Johanna Mayer is a digital producer at Science Friday. She grew up on a tree farm in semi-rural Missouri, where she spent many hours on long stretches of highways listening to public radio in cars.
Before joining Science Friday, she worked as a freelance legaltech writer, a restaurant reviewer, an assistant at a literary journal, a camp counselor, and a wedding dress model. One of her favorite (and nerdiest) assignments ever was writing an FAQ section for a law firm, and she once was paid by a magazine to eat a sandwich and write about it. It has been a career highlight.
After stints in New York and Argentina, she spent two years teaching English in rural Japan, where she accumulated plenty of amusing classroom stories, slurped ramen every Friday, and gained the respect of her coworkers by once eating 52 pieces of sushi in a single sitting. But she couldn’t stay away from public radio for long.
When she’s not obsessively checking SciFri’s digital pages, she’s probably baking a fruit pie. Cherry’s her specialty, but she whips up a mean rhubarb streusel as well.
Dwarf lemurs and humans share a significant gene that could influence the future of heart surgery and space travel.
The NASA administrator discusses everything from Mars to the Space Force.