Welcome to the New ScienceFriday.com

See what’s changed and why.

Welcome to the new ScienceFriday.com. Just about everything has been redesigned to be faster, better-looking, and easier for you to use.

Why did we go through all of the effort to redo our site, just three-and-a-half years after our last redesign? Well to start, we simply do more than we used to. As we like to say, we’ve become more than a radio show, and now we have a website that showcases all the multimedia that we produce.

Another reason is that our mobile audience is much bigger than it once was. Our old site looked and functioned terribly on mobile devices, and our fans voted with their back buttons, leaving almost as soon as they came. This new site better serves the nearly 50 percent of you who visit us on a smartphone or tablet. But don’t take my word for it. Pull out your phone and see for yourself.

To make these changes, we sought help from Bluecadet, a digital design firm based in Philadelphia. In addition to their web work, Bluecadet designs immersive experiences for museums like the Field Museum and the Franklin Institute. And they’ve imbued our site with that spirit of discovery that great museums cultivate.

We’re thrilled with how it turned out, and we hope you enjoy it. Now, a quick rundown of site highlights:

Our old site could only present information in one way, prominently featuring the first story of the first hour of the radio show—no matter what. That design caused lots of confusion for listeners. If Ira mentioned something on the air, thousands of people would flock to the site and get frustrated when they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Now, we can mix and match what we showcase, giving you a fresher, more dynamic, and better curated experience.

Our new site is also uninhibited by the radio show’s publishing schedule. Come to the site on a Friday afternoon, and you’ll still get a preview of what will be on the show, as well as an unmistakable prompt to “listen live.” But when you visit us on a Wednesday, we’ll share some of the web articles, videos, and educational activities we’ve been working on.

We’ve also streamlined and simplified the homepage, without sacrificing aesthetics or content. Our old homepage was a cluttered collection of boxes, some of which moved, carousel-style, for no strategic reason. Our new homepage uses motion to highlight and engage, not to distract.

While radio is core to who we are, and audio will always be at the forefront of what we do, Science Friday produces articles, videos, and activities, too. We’ve been working this way for some time, but now we have a website that supports these efforts. A new feature on the site that we’re particularly excited about, called the Spotlight, investigates a single theme—such as The Hunt for Dark Matter and Hollywood Science—across media types.

Our entire site is also much more visual than it used to be. On the old site, photographs and illustrations rendered poorly, hindered by size restrictions. Now, bigger images will take you deeper into a story, evoking that sense of awe that scientific research so often inspires.

old site

new site

Did you know that Science Friday produces original, standards-aligned educational resources? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Our new site gives these resources the attention they deserve, clearly displaying the informative and immersive work of our education staff, and better linking to the audio, video, and web media they’re based on.

As noted, nearly half of the traffic to ScienceFriday.com comes from smartphones and tablets. But our old website just didn’t work on mobile. We looked at the number of people who came to our old site through mobile devices—and especially the number who left immediately—and knew that there was a big opportunity there. Our new site is designed to look good and function well on any size screen.


Hopefully it’s obvious at this point how enthusiastic we are about the new ScienceFriday.com. But with any project this big, there are bound to be a few virtual cobwebs that didn’t get swept up. We’d love your help discovering the things that slipped through the cracks.

And please, let us know what you like and what you don’t. We’ll keep an eye on your suggestions and use them to guide future improvements to the site.

At Science Friday, we like to say we’re brain fun for curious people. And that’s exactly what we think this site is. So explore, have fun, and reward your curiosity.

Meet the Writer

About Christian Skotte

Christian Skotte is the co-director & head of digital at Science Friday. He’s into board games, bourbon, and big ideas.

  • jrv

    The new site may be good for phone people but it is not very good fro anyone seriously interested in the site content. I guarantee it will lose you subscribers. I have seen this repeatedly as the mobile web people redefine the web for the phone.

  • Kevin

    Looks good, cleaner and less cluttered, easier to read. Like a lot of other sites would like a way to turn down that bright white background to something easier on the eyes. Will try it out on the phone!

  • Kristin

    On the listen page, can you give a jump link to the segments? I NEVER have time to listen to the whole thing at once, and I’m not always interested in every segment. I prefer to pick and choose. Right now I have to scroll way down on the tablet to get to the segments.

    • Kristin

      More: you may have gone too far the other way on the home page. Now we see very little content, instead of too much. Same thing on the listen tab; there is sooooo much white space. Also, can you make the older segments auto load, rather than me having to tap on the archive.

  • Kristin

    Again more 😉 : now it feels like I have to hop around to find the reverse date order of segments. Since I frequently get behind, I like the ability to scan back and see what I’ve missed in a compact form. Now it’s all very nice and friendly and open, but not efficient. Maybe you could make a simple list page with no bells and whistles for people like me.

    • Hi Kristin! Thanks so much for your feedback. Think I know exactly which page you’re looking for – you can find a list of segments by scrolling down on the Listen page. http://www.sciencefriday.com/listen/

      Community Manager

  • Karen van Boemel

    No more Thursday previews of Friday’s program? Not good. This revision is definitely not an improvement, anymore than the last one was. And this business of having to use social media to communicate with you is also a mistake. Why can’t you have a direct connection?

    • w8ofwater

      The only reason I visit the web site is to get a preview of what’s coming on Friday.
      I’m on the email preview list, but that doesn’t arrive until, um, FRIDAY.

      • Thank you both for the feedback. Our topics will be posted every Friday at midnight ET, so you’ll still get a preview ahead of the show.

        We will have comments open on select pages, but most of the conversation about our show is on social media already. Our social media is run by our staff, so don’t worry, you’ll be talking directly to us on there!

        Community Manager

  • Gerald Marshall

    This sucks!! How can I know about the weekly line -up?

  • Mary Hunnicutt

    Looks pretty bare and unfinished. Miss the color and choice of information on main page.

  • A Non Ymous

    Please add a comment section to each show segment.

    • Hi! Thanks for the feedback.

      As we developed the new site, we decided that we would only be opening comments in certain situations, like this blog post and the DIY Halloween segment. This was done for a few reasons, but one of the big ones is that most of the conversations about our stories happen on social media, not our site.

      That being said, we will have comments on specific segments (like the aforementioned DIY Halloween segment), but not every story will have them.

      Thanks again, and hope this helps,
      Community Manager

  • Steve Zoink

    Lots of haters on this thread. Site looks good, especially on mobile.

    • Thanks so much for your feedback!

      Community Manager

  • tony

    No improvement. This new format befuddles rather than informs.
    I have no idea what topics are to be addressed……another example of fixing that which is not broken.

  • Warren T

    The new design might work better on mobile, but its a disaster on my laptop. I can’t find anything. I can’t play anything – it doesn’t work – no sound! Everything is so spread out now. I have to scroll and click and scroll and click to get to anything. Please give us back the previous design. Create a separate mobile site.

    • Hi Warren, thanks so much for your feedback. As far as the audio issue, sounds like you’ve run into a bug, which we’ve flagged for our tech team. Thanks again!

      Community Manager

  • REGoebel

    ‘Current Week’ acted as a table of contents allowing me to pick and choose segments. We didn’t have to dig thru lines of content to find a segment. My NPR station only airs the first hour – I rely on the web page for the 2nd hour – it is not obvious now what segment aired when. I also like to re-listen to segments when I’ve been distracted or interrupted during the on-air version. I get that the the full show is there somewhere if i burrow through all the content and white space — IT IS NOT EASY TO USE . If it is important to have a phone friendly version perhaps you can make it an option.

  • Shannon Brinkley

    I can’t find the 5 minutes videos for my fifth graders. I hope their still around. Anybody know where theyare?

    • Hey Shannon! You can find the videos in the Explore section: http://www.sciencefriday.com/explore/

      You might also want to check out our new Educate portal! It has free activities based on our stories, and is totally sortable by grade level and content type. http://www.sciencefriday.com/educate/

      Hope this helps,
      Community Manager

      • Shannon Brinkley

        Thanks, I am so relieved to find them. Not sure about 17 minute science videos for my ten year-olds, but will give it a try. I’m glad the old shorter ones are still available!

  • Henry Wadzinski

    I listen to much of SciFri by downloading it on the SciFri iPad app, which no longer seems to be working. The use of a browser does not work due to WiFi shielding by filing cabinets. When will the app be working and able to download sections of the program, especially the last half which is often not broadcast here.

    • John Reader

      Send ap help!

  • The vertical list of categories on screen left was a wonderful feature –
    you shouldn’t hide it down at the bottom where we can’t see it without
    scrolling. I used the old site every week to choose a topic for science
    tutoring. This new site may be clean but there’s much less content in
    view. Very disappointing!

    • Hey Julia! Thanks so much for your feedback. You might want to check out our new Educate portal. It was made specifically for educators like yourself, and it’s full of activities based on our stories that are sortable by grade and subject matter: http://www.sciencefriday.com/educate/

      Community Manager

      • Thanks Brandon – I see there’s a lot there.

  • Allan Williams

    This is certainly not an improvement for those of us using a laptop. A whole lot of scrolling down, down, down for stuff that used to be neatly and logically placed all together on the homepage. The main purpose of the site is to facilitate listening online, in discrete segments, with the ability to explore related links to the segments of interest. This is much harder to do now, at least on my laptop. If it’s now easier on mobile phones, that’s great. But you admit yourself that less than half your visitors are on mobile phones. You seem to have overlooked the inconvenience you’ll be causing the rest of us!

    • Mary

      i am with you 100%. I listen either on my laptop or my old desktop that allows me to listen while working outside in garden or near the house. Was really disappointed when I arrived at the site. However, I am wondering in that SCIFRI is listener supported and the number of mobile users will continue to increase, it might mean more listener support. So, I will happily scroll down, after griping for a few days. Love the topics discussed!

  • Dear Science Friday, can topics afford high quality sound? international audience would appreciate much higher bitrate for your podcasts. 96 Kb/s just embarrassed.

  • disqus_8XIeO01zjD

    Both the audio and video podcasts have the same name. This appears to be a problem in iTunes and it only shows the first one I subscribed to. Can you fix please?

    • Thanks so much for your feedback! Flagging the issue for our tech team.

      Community Manager

  • Craig Jungers

    The app only shows segments from just before the release . It’s useless. I get no playlists and no new content. Nice work.

    • Hi Craig, thanks for the feedback! Flagged the issue and sent it to our tech team.

      In the mean time, you should check out this site on your mobile device! You can listen to every segment on your phone from here.

      Community Manager

      • Ira Flatow

        Brandon is right. We are redesigning our app. In the meantime, you can use just about any other audio/radio app to listen to the show, e.g. Stitcher.

    • John Reader

      Science Friday ap has no video, audio, nor podcasts. Help!

  • Diane

    Do not like this new design. I loved that nice compact list of what was on a show. It was easy to find and I didn’t have to scroll down and scroll down and scroll down. I grant you that the new design is pretty, however I don’t need pretty when it is replacing clear, compact and easy/quick to use. Unfortunate. I will miss you.

  • Jim

    I used to queue up an hour or two’s worth of stories and listen to the best radio on the internet. Now I can’t do that anymore. I’m really saddened by this; I used to count on Science Friday.

    • Jim

      And…I don’t use a mobile device. I don’t use facebook, twitter, etc. I use a computer to access the internet like I have for 30 years.. I’m your age, Ira. I can only guess you are going after contributions from younger people who access the internet on their phones. That’s fine, but you didn’t have to take away what was good for the other 50% who are your loyal listeners–and contributors–who use a computer. You ruined it for computers, it was great, well laid out, logical, worked well. This is awkward, difficult; I have to jump all over trying to find things when on the old site they were all right there on the page when you went to Science Friday. Whereas everything was on one screen before on a computer, now you have to scroll screens and screens to see things. You way over emphasized mobile devices. The worst is there is no clean list of stories with plus signs to add them to a play list. Surely you must be able to see how users use this site, and see this was popular. I can’t understand why you would remove an ability that many must have used.

      • Jim

        I just read all of the comments. They (is Ira even reading this?) are ignoring comments that are unhappy with how badly it works for people with computers.

        • Ira Flatow

          Easy to listen by computer. During the live broadcast, click on the “Listen” button on our home page and you’ll be directed to a link where you can hear the show live on your desktop computer. After the show is aired, you can listen to it on your computer as it was recorded, at our website.

  • A Non Ymous

    Please add date [day of week (sun,mon,tue,wed,thu,fri,sat) and month/day/year]

    to each type of posted material (articles,segments,videos,…)

    that appear below the {search} {type} {topic} on this webpage

    how else is one going to determine what aired on a particular episode (example date 10/23, 10/30).

    perhaps episode date should be its own drop down menu.

  • Steve Davies

    iTunes feeds still broken? Someone mentioned it a month ago, and I still cannot make it work today 🙁 I even deleted and re-added all my “Sci Fri” feeds, but it does not work.

  • Ida I Cohen

    I’m a parent who is not a scientist and worry that I do not know enough to help my daughter (6 yrs old) learn enough science. Children with parents who are scientists are lucky. You new program helps older children. How about a program to help me help my little one. There are plenty of us who could use the help. The schools don’t do it.We do what we can but we need help from parents who are scientists or teachers of the very young.

  • Nate Markey

    Science Friday (SF) is one of my favorite shows and I listen to a LOT of shows. However, SF has a serious flaw. Time management is a real problem for the show. So many times during the show a guest or a scientist is cut-off in the middle of their sentence. Sometimes it is just to say “you are listening it SF”….really…we know :-)?

    It is very very annoying as a listener and this is coming from a listener who absolutely loves the show. I wonder what it does to people who are on the edge. I have discussed this with my friends and they all have the same observation.

    There has to be a better way of doing it maybe use the natural pauses in between sentences or questions.

    Please please do something about this and make my favorite show even better.

  • Carol Douglass

    I thought I used to be able to read back segments and ALSO listen to them. Now, even when I click on “listen to SciFri,” I get only readable segments. Where is this “unmistakeable prompt to listen?” is it now possible to listen ONLY simultaneously with the broadcast? Makes no sense to me, as I’d like to listen at a time when I’m actually able to.
    The little oscilloscope graphics of sound don’t do anything. So what gives?