Science for the Masses

A recent study published in Science illustrated scientists’ successful creation of mice eggs from stem cells, which could lead to some exciting developments for women trying to conceive. But you’d never know it from the title of the article: “Offspring from Oocytes Derived from in Vitro Primordial Germ Cell-like Cells in Mice.”


That’s where Ira Flatow, host of National Public Radio’s Science Friday program, comes in. For the past several years, he’s been making sense of these seemingly unintelligible reports and science issues for the average listener. He’s bringing science to the masses.

Flatow will be the keynote speaker at the Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (DUCURS) luncheon on April 11. The well-known personality is set to discuss the influence of science in everyday life and the importance of scientific literacy.

“Mr. Flatow’s passion for understanding and disseminating scientific findings is evident,” says Maria Valdovinos, associate professor of psychology. “Having a well-known guest as the keynote speaker at DUCURS promotes how valued the sciences are at Drake.”

In addition to hosting Science Friday, Flatow is the founder and president of the Science Friday Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to creating multimedia projects that make science user-friendly. He has been reporting on science-related issues for 35 years, including time as a science reporter for CBS This Morning and CNBC. His credits also feature six years as host and writer for the Emmy award-winning show Newton’s Apple on PBS.

Flatow’s work to promote scientific developments has earned him dozens of accolades. In 2012, he received the Isaac Asimov Science Award, which honors advocates who have increased the awareness and understanding of science and the scientific approach.

Flatow is one of the most prominent speakers to lecture at DUCURS. The conference provides a forum to showcase collaborative math and science research projects between students and faculty. DUCURS is part of Drake’s ongoing efforts to increase scientific literacy and provide opportunities to engage the larger community in science and math.

—Alyssa Cashman

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