SETTING THE CONTEXT: WHAT’S POSSIBLE, WHAT MATTERS, WHAT’S AHEAD
Where Do Good Ideas Come From?
An interview with:
Intel ISEF Students
Ira Flatow, Science Friday, NPR
Compass Summit, a forum for true interaction and exchange, examines some of today's most pressing problems through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is an unlimited resource. Guided by NPR's Ira Flatow, an intimate group of some of the world's best thinkers and doers convened along the rugged Palos Verdes coastline on Oct 23-26, 2011 at Terranea Resort to engage in meaningful conversation, ask questions, and challenge ideas -- we invite you to join in the conversation.
Ira Flatow: Radio and television journalist and host of National Public Radio's Science Friday.
Veteran National Public Radio (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 radio and Internet listeners world wide 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 supporting the Science Friday show, as well as engaging and creating scientific discussion among adolescents and young adults. 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. 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 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 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.
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. As a host, he has "emceed" many public events, including the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Science Museum of Minnesota (2007). 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: 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).
As winners of the Intel International Science and Engineering fair, three teenagers shine light on what made them successful students and how they think we can make education better. “We really need to start encouraging science as something that is really cool. It’s not just for geeky students who have no lives because that’s really where we’re going to start advancing,” says one teenager.