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Ira Flatow: Science Friday at the Museum

by AMNH on


This Wednesday, March 28, NPR’s popular weekly talk show Science Friday travels to the Museum for a special public recording in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Host Ira Flatow will interview Museum Curator Emeritus Ian Tattersall about how Homo sapiens became the dominant human species and speak to a panel of urban biodiversity experts, including Eleanor Sterling, the director of the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Flatow recently shared what he’s looking forward to about the evening.

What’s it like taking Science Friday on the road?

Ira Flatow: I love taking Science Friday out of the studio and into a public square like the Museum. When we’re with an audience, it’s like doing theater. The audience is part of our show, and you can hear them, feel them, and react to them.

What makes for a good Science Friday?

Flatow: A good Science Friday is when everybody has a good time and we’re actually having a conversation. We’re not trying to do an interview. We’re trying to feel like we’re sitting around schmoozing and talking about science in a meaningful but interesting and entertaining way. And that’s how most people absorb things. Science is organic, it breathes, and the public will take in as much science as it can.

You’ll be speaking to a panel of urban biodiversity experts at the Museum event. What do you find most interesting about this topic?

Flatow: I don’t think people realize how much wildlife there is in an urban society like New York City. It’s always fascinating to show people the rich biodiversity of a city.

What do you hope listeners take away from your talk with paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall?

Flatow: I think listeners enjoy the experience of talking to someone on the cutting edge of research like Ian Tattersall. There’s a living, breathing scientist up there, unfiltered, and you can talk to him and he can speak English to you. He’s a rock star of his science in many ways, pun intended. We keep pushing back the dates of when the first hominids can be detected by what they leave behind, and it’s always exciting to talk to the people who are filling the gaps in our knowledge.

Click here to purchase tickets. Doors open at 6 pm and taping begins promptly at 6:30.