by Andrew Crisp
Science Friday host Ira Flatow brought his National Public Radio program to a live audience in Boise today. In a packed room in the Boise State Student Union Building, the public got face time with Flatow and area scientists.
Flatow spoke with researchers about their fields and allowed attendees to quiz the panel at length. The show sold out a month ago, with more than 200 Boise State students, professors and members of the public in attendance.
Flatow's visit was sponsored by Boise State Public Radio, the Idaho National Laboratory and Micron, its purpose to increase the public's interest and knowledge of science. The program's motto is "Making Science User-Friendly."
The event pulled together a panel that included a number of Boise State professors, an employee of the Bureau of Land Management, and an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on subjects including DNA, cheatgrass, megafauna, raptors and brewing beer.
More than once, kids no older than 10 took the microphone to posit surprisingly eloquent queries.
"What do raptors eat?" asked one youth.
"That's a very good question," said Flatow, turning to the panel with an inquisitive look, resting his chin on his palm. "What do raptors rely on for food?"
Midway through the show, Flatow told the audience how perfectly they performed. If you missed the live stream of the show, you can catch the recorded version available now on the Science Friday webpage.