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Science Friday

Fridays 1 - 3 p.m.
  • Hosted by Ira Flatow

Science Friday is a weekly science talk show, broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide from 2-4 p.m. Eastern time. Each week, we focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Science Friday's host, Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science -- and to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.

To participate, call 1 (844) 724-8255 or Twitter users can tweet questions @scifri.

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Bringing science and engineering stories to life for students

Sep 16, 2017

What does it take to bring science and engineering to life for students?

How about a little news?

That’s the idea behind the Science Friday Educator Collaborative, now in its second year. Seven teachers around the country are designing curiosity-provoking science, technology, engineering and mathematics resources for anyone to use, based on stories from Science Friday.

In July, a new law took effect in Florida, and it concerns what’s in the state’s schoolbooks.

HB 989 allows any Florida resident to “challenge the use or adoption of instructional materials,” and its supporters say the law gives Floridians a greater say in what students are taught. But some in the scientific community worry the new law will be used to target evolution and climate change in classrooms.

Finding Fossils Under The Sea (Of Kansas)

Sep 16, 2017

When Dung Is What’s For Dinner

Sep 16, 2017

How Do We Study Ancient Americans?

Sep 16, 2017
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Jack Plunkett, Feature Photo Service for IBM/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Artificial intelligence of all kinds is becoming ubiquitous, but its explosive growth comes with big challenges.

Recently, for example, Elon Musk and 116 founders of robotics and AI companies signed a letter to the UN asking the organization to find a way to limit weapons control by autonomous robots.

So, can humans design a safe future living alongside artificial intelligence?

'Knocking on eternity's door' — NASA's Voyager mission turns 40

Sep 10, 2017

NASA’s Voyager mission celebrates 40 years in space this year, and humanity has much to thank it for.

Voyager brought to Earth the first close-up views of Uranus and Neptune. It revealed "spokes" in the rings of Saturn and details of Jupiter’s storm that had never been seen or even imagined. It imaged Io’s volcanic plumes and found the potential for life on the moons Enceladus and Titan.

An entirely renewable energy future is possible, a new study says

Sep 9, 2017

A new study finds that countries around the world could shift their economies entirely to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, by the year 2050.

The researchers map out the blend of energy sources that each of 139 countries would need to completely switch their energy to electric power. The report was first published in the journal Joule.

Peeking Under The Skin Of Aging Aircraft

Sep 9, 2017

Bad Plumbing? There Goes The Empire

Sep 9, 2017

When Your Tongue Needs A Tuneup

Sep 9, 2017

'13 Reasons Why' suicide controversy continues

Sep 6, 2017

When the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" debuted last spring, it sparked widespread discussion about how TV and movies should handle the issue of teen suicide. Now that the show is scheduled to begin its second season in 2018, the controversy will likely continue.

When it comes to getting new drugs on the market, testing and clinical trials can take years — but patients with rare or life-threatening illnesses don’t always have that long to wait.

To treat these patients, the Food and Drug Administration accelerates approval of some promising drugs, letting them onto the market based on physical indicators and lab measurements. But afterward, manufacturers must conduct post-approval clinical trials to confirm the drugs’ safety and efficacy.

From day one of the Oroville spillway crisis in February, the California Department of Water Resources has never wavered in its declarations that, despite the disintegration of the massive concrete flood control outlet — and a near-disaster caused by uncontrolled emergency reservoir flows down a rapidly eroding hillside — the stability of the massive dam itself was not and has never been threatened.

What the aye-aye and the woodpecker can tell us about how evolution works

Sep 3, 2017

Is the evolution of particular traits predictable or random? Or put it this way: If we rewound the tape on Earth’s history and started life over again from the very beginning, would the same animals — even humans — still emerge?

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