In 2013, you don’t need to find a radio to listen in on quality broadcast programming.
A laptop, MP3 player, tablet, or even a smartphone will work just as well. Even better, there is a wealth of content out there that’s both educational and entertaining, including some pretty amazing shows on scientific topics that are equally interesting to the layman and the professional. Whether you’re just getting into listening to science podcasts or are looking for a few new shows to add to your weekly collection, we’ve highlighted what we think are some of the best science podcasts out there right now.
They’re informative, compelling, and even, at times, pretty darn funny, so make sure to check out one, two, or even all of these great science programs the next time you’re looking for a little edutainment.
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Listeners can enjoy five episodes a season of this hip, science-focused news show. What sets it apart from other shows is the often-experimental audio, which uses overlapping audio and other effects to create a unique and engaging show.
Fans of astrophysicist and Nova Science Now host Neil deGrasse Tyson can get access to the popular academic a couple of times a month. Discussions center on astrophysics, but guests are most often actors and comedians.
Comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, and David Huntsberger host this highly entertaining show. While it rarely features actual scientists, topics are usually science-focused and dealt with in a smart, funny manner.
If you’re looking for a comedic take on science, Probably Science is another good option. Matt Kirshen, Brooks Wheelan, and Andy Wood take on the week’s top science stories, with results that are both hilarious and interesting.
Science Friday is part of NPR’s Talk of the Nation programming block, but you can listen to it separately if you’d prefer to forego the rest of the news to focus on science (plus, at almost two hours long, it is show enough in itself). Host Ira Flatow uses the platform to talk about a handful of science news items from the past week. It’s more serious than some of the previous podcasts we’ve mentioned, but more informative as well.
BBC-based podcast The Infinite Monkey Cage features Brian Vox and Robin Ince who combine typical British comedy with geeky discussions of science topics.
60-Second Science is perfect for those who don’t have the time or the attention span for a longer podcast. The show, produced by Scientific American, touches on a news story from that day, and true to its name, it’s only a minute long.
The SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak and Molly Bently pun, talk, and debate their way through this popular podcast, which covers topics like technological innovation, robotics, and, of course, extraterrestrial life.
British podcast The Naked Scientists is part of a series that also features a range of other “naked” topics. There are no actual naked scientists (not that you’d be able to see them over a podcast anyway), but the show’s name draws from the idea of stripping down science to its core ideas, which makes the discussions easy to understand, fun, and highly accessible.
NPR offers science geeks another listening option through this weekly podcast, which is a great place to hear in-depth reports on a wide range of science issues.
This weekly, one-hour show is hosted by Robyn Williams who explores current events in science through discussions with experts and scientists. Topics have ranged from elephants to earthquakes to cosmic diamonds, meaning there will be something to interest just about every science geek out there.
Listeners can get a chance to hear from the scientists behind the latest discoveries in the physical and natural sciences in this weekly podcast, hosted by Canadian science journalist Bob McDonald.
Those who can’t get enough of news and stories from the natural world really shouldn’t miss out on this excellent weekly podcast from Nature. Listeners will get to hear stories on everything from the latest revelations about DNA to rhino conservation efforts.
There’s a lot of pseudoscience out there, and this podcast takes it on headfirst. Skeptical science nerds will appreciate hearing the real science behind common misconceptions, as well as news on some oddball topics.
Those who like their science to have a British accent will appreciate this BBC-produced show. Weekly episodes focus on particularly interesting news stories related to science, which in recent months have included topics like cancer genes, volcano predictions, and the birthday of the neutron.
Lynn Malcolm hosts this excellent (and award-winning) show that is entirely centered on stories about the human brain, touching on fields like psychology, neurology, and more.
Through this podcast, listeners can learn about the work of the leading professionals in the field of microbiology. While stories are field-specific, they almost always have a broad appeal, touching on issues that affect us all.
Science journalist Quentin Cooper hosts this weekly BBC Radio program that covers an incredibly wide range of scientific topics.
Through this podcast, you can learn a bit more about the history of scientific thought, as well as history, religion, and culture.
The American Museum of Natural History hosts a monthly podcast series. Past guests have included Neil deGrasse Tyson, conservation expert Chris Filardi, and theoretical physicist Dr. S. James Gates Jr.
If you’d like more than just 60 seconds of science discussion, then Scientific American has that covered as well. Hosted by Steve Mirsky, the show touches on the top breakthroughs and controversial issues in science and technology each week.
Slacker Astronomy is the perfect place to find interesting stories, interviews, and discussions on a wide range of astronomical topics.
Need a weekly fix of NASA-related news and research? Then start listening to NASA’s own podcast, focused on sharing the latest space exploration and astronomy research.
Produced in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Tokyo, this weekly show is hosted by a rotating group of scientists who take an in-depth look at some of the most interesting recent events in the world of science. While there are serious interviews, there is also humor and a chance to ask a question each week.
Exploration features interviews with scientists who are on the cutting edge of research and development, whether in space travel, biotech, neuroscience, or a whole host of other topics.
Diffusion Science Radio blends science news, humor, history, and more to give listeners a well-rounded and entertaining look into recent scientific discoveries.
With this podcast, you can either listen to or watch a weekly show that explores some of science’s most perplexing mysteries, like how bugs survive harsh winters or why inland lakes aren’t salty.
As its name might lead you to guess, this podcast focuses on all things astronomy. Listeners will get a weekly dose of the show, with topics that change from episode to episode.
Science and environment correspondent for The Guardian Alok Jha also hosts this weekly podcast series. Discussions with guests, often leading researchers in their fields, help illuminate topics like creativity, the relationship between science and government, and even sleep.
How Stuff Works explains, well, exactly that in this weekly podcast that takes on everything from moss to storm chasers.
Learn more about the history of technological progress in this great podcast that highlights some of history’s biggest successes and biggest failures alike.
Who wouldn’t want to know more about viruses, those pesky little things that can make you feel sick or even take your life? Through this podcast, you’ll hear a number of professors from Columbia University’s Medical center take on a range of microbiological, public health, genetics, and virology topics.
Focus magazine provides listeners with interviews and stories on the latest science and technology issues through this podcast.
Australian journalist Robyn Williams also hosts this science-focused show. Much of the content focuses on the ways in which science has an effect on our daily lives, from weather to trauma to environmentalism.
Even if you can’t get in front of your TV, you can still get access to the great stories offered up by NOVA. Simply check out their podcast, which is chock full of interesting, but brief, stories on science.
This award-winning podcast from the Chemical Heritage Foundation is one of the best places to learn about the past, present, and future of chemistry. It isn’t all just lab work, however, as host Meir Rinde touches on issues of chemistry related to everything from baby formula to asbestos.
Fans of Mythbusters Jaime and Adam can get an extra dose of the duo (and a couple of other science geeks, Will and Norm) through their weekly podcast.
The National Academies (including science, engineering, and medicine) put out this research-focused podcast, though fairly irregularly. It covers a wealth of science topics and is largely a more accessible way of getting information found in the Academy’s reports.
These podcasts are super short but they touch on some really amazing cutting-edge projects in science. Produced by the American Chemical Society, the majority are, naturally, in some way related to chemistry.
Dr. Sebastian Seung hosts this show, which as you can guess, is all about the brain. Episodes feature interviews and reviews of new research and cover the full scope of brain sciences.
This is a cross-post from onlinedegrees.org