Quirky, entertaining and informative, Science Update is an online magazine reporting on science, medicine and technology, and is built on a foundation of thousands of science radio shows and interviews conducted over the past 30 years.
Spotlights feature new stories on monthly themes, like Bugs, Space, Food, and The Brain, along with selected stories and interviews from the Science Update archives. They also include useful books and products related to the topic, and links to professional societies and other authoritative information resources.
Reality Check highlights stories focused on urban myths and quack medicine; Why Is It answers audience science questions; Radio Archives is a searchable library of most of the Science Update radio stories produced since 2000 (with older stories added as they are unearthed); and SciUp@School is a collection of resources for educators.
Original Radio Show
Science Update is the new incarnation of the daily Science Update radio feature, produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) between January of 1988 and October of 2018. Bob Hirshon, Executive Producer/Host of Science Update, acquired the Science Update name, URL and library of Science Update shows from AAAS, and they now form the foundation of this new project.
Science Update was created in the fall of 1987 by science reporter Bob Hirshon, hired by the AAAS to create a short science feature to be aired on commercial talk/news radio stations. The show was the brainchild of AAAS Director of Communications Carol L. Rogers and Mutual Broadcasting’s VP of Programming Ron Nesson, who envisioned it as a way to beef up science news content for the vast majority of US households that listened primarily to commercial radio, rather than public radio.
It began as a 90-second show, airing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then became a daily 60-second feature. Science Update was carried by the daily news program America in the Morning with Jim Bohannon, on the Mutual Broadcasting Network, and stayed with the show when Mutual was acquired by Westwood One and then underwent subsequent mergers and consolidations. Science Update was soon syndicated to hundreds of additional radio stations, both commercial and public.
In the late 1980s, the show was written by host/reporter Bob Hirshon, recorded at the Crystal City, VA studios of the Mutual Broadcasting System studios (on 1/4″ magnetic tape) and produced at Sonic Images productions. Production moved in-house to AAAS in the early 1990s, and Hirshon was joined by 10-week summer science writing interns, then by a part-time writer/reporter and, at the show’s height, by a full-time and a half-time writer/producer. In recent years, these staff wrote most Science Update stories.
The most recent Science Update alumni were: