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4 poignant things Ira Flatow had to say about science, journalism and 25 years of Science Friday

Ira Flatow, the beloved host of PRI's Science Friday, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the importance of science, STEM education and more.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Ira Flatow, the beloved host of PRI's Science Friday, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the importance of science, STEM education and more.

St. Louis on the Air has a special treat for you: On Monday’s program, beloved public radio host Ira Flatow joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what’s new in his world, science news and his show, Science Friday.

Flatow is in town ahead of his show in St. Louis on Tuesday night (which is now sold out!). 

We’ve excerpted four poignant things Flatow said during the conversation below. If you want to hear the whole discussion, listen here:

1. “We’re in our 25th year of doing Science Friday and we’ve had children and kids in classrooms calling in all these years. We always knew science was very popular in the American population, you just didn’t call it science. If I said to you ‘Do you like science?’ You’d say ‘Agh, I hate science. I did poorly at it in school.’ If I would say, ‘Do you like medicine? Do you like to learn about how the body works? Or why the universe is here or where we’re going or the dark stuff out there?’ They say ‘Oh yeah! I want to know that stuff.’ We just don’t call it science.”

2. “Science has become political where it wasn’t political before. It is becoming polarized. Part of that is from the evolution controversy that continues to raise its head all the time, and the issue of global warming, which dates back to Al Gore. … People who did not like Al Gore had a reason not to like it and take it one step further and say ‘if I don’t like Al Gore, everything he says is wrong.’ On the other hand, we did this show with people from the Baptist community saying ‘You know, the Bible tells us we are the stewards of the planet. If you believe in the Bible and follow its teachings, you have to take care of the planet.’”

3. “One of the problems we face as journalists, is what I call the false equivalence. Journalists think that by presenting two sides of an issue, let’s say climate change or global warming, that they are being fair. … Journalism is not stenography. You don’t just take what two people say and present it like a stenographer taking notes. Journalists weigh and consider and think about what they’re doing and the right way to present it to the public.”

4. “[Science] is the same thing that philosophers and theologians talk about. They want to know where we came from and where we’re going. That’s what science does.”  

Related Event

What: St. Louis Public Radio Presents "Science Friday" [SOLD OUT]
When: Tuesday, October 25 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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