Big Picture Science Radio Show

What if there is extraterrestrial intelligence?

Turns out there’s a bunch of geniuses at the SETI Institute asking the same question.

The SETI Institute is made up of real scientists doing real science.  Using GIGANTIC RADIO TELESCOPE ARRAYS the way we use car keys.

“Work at the Center is divided into two areas: Research and Development, and Projects. R&D efforts include the development of new signal processing algorithms, new search technology, and new SETI search strategies that are then incorporated into specific observing projects. The algorithms and technology developed in the lab are first field-tested and then implemented during observing. The observing results are used to guide the development of new hardware, software, and observing facilities. The improved SETI observing projects in turn provide new ideas for research and development. This cycle leads to continuing progress and diversification in our ability to search for extraterrestrial signals.”

( THAT sounds like awesome fun to me.)

Science Radio Doesn’t Have to be Dull

As funding for the SETI Institute is primarily donations from individuals and grants from private foundations, they have gotten very good at marketing and promotion.  One of their best outreach efforts is their weekly radio show, Big Picture Science.

Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style.  Science radio doesn’t have to be dull.  The only dry thing about our program is the humor.”

Really, it’s even better than that.

Hosts Dr. Seth Shostak and Molly Bently have been making Great Radio for ten years.  They sound the way dance partners look, flowing smoothly, effortless, vigorously across synthetic biology and quantum computing.  Having fun all the while.

HERE’S THE REALLY GOOD NEWS — Big Picture Science is coming to Radio Newark!

Barbara Vance and Jazz Beitler at creative PR made it possible for Big Picture Science to fit the bite-size radio format you love.  (We call it “short attention span radio!”  Ha!)  They took on extra work in order to get one of the finest, most intelligent science radio shows delivered to your ears.  Thank you Barbara, and thank you Jazz!

Big Picture Science is a national hit.  Now it’s up to you to make it an INTERNATIONAL hit!

The Ontario Science Centre’s Redshift Report

The Ontario Science Centre is one of those places YOU’VE GOT TO SEE.

And take your kids, because they’ll love it, too.

The architecture is fabulous, the displays are INTERACTIVE, and the hydraulic organ — the world’s largest hydraulophone — is available for playing 24 hours a day.  This is a BIG museum.  There are several hundred exhibits touching on a wide range of sciences, from geology to astrobiology.

The museum is constantly being updated — a strong funding organization keeps the Centre in the Top Ten of the World’s Best Science Museums.

AND they produce a science podcast!  Called the Redshift Report, the museum answers your questions.  A large, animated, interesting group of “researcher-scientists” join host Ken Huxley in tackling all kinds of subjects.  Here’s a quick list of recent topics:

How many people can the Earth support?

What are some of the weird ways that animals communicate?

Is the Rock-Paper-Scissors game just blind luck?

What’s in store for the future of space exploration?

Through the kindness and dedication of the Centre’s Kevin Von Appen, the OSC has made more than 100 broadcasts available to you.  Each is a gem — full of insight, broadening your understanding of science, and with a side order of fun as well.

It is through kind action, benevolent work, that we are able to bring you such excellent programming.  Many people helped.  I bless them all and thank them for the contribution to Radio Newark and to you.

Thank you, Ontario Science Centre.  Go there and have some fun!

EarthSky: A clear voice for science

“Science,” to me, is the leading edge of knowledge.  It works on the boundary between the known and the unknown.  I think that’s exciting.  Science also means understanding my world, after all the root word scient means knowledge or to know.

And there is an ever-expanding body of science with which to stay abreast.  How do you manage that?  One of the sources I rely on to keep me up-to-date is EarthSky .

EarthSky has 600+ Global Science Advisors – experts in every field of study – who suggest topics, review content, and provide ongoing help to a radio show that began in 1991.

EarthSky enjoys the support and partnership of thousands of scientists and scientific institutions, including Fast Company, Discovery News, the National Science Foundation, Google, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, Research Corporation, Shell, the Edwards Foundation, Advanced MicroDevices, Dow, the Whole Planet Foundation, Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Geological Society of America, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sustainable Brands, the National Space Grant Foundation, The Economist, and, of course, Radio Newark.  (There are many more.)

In short, it is a fabulous group of brilliant people producing excellent summaries of current research, the lastest discoveries, with an analysis of scientific publications and news all wrapped up in a broadcast-quality package, and happily aired to you by way of Radio Newark.  What could be better?!

Truly, it is an honor to be an EarthSky affiliate.  The scientists interviewed are extraordinarily knowledgeable, articulate, and interesting.  The the subject matter is vast — such a broad horizon.  I’m never bored, but always looking forward to the next segment of EarthSky.

You will too.


CATEX News, from The Catastrophe Risk Exchange

Every disaster, from Bhopal to Fukushima, whether man-made or Acts of God, has a price tag.  And Mr. Frank Fortunato, co-founder and CEO of CATEX, The Catastrophe Risk Exchange, Inc., can tell you their exact cost.

Mr. Fortunato is a principal in the reinsurance industry, and it’s reinsurance companies that pay many of the claims resulting from these catastrophies.

Francis Fortunato possesses expertise on a wide range of legal and policy matters relating to property and casualty insurance. Previously, as Assistant Counsel in the New Jersey Governor’s Office, Frank was responsible for drafting key legislation amending the State’s insurance laws, and advising the Governor on diverse insurance-related issues. While on staff of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, he was responsible for numerous investigations and oversight hearings involving insurance and banking matters. Mr. Fortunato holds a JD from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He works personally with all of the major insurance and  reinsurance companies.   He knows their struggles and concerns.

And through that point-of-view Frank shares his interpretation of global news each weekday through his CATEX TV News broadcast, which we are pleased to share with you over Radio Newark.

Mr. Fortunato’s unique background and position as CEO of CATEX make him unusually qualified to offer insight and analysis into the news of the day.  Thank you, Frank, for sharing your expertise and experience with us.

Feature Story News (FSN) International News

Feature Story News is trustworthy and great to listen to.

Through our partnerships, affiliations, and rebroadcast agreements Radio Newark offers a wide variety of news.  Each with a unique viewpoint.  The one I enjoy the most is FSN — Feature Story News.  And the one I trust the most is also FSN.  Here’s why —

The reporters (and hence the reports) are excellent.  They are first-hand reporters, witnessing and speaking directly about what they see.  Because they don’t represent a certain country, they don’t have an agenda to push or point-of-view to spin like the VOA, CRI or DW.  (Yes, I know that both DW and VOA have journalistic codes and charters to which they are beholden — that’s not the point.  I believe that both of those broadcasters are truthful and thorough.  The question is, though, “Which stories do they cover?”  It is in the selection of stories that editing quite naturally happens.  Someone makes the decision as to what news will be aired and what will be shelved.)  FSN takes a look at the news from their clients’ point-of-view, asking, “Which stories will my clients want their audiences to know about?”  In other words, FSN is serving the listeners, not their own agenda.  So I trust them more than I do the others.

Why do I enjoy them the most?  I love their style of delivery and the delivery itself.  I like the way each reporter contributes to the broadcast, I like the way the presenters moderate and manage the limited time available for the broadcast (just five minutes for news that covers the globe…!), and I love the accents.  FSN staffers are from all over the world and their English language accents are like choice spices on an already delicious roast.  Yummy!

Also, FSN revises and produces their newscasts around-the-clock so you’re constantly up-to-date on the biggest world stories.  (Except weekend.  Mr. Marks?!)

Nina-Maria Potts, Olly Barrett,  Anya Ardayeva, Kate Moody, and Daniel Ryntjes.  They’re a great crew — I’m tellin’ you!  Listen to what they bring, day-in and day-out, and you’ll be impressed too.

At least I think so.  Feel free to add your thoughts on FSN.

Thanks, FSN!  And thank you, too, Radio Newark listeners.

— Steve Worden

TED: Technology, Entertainment, and Design

The TED conference “brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).”  TED Talks are extraordinarily diverse, from personal challenges like lessons learned when your flight lands in the Hudson River, to scientific, medical, and artistic achievements.  The TED musical performances are superlative.

The springtime TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach and simulcast in Palm Springs, is at the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in advance — and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter presentations, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience.

TED Talks delve into worlds I’ve never seen.  And they delve deeply.  We are escorted on each trip by an experienced, articulate genius who is passionate about the topic.  We hear first-hand from a great teacher / storyteller / artist in detail about a subject they are intimately familiar with.  The voyage is always worth the trip.  I find my heart drawn into every TED Talk I hear.  I hope yours is too.


IPR: Irrational Public Radio

The perfectly formed parody!  Joe Smith writes and produces GENIUS with every episode, taking the sublime cool of National Public Radio to an entirely different orbit.  Here is a radio show where incongruity rules, and the most unexpected turns wheel about in each new segment.

If you’re not paying attention, the show sounds just like NPR.  On the other hand, if you ARE listening, you won’t be able to hear all of it because you’ll be laughing so much.  Here’s what they say about themselves:

“Where other news sources leave off, Irrational Public Radio starts, and proceeds almost mercilessly. For the discerning listener, IPR is a stalwart of integrity, a bastion of integrity, and just a huge heaping platter of integrity. We commend you for your taste and your fetching personal scent.”

Joe, I look forward to every new episode you produce.  Every time an IPR segment comes on Radio Newark, I stop whatever I am doing and listen.  Each one is a treasure.  Thank you for sharing your work with our listeners.

(This post was brought to you by the Mister Martinez Center for Wayward Cats.)

–Steve Worden

“I’ve switched!” and Program Schedule

Well, you are all very kind.  Probably too kind.  One friend wrote, “I used to listen to NPR exclusively.  I’ve switched to Radio Newark!”  Please keep your comments coming.  You can register and post a note here, call the station at (302) 709-1620, or email info (at)

We’ve made a few tweaks to the rotation — summarized in the table below.

All times are USA EASTERN.

0000 – 0500  Alternating programs between the full Naked Scientists broadcast and Some Assembly Required.

0500, 0700, 0900, 1100, 1300, 1500, 1700, 1900, 2100, 2300  FSN News, National Institute of Aeronautics, Scott Smith’s Daily Boost, National Institute of Health, Nature Watch, an international segment called Hands On Radio which covers work being done in ecology, solar engineering, national infrastructures, health, and more from locations around the world, the VOA news near the bottom of the hour, Don Swaim’s Book Beat (interviews with famous authors), the Naked Scientists News Flash (brilliant!), and Our Ocean World.  We end the hour with some meditative music.

0600, 0800, 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800, 2000, 2200  FSN News, Evan Slack Network (weather, farm and ranching news), Roy H. William’s Monday Morning Memo (genius, friendly, insightful, significant!), Centers for Disease Control (covers a huge range of topics), Our Ocean World, Fitness Boost from Scott Smith (thank you Scott), Book Beat, VOA news near the bottom of the hour, followed by a NASA or JPL segment, Nature Watch, and a short biography on a true hero from


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