Previous Episodes Refresh
Oct 11, 2019
Trust In Science, California Power Outages, Regrowing Cartilage. Oct 11, 2019, Part 1October 11, 2019
Despite widely reported attacks on science, the vast majority of Americans continue to trust scientists, according to the latest survey from the Pew Research Center. Many listeners of Science Friday might take it as a given that we should trust science, but is that trust well-founded? Naomi Oreskes, history of science professor at Harvard University, argues that we should. In her new book,...
Oct 04, 2019
Data-Collecting Smart TVs, Microbiome Cooking, Cannabis Pollution. Oct 4, 2019, Part 1October 04, 2019
Today, it’s much easier to find smart TVs on the market. Companies like Vizio and Samsung create devices capable of internet connection and with built-in apps that let you quickly access your favorite streaming services. But that convenience comes with a hidden cost—one you pay for with your data. Smart TVs have joined the list of internet connected devices looking to harvest your data. ...
Sep 27, 2019
Bitters And Botany, Whale Evolution. Sept 27, 2019, Part 2September 27, 2019
Can conservation be concocted in your cocktails? Yes, according to the botanist authors of Botany at the Bar, a new book about making your own bitters—those complex flavor extracts used to season a Manhattan or old-fashioned. They experiment with an array of novel recipes using underappreciated plants found around the world, from tree resin, to osha root, to numbing Szechuan peppercorns....
Sep 27, 2019
Oceans And Climate, Quantum Mechanics. Sept 27, 2019, Part 1September 27, 2019
A new report issued this week by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change paints a troubling picture of the world’s ice and oceans. The ocean effects of climate change, from warming waters to ocean acidification to sea level rise, are already altering the weather, fisheries, and coastal communities. The authors of the report state that the ocean has already taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system since 1970, the surface is becoming more...
Sep 20, 2019
Degrees Of Change: Climate And Fashion. Sept 20, 2019, Part 1September 20, 2019
Climate change has been trending in the news recently—and if there’s one industry out there that knows something about trends, it’s the fashion industry. Long known for churning out cheap garments and burning through resources, some fashion labels like fast fashion giant H&M are now embracing sustainable fashion trends. But can this industry—which is responsible for ...
Sep 13, 2019
The Center Of The Milky Way, Rats At Play, And Geometry. Sept 13, 2019, Part 2September 13, 2019
The Greek mathematician Euclid imagined an ordered and methodical universe, but his vision struggled to catch on for centuries, until Renaissance painters and French monarchs found a way connect the ancient science of geometry to the real world. Science historian Amir Alexander joins Ira to share the story of geometry’s rising global influence in his new book ...
Sep 13, 2019
How AI Is Influencing Decisions In Police Departments And Courtrooms. Sept 13, 2019September 13, 2019
Facial recognition technology is all around us—it’s at concerts, airports, and apartment buildings. But its use by law enforcement agencies and courtrooms raises particular concerns about privacy, fairness, and bias, according to some researchers. Some studies have shown that some of the major facial recognition systems are inaccurate. Amazon’s software misidentified 28 members of Congress and matched them with criminal mugshots. These inaccuracies tend to be far worse for people...
Sep 11, 2019
SciFri Extra: Bird Nerds Of A Feather Flock TogetherSeptember 11, 2019
The Science Friday Book Club is done birding—for now. But after wrapping up our summer discussion of Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds, bird enthusiasts flocked together at Caveat, a venue in New York City, for one last celebration of bird brains and feathered phenomena. We pitted audience members up...
Sep 06, 2019
Randall Munroe, Football Concussion Research. Sept 6, 2019, Part 2September 06, 2019
If you’ve ever been skiing, you might have wondered how your skiis and the layer of water interact. What would happen if the slope was made out of wood or rubber? Or how would you make more snow in the most efficient way if it all melted away? These are the questions that comic artist Randall Munroe thinks about in his book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common...
Sep 06, 2019
Widening The Lens On A More Inclusive Science. Sept 6, 2019, Part 1September 06, 2019
In 2012, the Obama administration projected that the United States would need to add an additional 1 million college graduates in STEM fields per year for the next ten years to keep up with projected growth in the need for science and technology expertise. At the same time, though, native Americans and other indigenous groups are underrepresented in the sciences, making up only 0.2 percent of the STEM workforce in 2014, despite being 2 percent of the total population of the United States....