47 min

Polling Science, Gar-eat Lakes. Jan 17, 2020, Part 1 Science Friday

    • Astronomy

The Science Of Polling In 2020 And Beyond
In today’s fast-paced digital culture, it is more difficult than ever to follow and trust political polls. Campaigns, pollsters, and media outlets each say that their numbers are right, but can report different results. Plus, the 2016 election is still fresh in the public’s mind, when the major story was how political polling got it wrong. 

But despite how people may feel about the practice, the numbers suggest that polls are still working. Even as telephone survey response rates have fallen to around 5%, polling accuracy has stayed consistent, according to a new report published by the Pew Research Center. But things get even trickier when talking about online polls. 

So how can polling adapt to the way people live now, with texting, social media, and connecting online? And will the public continue to trust the numbers? Ira talks with Courtney Kennedy, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center about the science of polling in 2020 and beyond. Kennedy also told SciFri three questions you should ask when you’re evaluating a poll. Find out more.

Why Native Fish Matter
The fish populations of the Great Lakes have changed dramatically in the years since invasive species first arrived. Bloodsucking sea lampreys have decimated native lake trout, and tiny alewives have feasted on the eggs and young of trout and other native species. But there’s good news too, as researchers roll out solutions to help manage invasive fish populations and maintain the diversity of species. 

In this next installment of the SciFri Book Club, Fish ecologist Solomon David explains why the biodiversity of the Great Lakes matters more than ever, and how to appreciate these hard-to-see freshwater fish. 

Planning For Spring Waters Along The Missouri

In Missouri, people are looking towards repaired levees in the hopes of reducing future flood damage.


Our Bodies Are Cooling Down
98.6 F is no longer the average healthy body temperature. Is improving health the culprit? Science journalist Eleanor Cummins reports the latest in science news.

The Science Of Polling In 2020 And Beyond
In today’s fast-paced digital culture, it is more difficult than ever to follow and trust political polls. Campaigns, pollsters, and media outlets each say that their numbers are right, but can report different results. Plus, the 2016 election is still fresh in the public’s mind, when the major story was how political polling got it wrong. 

But despite how people may feel about the practice, the numbers suggest that polls are still working. Even as telephone survey response rates have fallen to around 5%, polling accuracy has stayed consistent, according to a new report published by the Pew Research Center. But things get even trickier when talking about online polls. 

So how can polling adapt to the way people live now, with texting, social media, and connecting online? And will the public continue to trust the numbers? Ira talks with Courtney Kennedy, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center about the science of polling in 2020 and beyond. Kennedy also told SciFri three questions you should ask when you’re evaluating a poll. Find out more.

Why Native Fish Matter
The fish populations of the Great Lakes have changed dramatically in the years since invasive species first arrived. Bloodsucking sea lampreys have decimated native lake trout, and tiny alewives have feasted on the eggs and young of trout and other native species. But there’s good news too, as researchers roll out solutions to help manage invasive fish populations and maintain the diversity of species. 

In this next installment of the SciFri Book Club, Fish ecologist Solomon David explains why the biodiversity of the Great Lakes matters more than ever, and how to appreciate these hard-to-see freshwater fish. 

Planning For Spring Waters Along The Missouri

In Missouri, people are looking towards repaired levees in the hopes of reducing future flood damage.


Our Bodies Are Cooling Down
98.6 F is no longer the average healthy body temperature. Is improving health the culprit? Science journalist Eleanor Cummins reports the latest in science news.

47 min

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