RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Science broadcaster and writer Ira Flatow and science and nature writer David Quammen will be inducted as honorary life members of Sigma Xi at the Society’s annual meeting in Seattle on November 3-6.
Since 1983, distinguished individuals not otherwise eligible for membership in Sigma Xi, who have served science, or the Society, in a manner or to a degree that merits such recognition, have been elected honorary life members by the Board of Directors.
Ira Flatow is the host of NPR’s Talk of The Nation: Science Friday®, bringing radio and Internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative weekly discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment.
He is also founder and president of TalkingScience, a non-profit company dedicated to creating radio, TV and Internet projects that make science "user friendly."
Mixing his passion for science with a tendency toward being "a bit of a ham," Flatow describes his work as the challenge "to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table." He has shared that enthusiasm with public radio listeners for more than 35 years.
His most recent book is They All Laughed... From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives. It followed on the heels of Rainbows, Curve Balls and Other Wonders of the Natural World Explained.
His numerous TV credits include six years as host and writer for the Emmy-award-winning Newton's Apple on PBS; science reporter for CBS This Morning, Westinghouse and cable's CNBC. His articles and commentary have appeared in many newspapers and magazines.
Recent honors include the 2005 Public Service Award from the National Science Board, the AAAS Journalism Award and the Carl Sagan Award. A native of New York, Flatow now lives in Connecticut.
David Quammen won his third National Magazine Award this year from the American Society of Magazine Editors for his National Geographic essay "Was Darwin Wrong?" He answered that question with a resounding no, concluding that "the evidence for evolution is overwhelming."
Noting that many Americans don’t believe the theory of evolution, the judges called the story "courageous."
Educated at Yale and Oxford University, Quammen twice received the National Magazine Award for his work in Outside magazine. His articles are collected in four volumes, Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature and The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, plus Wild Thoughts from Wild Places and, most recently, The Boilerplate Rhino.
His award-winning nonfiction book, The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, is a readable and scholarly treatment of the history of evolutionary theory, biodiversity, population dynamics and extinction.
His many honors include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction and the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing.
Born in Cincinnati, Quammen was drawn to Montana 32 years ago for the trout fishing and currently resides in Bozeman.