Dr. Fauci’s Exit Interview, Goodnight Oppy Mars Film, Science On The Ballot. Nov 11, 2022, Part 1


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Science Was Big On The Ballot This Week. Here’s What Went Down

Another chaotic election week has come and gone. Across the U.S., science was on the ballot, and people cast their votes on issues like healthcare, climate change infrastructure, conservation, and abortion policy.

Nsikan Akpan, health and science editor at WNYC in New York City, joins Ira to talk about how the science ballot initiatives panned out this week. They discuss the outcomes of the abortion initiatives, California’s move to ban flavored tobacco, and what this election could mean for the future of the U.S.’ climate goals.

Plus, they discuss the mess that is COP 27 climate conference, why this hurricane season is so strange, how an in utero procedure successfully treated a rare genetic disorder, and new footage of octopuses hurling objects at each other.

As Anthony Fauci Steps Down, A Look Back At His Storied Career

In recent years, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, has become a prominent public figure and one of the public faces of the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Science Friday has been talking to Dr. Fauci for decades, beginning in 1994, about topics ranging from HIV/AIDS to Ebola, interviewing him about everything from the Zika virus to advances in allergy research. Fauci has been in his current role at NIAID for 38 years, and has served as an advisor to seven presidents. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He spoke with Ira about his career in medical research, the things he’s most proud of achieving in his time with the NIH, and the challenges the nation still faces in dealing with the pandemic, and other disease outbreaks yet to come.

New Documentary Is Endearing Tribute To NASA’s Rover Program

In 2003, the world became captivated by two rovers launched by NASA on a mission to Mars, known as Spirit and Opportunity. The rovers were sent to the Red Planet to discover what was on the surface. The rovers were only expected to last 90 days. Instead, Opportunity led a 15-year life of discovery, including the bombshell that Mars may once have been suitable to sustain microbial life.

The story of these twin rovers is the subject of a new documentary out this month: “Good Night Oppy,” evoking the nickname of the Opportunity rover. The film features footage taken over nearly two decades, from the building of the rovers to recent interviews with scientists involved in the mission.

Ira speaks with “Good Night Oppy” director Ryan White, as well as featured scientist Doug Ellison, engineering camera payload uplink lead at NASA, based in Alhambra, California.

Transcripts for each segment will be available the week after the show airs on sciencefriday.com.

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