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

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 and senior producer, 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 D. Johnson

Executive Director

Danielle D. Johnson 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 three 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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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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Santiago Flórez is Science Friday’s community manager. He is a former teacher, anthropologist and journalist.

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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 G-d to the garden of Eden.

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George Harper

Stewardship Manager

George Harper is Science Friday’s stewardship manager. Before working at Science Friday, he was a biology professor and researcher. You can find George out on a hike, cooking and eating cuisines from all around the world, and listening to music from many different cultures. 

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Robin Kazmier

Senior Editor - Digital

Robin Kazmier is Senior Editor, Digital. She writes and edits articles and helps shape Science Friday’s digital strategy. Her favorite bird is the squirrel cuckoo.

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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 Plasker

Experiences Manager

Diana Plasker 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

Host of Universe Of Art, Producer

D. Peterschmidt is a producer, host of the podcast Universe of Art, and composes music for Science Friday’s podcasts. 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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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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Brenna Berman serves as the Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Dense Air, a pioneering network-as-a-service company dedicated to narrowing the digital divide. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing complex challenges within cities.

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Ray Chao is the SVP & GM of Audio and Digital Video at Vox Media, where he leads the podcast and video businesses for Vox Media’s portfolio of media brands. 

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William Cox III joined the Science Friday Board in 2022 and is CEO and Founding Partner of Soaring Partners, LLLP. For more than twenty years, he’s made investments in venture capital and private equity, with a focus in media and technology.

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Bennett Epstein is a retired partner of a national law firm. In addition to representing companies with labor and employment disputes, he had a robust media law practice. Bennett had served as outside general counsel to WBEZ, the Chicago Public Radio member station, This American Life and Serial as well as podcasters, podcast production companies and hosts.

Bennett, his wife and dog, Gus, live in a Chicago suburb. He is passionate about fly fishing and organizations that support the restoration and health of rivers.

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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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Seema Kumar joined the Board of Directors for Science Friday and became the CEO of the Cure Experience in 2022.  Prior to Cure, Ms. Kumar served in a senior leadership capacity at Johnson & Johnson and was a Science Friday donor for many years.

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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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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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