Our Top 10 Science Podcasts

Our Top 10 Science Podcasts
Posted in: Fun Science!
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2 years ago

Our Top 10 Science Podcasts

We love a podcast! On a long commute or while you’re pottering at home, tuning in to learn something new while being entertained is a great way to pass the time. Unlike being in a lecture hall, podcasts cut straight to the interesting bits, and who doesn’t perk their ears up at a bit of the weird and wonderful?

There are some cracking podcasts out there – brought to you by some of the science world’s favorite personalities. You most likely spend a lot of your day looking at your screen or your books, so give your eyes a well-earned break and open your ears.

In no particular order, here are some of our all-time favorite science podcasts...


1. The Infinite Monkey Cage

First things first, we’re sure you’ve already heard of The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Super-likeable TV scientist Brian Cox is joined by comedian and writer Robin Ince for a thoughtful look at the world through a scientist's eyes.

We love how often Brian corrects Robin’s jokes – and these two take deadpan humour to a whole new level.

This podcast is pretty well known now and they’ve been going for a while, so they regularly have some of the biggest names in showbiz as guests.

One of our favourite lockdown listens was The Astronaut’s Guide to Isolation, available now on the BBC Sounds app.


2. Science Vs.

Feeling fatigued by fake news? Talk to the team at Science Vs. if you’re looking to attack the ‘facts’ as they’re sometimes shown in the media. For everything from fad diets to the coronavirus pandemic, this podcast takes a magnifying glass to what we think we know.

Follow the team behind this podcast on Twitter for more, or check out our favourite episode recently: ‘Coronavirus, should I disinfect EVERYTHING?’ – it really captures the mood of the moment (and helps bust some anxiety-inducing myths).


3. Science Magazine Podcast

You’ve read the magazine – now try the podcast, with new episodes out every Thursday.

Sarah Crespi, multimedia manager at Science Magazine, hosts the show and discusses topics of the day, as well as interviewing guests and authors about their work. These guys cover a wide range of topics, including how researchers are using samurai wasps to battle stinkbugs!

Our favourite recent episode is from back in April: ‘Blood test for multiple cancers studied in 10,000 women, and is our Sun boring?’ We think yes, maybe. But also that’s fine.


4. Probably Science

Probably Science is more of a silly one. It might be a frustrating listen for some scientists, but we love it! Comedians Matt Kirshen and Andy Wood get stuck into some of the science of the moment.

If you like your science with a side of comedy and casual chat – this one’s for you. Get started (and ‘get your science hat on’) with the recent episode featuring comedian Kristen Key in which they discuss “the importance of moths, illicit surfing in bioluminescence, neon dolphins, thirsty koalas licking trees” and more.


5. Stuff To Blow Your Mind

This is a pretty far out podcast – it’s all about the science around our perception of reality! Mind-blowing, literally. From our increasing neurological oddness to big cosmic mysteries, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick get together to chat it all over with wit and wisdom.

We like to get a bit of foodie-science in once in a while, so we loved the episode ‘Kimchi: A Song of Salt and Cabbage’ in which they discuss the chemistry of Kimchi’s deliciousness.


6. Hello PhD

A career in academia often needs you to trust your instincts – from who to work with to what inspires and interests you. Following feelings and hunches about which path is the right one can be difficult. For the folks from Hello PhD, this was definitely the case – which is why they were inspired to ease the transition for those just starting out in their academic careers.

Tune in to the most recent episode for a deep dive into choosing a PhD supervisor – it's a comfort to know you’re not the first and you won’t be the last to agonise over these issues!


7. Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

For a high-quality podcast that uses the classic interview format, look no further than Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria. Cara is a journalist with oodles of experience in the popular science genre, from Nat Geo’s Brain Games to Bill Nye Saves the World.

With an archive stuffed with interesting guests, you’ll be spoilt for choice amidst these episodes. We love the episode with Lawrence Millman – a global expert on fungi and the author of the "Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore."


8. The Skeptics Guide To The Universe

Join Steven, Jay and Bob Novella, as well as Cara Santa Maria, to train your brain to be sceptical of what you see! This is a big panel for a podcast and even though they’re all scientists they tackle the issues of the day in layman’s terms. And we love a bit of banter.

This one is a one-stop-shop for up to the minute science journalism, and if you love the podcast, you can also read the book!


9. 60-second science

Only got a minute? Not a problem. If you like your science bite-sized, the team at 60-second science have got you covered.

Scroll through the archives and pick a little something you want to know. Then you’re all done before your cup of tea is cold. Sorted!


10. The Neuromantics

You’ve got to admire a podcast with a pun as strong as this in the name. Finding the common ground between the worlds of Art and Science is the main business of this podcast, hosted by writer and actor Will Eaves and Professor Sophie Scott of the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL.

It’s always refreshing to hear science being discussed in the context of the rest of the world, especially the art world which can sometimes feel light-years away.

We recommend starting from the first episode for what science has to do with the creative writing process…

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“Hey! What about…”

If we’ve missed your favorite science podcast, we want to hear about it! Share it in the comments or tweet us about it at @hello_bio – we’re always on the lookout for new stuff to listen to!

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Comments
Dr. Jodi Pawluski
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Great article. I wanted to let you know that I've started a podcast called Mommy Brain Revisited about the neuroscience of parenting. In the podcast I interview leading researchers from around the world. You can check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor and others and on twitter @MommyBrain_Pod
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