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National Public Radio's Science Friday to Broadcast From FSU Campus April 8

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CONTACT: Frank Stephenson
(850) 644-8634; frankstp@mailer.fsu.edu
By Frank Stephenson
March 30, 2005 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - National Public Radio's popular weekly science program, Talk of the Nation - Science Friday, will be broadcast live from the Florida State University campus on April 8.

Ira Flatow, known as "the man who brings science to the masses," will host the two-hour program that begins at 2 p.m. in the Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall near the center of campus.

Picking up on the Terry Schiavo case that has galvanized public attention around the globe, for the first half of the show Flatow and his guests will discuss end-of-life care issues with specialists in the field. For the final hour, panelists will discuss the sociological aspects of aging and how technology can be used to assist an aging population. This event will mark the first time that the Washington, D.C.-based program, launched in 1991, will have broadcast from the campus of a Florida university.

Sponsored by FSU's Office of Research, the program will be broadcast before a live audience. Flatow's guests for the show will include Lois L. Shepherd, a professor of bioethics and health law at the FSU College of Law; Jeffrey Spike, an associate professor of clinical ethics at the FSU College of Medicine; Dr. Charles G. Maitland, a neurologist and clinical professor at the College of Medicine; Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith, chair of the geriatrics department, College of Medicine; Neil Charness, a cognitive psychologist at FSU; and sociologist Jill Quadagno of the Pepper Institute on Aging.

The public is invited to attend the broadcast and also to participate in the program. Whenever his show travels, Flatow routinely fields questions from his studio audience and also takes questions from callers as well as e-mailed questions from listeners to the show on the World Wide Web. The show's average weekly listenership in the United States is 2.6 million, a figure that complements an unknown number of listeners tuning in worldwide to more than 140 foreign stations that carry the program.

Tickets to the show are free, but are required for a seat in the theater that has a capacity of 380. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the FSU Fine Arts Ticket Office, 644-6500.

Flatow, a native of New York City, began broadcasting for NPR 34 years ago. He joined NPR in 1971 just as the non-profit corporation was forming after being authorized by Congress. Trained as an engineer in college, Flatow began working in radio at WBFO in Buffalo, New York. His first science stories aired during his coverage of the first Earth Day in 1970.

Aside from his anchorship of Science Friday, Flatow is perhaps best known for his work on Newton's Apple for the Public Broadcastinzg System. This TV science show, aimed at children and young adults, ran from 1982 to 1987. Flatow won an Emmy for his work on the show. Since then, his TV credits have included serving as a science writer for CBS's This Morning and cable's CNBC.

Flatow's work with Science Friday has carried him from Antarctica and the South Pole to every region in the United States in a quest to bring to his broadcast audience the latest news and information about science in an informative, engaging style. An ardent advocate for educating young people about science, he devotes much of his time to programs and writing aimed for youth. His award-winning Science Friday Kid's Connections Web site is perennially one of the 500 most popular Web sites in the country.

Flatow also is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines. His latest book is They All LaughedŠFrom Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives (HarperCollins, New York).

Science Friday is supported in part by The National Science Foundation.