, a privately funded lander from Israel, and the physics of grapes in a microwave.

SciFri Book Club: ‘The Fifth Season.’

Friday, February 15, 2019

We wrap up a winter of exploring 'The Fifth Season,' learning how volcanologists research lava flows and crater tremors, and even diving into the center of the earth.

Declining Insects, Sunny Day Flooding, Liquid Rules

Friday, February 15, 2019

What are the consequences of dramatic declines of insect populations? Plus, a materials scientist takes a look at the science behind many of the liquids we encounter every day.

Gynecology’s Dark History, Antarctic Ice, Moon Craters

Friday, January 18, 2019

A new play introduces us to the enslaved women whose bodies paved the way for modern gynecology. Plus, the moon may have gotten its pockmarked appearance more recently than you think.

Book Club, Green New Deal, Louisiana Shrimpers

Friday, January 18, 2019

The SciFri Book Club tackles ‘The Fifth Season.’ Plus, the idea of a Green New Deal has existed for more than a decade. But what would it actually look like in practice?

Shutdown and Science, Smartphone and Overdoses

Friday, January 11, 2019

We take a look at the effect of the partial government shutdown on scientists. Plus, a smartphone app that can detect body changes that might indicate a potential opioid overdose.

Heart and Exercise, Consumer Electronics Show, Black Holes

Friday, January 11, 2019

Did you know a runner’s heart is different from a weightlifter’s? How does exercise shape and condition your heart? Plus, new studies shed light on the inner workings of black holes.

Diets, Crowd Physics, Snowflake Citizen Science

Friday, January 04, 2019

How do moving crowds change when they behave predictably, and when they don’t? Plus, how do low-carb, high-protein, and calorie-counting guidelines affect your metabolism?

Winter Birding 2019

Friday, January 04, 2019

Science Friday celebrates winter birds and the people who love them.