NPR science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Talk Of The Nation: Science Friday®. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing listeners a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment. Flatow is also founder and president of TalkingScience, 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 Present At The Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science And Nature. It follows on the heels of They All Laughed...From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives.
On television, Flatow has discussed the latest cutting edge science stories on a variety of programs, including the new digital Cablevision program Maximum Science. He is also host of 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, Westinghouse, and 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 Griffin, Today, Charlie Rose, and Oprah. He is currently exploring new and better ways of bringing science news to radio, TV and the Internet.
On the Internet, Flatow has hosted numerous science related Web Casts for Discovery Online and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His Science Friday Kids' Connection web pages won the award for one of the top 500 web sites in the country given out by Home PC Magazine. His Podcasts are among the most listened to on the Internet, frequently in the top-ten of all downloads on the iTunes web site.
Flatow 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 emceed many events, including the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Science Museum of Minnesota (2007). Flatow 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, Flatow was resident scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
His recent honors include: National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award (2007), National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), World Economic Forum Media Fellowshipo (2005), Elizabeth Wood Writing (2002), AAAS Journalism award (2000), Brady Washburn Award (2000), the Carl Sagan Award (1999).
Flatow is member of the National Association of Science Writers and AFTRA.
His hobbies include scuba diving, gardening (especially orchids), tropical fish and electronic gadgets. He loves the theater.
A native of New York, Flatow now lives in Connecticut.
Photo Credits: Carl Flatow