Science Friday

Brain fun, for curious people

Meet Science Friday

Science Friday is your trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science. We started as a radio show, created in 1991 by host and executive producer Ira Flatow. Since then, we’ve grown into much more: We produce award-winning digital videos and publish original web content covering everything from octopus camouflage to cooking on Mars.

SciFri Staff

Nahima Ahmed

Manager Of Impact Strategy

Nahima Ahmed is Science Friday’s Manager of Impact Strategy. She is a researcher who loves to cook curry, discuss identity, and helps the team understand how stories can shape audiences’ access to and interest in science.

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Rasha Aridi is a producer for Science Friday. She loves stories about weird critters, science adventures, and the intersection of science and history.

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Charles Bergquist

Director and Senior Producer

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

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Shoshannah Buxbaum is a producer for Science Friday. She’s particularly drawn to stories about health, psychology, and the environment. She’s a proud New Jersey native and will happily share her opinions on why the state is deserving of a little more love.

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Danielle Dana

Executive Director

Danielle Dana is Science Friday’s executive director (a.k.a. scary boss). She’s also a huge Mets fan and Giants fan. She hates zucchini, unless it’s zucchini bread.

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John Dankosky

Director of News and Audio

John Dankosky works with the radio team to create our weekly show, and is helping to build our State of Science Reporting Network. He’s also been a long-time guest host on Science Friday. He and his wife have four cats, thousands of bees, and a yoga studio in the sleepy Northwest hills of Connecticut. 

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Kathleen Davis is a producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

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Jason P. Dinh

National Science Foundation Intern

Jason P. Dinh is an NSF-funded intern at Science Friday. He loves stories about charismatic creatures, pop culture, and environmental science. When he’s not working, you can find him teaching his dog new tricks, Yelp-reviewing restaurants, and running long distances at a sluggish pace.

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Ira Flatow

Host and Executive Producer

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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Emma Lee Gometz

Digital Producer - Engagement

Emma Lee Gometz is Science Friday’s Digital Producer of Engagement. She’s a writer and illustrator who loves drawing primates and tending to her coping mechanisms like יהוה to the garden of Eden.

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Valissa Mayers

Office Manager

Valissa Mayers is Science Friday’s office manager. She will happily tell you she’s a foodie, a feter, and a Converse Chuck Taylors collector.

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Diana Montano

Experiences Manager

Diana Montano is the Experiences Manager at Science Friday, where she creates live events and partnerships to delight and engage audiences in the world of science.

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Annie Nero

Individual Giving Manager

Annie Nero is Science Friday’s individual giving manager. She enjoys listening to music through giant headphones.

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D Peterschmidt

Digital Producer - Audio

D Peterschmidt is an audio/digital producer and composes music for Science Friday’s podcasts, including Science Diction and Undiscovered. Their D&D character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

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Beth Ramme

Controller

Beth Ramme is Science Friday’s Controller and handles all things financial for the organization. She is passionate about supporting families of children and adolescents who live with serious mental health conditions.

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Sandy Roberts

Education Program Manager

Sandy Roberts is Science Friday’s Education Program Manager, where she creates learning resources and experiences to advance STEM equity in all learning environments. Lately, she’s been playing with origami circuits and trying to perfect a gluten-free sourdough recipe.

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Jason Rosenberg

Grants Manager

Jason Rosenberg is a Grants Manager at Science Friday. They are an avid reader and writer of poetry and also loves theater, museums, weird performance art, and documentaries about bugs and space.

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Jordan Smoczyk

Grants Manager

Jordan Smoczyk is Science Friday’s Grants Manager. She enjoys reading, watching HBO and Hulu, cooking, composting, and tries to avoid getting trapped in an Instagram doomscroll.

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Christie Taylor is a producer for Science Friday. Her day involves diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

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Kyle Marian Viterbo

Community Manager

Kyle Marian Viterbo is a community manager at Science Friday. She loves sharing hilarious stories about human evolution, hidden museum collections, and the many ways Indiana Jones is a terrible archaeologist.

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Ariel Zych

Director of Audience

Ariel Zych is Science Friday’s director of audience. She is a former teacher and scientist who spends her free time making food, watching arthropods, and being outside.

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SciFri Board

Ira Flatow

Host and Executive Producer

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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James M. Gentile is the Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He has been, or continues as, a consultant to numerous national and international public and private colleges, universities, foundations and corporations.

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Julie LaNasa, in addition to launching her own firm, Collaborative Consulting, is currently a trustee with The Leakey Foundation. She and her husband, John Kunzweiler, live in Tiburon, California.

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Chris Lee is the Chairman and CEO of Huxley Medical and a serial MedTech entrepreneur. He volunteers on several boards to promote STEM education, translational research, and social impact. He is a first generation Chinese American, enjoys skiing and cooking, and lives in Atlanta.

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Jorge Leis is an advisory partner at Bain & Company, where he has served in multiple roles and offices for 30 years. He is also a board member with the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the National GEM Consortium. He and his wife, Ann, live in Houston, Texas and have three children and one grandchild.

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Meera Raja is a Chicago-area native and former chemist, currently working to build collaborative, technology-enabled solutions for complex urban challenges. Meera often finds herself at the interface of disciplines and regardless of the field, she is passionate about creating innovative, impactful solutions that are inclusive and equitable.
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Jennifer Rollins practices in the areas of nonprofits, business, real estate, and finance. She is also a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Multnomah County Bar Association. She lives in Portland, OR.

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Mary Smart has been on the Science Friday Board since 2004. She is also a board member with the Buehler Center on Aging at Northwestern University, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, and the National Forest Foundation.

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Camilla Smith serves on several national and community boards including the National Public Radio Foundation, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She and her husband, George Smith, have five children and eight grandchildren.

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Thea True-Wells is a Wyoming native who has been professionally involved with formal and informal pre-K-12 education for over two decades. She has facilitated science outreach efforts to low-income elementary schools and taught both middle and high school science courses in public and private schools.

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Dave Vernier founded Vernier Software & Technology in the early days of microcomputers, when he was a high-school physics teacher. He is still active with programming and developing science lessons. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and business partner, Christine.

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