Science Friday

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Science Friday
Science Friday logo.png
Other names SciFri
Genre talk
Running time approx. 110 min.
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates WNYC Studios
Hosted by Ira Flatow
Created by ScienceFriday, Inc.
Directed by Charles Bergquist
Produced by Christopher Intagliata
Executive producer(s) Ira Flatow
Recording studio New York City
Original release October 1991 (1991-10) – present
Audio format Stereophonic
Podcast iTunes

Science Friday (known as SciFri for short) is a weekly call-in talk show that broadcasts each Friday on public radio stations, distributed by WNYC Studios. SciFri is hosted by award-winning science journalist Ira Flatow and was created and is produced by ScienceFriday, Inc. The program is divided into two, one-hour programs, with each hour ending with a complete sign-off. The focus of each program is news and information on nature, science, and technology. For most of its existence, Science Friday was a sub-program within Talk of the Nation; it was spun off as a series in its own right when Talk of the Nation was canceled in June 2013.

Science Friday is also available in a podcasting format and is one of the most popular iTunes downloads, frequently in the top 15 downloads each week. SciFri podcasts are downloaded over 23 million times per year and over 1.3 million listeners tune in each week to hear the program. It is also carried via Sirius XM Radio. In addition to the program, SciFri creates original videos and educational materials, all available on its website.[citation needed]

SciFri broadcasts excerpts from the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony on the Friday after Thanksgiving.[1][2]

Science Friday maintained an island (Science Friday Island) in Second Life, including an open-air theater with live audio and video feeds of the broadcast. That venue is no longer in operation.[citation needed]


The Science Friday Initiative is a 501(c)(3) partner organization. It helps create educational materials, and finds underwriting for the program. The Science Friday Initiative accepts tax-deductible donations on behalf of the radio program.[3] Science Friday is funded by the PRI member stations that broadcast the program, by individual donors, and by foundation and corporate underwriters including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.[4]


SciFri was created when the National Science Foundation agreed to fund a weekly science talk-show on NPR. After the Gulf War in 1991, NPR created the daily talk show Talk of the Nation, and incorporated Science Friday into it. Science Friday moved from NPR to Public Radio International in 2014.[5]

On November 9, 2012, ScienceFriday, Inc. filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New York state court against a long-running Denver radio program, titled Real Science Friday, hosted by two young earth creationists including a Colorado pastor. The show was re-titled Real Science Radio.[6]

On April 11, 2018, distribution of the show changed hands once more when it went from PRI to WNYC Studios.[7]


  1. ^ Science Friday Archives: The 2007 Ig Nobel Awards Archived 2007-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Ig Nobel day-after-Thanksgiving broadcast on Science Friday". Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Science Friday Initiative: Our Mission". Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Science Friday Initiative: Thank You!". Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  5. ^ "Flatow moves Science Friday to PRI distribution". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  6. ^ Flaherty, Scott (Nov 13, 2012). "NPR Program Sues Christian Radio Hosts Over Trademarks". Law360.
  7. ^ 'Science Friday' partners with WNYC on distribution Current Public Media, January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2018.

External links

  • Science Friday official website
  • Science Friday Initiative
  • Claudia Dreifus (April 4, 2000). "A CONVERSATION WITH: Ira Flatow; Latter-Day Mr. Wizard Expounds on the Joy of Science". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
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