The Science Friday Initiative Board
Ira Flatow, President/Founder
Ira is currently host/executive producer of Science Friday
. He anchors the news/talk show each Friday, bringing radio and Internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on all things science. His most recent book, Present at the Future
, includes some of his on-air interviews with famous scientists.
Mary Smart, Vice President
Mary is interested in gerontology and U.S. senior demographics. She is currently a board member of the Beuhler Center on Aging at Northwestern University and previously served on the board of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, an organization which creates, protects, and promotes more than 1,800 miles of public hiking trails. She currently is on the board of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and the National Forest Foundation (NFF), which is the only conservation organization solely focused on addressing the challenges that face America's National Forests and Grasslands. In 2002 she was a founding board member of Alstrom Syndrome International. Mary is a board member of the Smart Family Foundation and has been with the Science Friday Initiative Board since 2004.
Richard D. Firestone
Rich is an independent consultant with expertise in information technology and radio and television production. Most recently he has worked on federal government contracts to provide web and database support to the National Weather Service’s Environmental Modeling Center. For nearly 20 years, Rich served as the Voice of America’s webmaster and producer of live sporting events coverage. Rich was also the first long-term director of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, also serving as its producer, after which he became producer of live events for NPR. During his time in the U. S. Air Force, Rich was one of a four-member staff working for the flagship T.V. station of the American Forces Thailand Network in Korat, Thailand.
Martha J. Fleischman
Martha is president and owner of Kennedy Galleries, Inc., a private dealer in American art of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. She was publisher of American Art (1997-2005), a scholarly, non-commercial publication on historical American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. Martha was a past board member of The Art Dealers Association of America. She currently serves on the board of New York Public Radio and was the co-chair of the WQXR Campaign, which acquired the radio station for WNYC from The New York Times in 2009. She is also a trustee for the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, a Board member for Democracy Now! and on the advisory board for the New York Festival of Song.
James is the Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He was President of Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the oldest foundation in the nation dedicated solely to science, from 2005 until 2013. Prior to his tenure at RCSA, he was The Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Biology at Hope College, where he also served as the departmental chair in Biology, and held the position of Dean of the Sciences during his 29 years at the institution. Dr. Gentile obtained a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University, Minnesota, a M.S. and Ph.D. from Illinois State University, and undertook postdoctoral studies in the Department of Human Genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is an AAAS Fellow, a National Associate of the National Academies of Sciences, and a National Academies Education Mentor. He was also honored by Illinois State University with an Alumni Achievement Award, election to the university Hall of Fame, and their 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award. He has been, or continues as, a consultant to numerous national and international public and private colleges, universities, and foundations and corporations. He currently authors an active blog in the Huffington Post.
Marilyn is active speaking, writing, and teaching, both in the U.S. and internationally. A national trainer for the Foundation Center, she is also a consultant to Young Audiences, the national arts in education organization, and its affiliates. Marilyn has written articles for Informal Learning Review; the Association of Science Technology Center’s Dimensions; the Indian National Council of Science Museums’ Propagationist; India’s Sanctuary magazine; and the National Association for Museum Exhibition’s Exhibitionist. Marilyn chairs the board of NewKnowledge, co-chairs the Program Committee of Fund-Raising Day in New York, and serves as an advisory committee member for both Chicago’s National Public Housing Museum and Columbia University’s Masters in Fund-Raising program. Marilyn worked as a cultural grantmaker in the 70s and 80s; as a fund-raising consultant with JC Geever in the 90s; and was a 20-year founding staff member of the New York Hall of Science, serving as head of advancement, COO, and CEO.
Julie has more than 20 years of consulting experience collaborating with a broad base of clients on strategic and organizational issues. Julie has worked at all levels of senior management to bring about effective strategic change while imparting knowledge and developing the skills of the broader team. Prior to launching her own firm, Collaborative Consulting, Julie worked as a Principal for Swander, Pace & Co, having started her career with Accenture in the Information Technology Division. Julie is currently a trustee with the Louis Leakey Foundation, helping to enhance its mission, build its marketing and communication strategies, and improve development capabilities. She and her husband, John Kunzweiler, live in Tiburon, California. Julie and John share a passion for science and are supporters and fellows of the Aspen Institute.
Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica is also a New York Times bestselling author, internationally-recognized mathematician, and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and The New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a ground-breaking mathematical physics theorem which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem). She is the author of Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, and Hot X: Algebra Exposed.
Paul is a journalist, blogger, and author of several books, including Acquainted With the Night, a memoir, and most recently, Do Fathers Matter? Paul writes regularly for Discover magazine and is a media critic for the Knight Science Journalism Tracker. Paul has also served as a science editor at the Associated Press and Business Week.
Camilla serves on several national and community boards including National Public Radio Foundation, The L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, San Francisco Performances, KQED, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Music @ Menlo, Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, Library Advisory Board at the University of California at Berkeley, Council of Friends of The Bancroft Library, and the San Francisco State University Foundation. She edits the newsletter for The Bancroft Library, Bancroftiana. She and her husband, George Smith, have five children and eight grand children.
David is a managing partner of the law firm Stone & Magnanini LLP. Formerly he was general counsel of the YankeeNets, LLC. He is a specialist in complex litigation, intellectual property, and entertainment law, and has won landmark patent infringement and Medicare fraud cases against Fortune 500 companies. David is also a longtime board member of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), as well as CEO of Merlin Productions, where he is engaged in the production of theater, films, and other creative works. He was a lead producer of the off-Broadway musical Frankenstein and was involved with A Christmas Story. David has undergraduate and law school degrees from Harvard University.
Dr. Lawrence Krauss