The regular use of your ears is a great way of staying connected to new developments in science and technology. Especially in a world in which many people now own highly portable, pocket-sized devices (phones, iPods, radios, etc.), it’s pretty easy to find other people who are interested in sharing interesting and often entertaining scientific stories and experiences.
Here are just a few of my personally favorite ways to listen to science…
THIS AMERICAN LIFE
This is one of my all-time favorite podcasts. It’s still a radio show too, but nowadays its much easier to download their hundreds of episodes to a mobile phone or other portable device. A word of warning, however, not every one of their shows is about science and/or technology (the folks at This American Life are too interesting for that!). Nevertheless, they have produced a number of shows that people who love science and technology will no doubt enjoy. Here are just a few of the titles you might consider listening to: Fake Science (Ep#265), Game Changer (Ep#440), Enemy Camp (Ep#404), Animals (Ep#49), Mapping (Ep#110).
This is probably my favorite Internet science podcast. The people at RadioLab believe that “your ears are a portal to another world.” Using a variety of different sound effects, their podcasts investigate some truly amazing stories where science, mathematics, philosophy, and culture are all mixed together in one interesting cauldron. Check it out…you won’t be disappointed! Here are a few of their more recent science-y episodes: Cellmates, Carbon, Elements, Shrink, Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR, Staph Retreat, and The Firefly Firework Lottery.
This is a great Internet podcast, and although its subject matter is not about science or technology per se, the topics they choose are still very much related to things that will be of interest to people who like science, engineering, and technology. According to their own website, 99% Invisible is “a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.” Give it a try. I think you’ll be impressed and (hopefully) inspired.
NPR’s SCIENCE FRIDAY
ScienceFriday is a weekly science talk show broadcast live in the United States. Each week, they focus on science topics that are in the news. In addition to their weekly podcast, their website has lots of interesting videos to watch, as well as a website devoted to teenagers who are deeply interested in science. Check it out, it’s called TalkingScience.
Star Talk is a popular commercial radio program in the United States devoted to space science and is hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. In it, Professor Tyson tackles such topics as space travel, extra-terrestrial life, the Big Bang, the future of our Earth and the environment, and breaking news from the universe.
THE SKEPTICS’ GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE
Yet another space science podcast. According to their website, the group behind this podcast is dedicated to “promoting critical thinking, reason, and the public understanding of science through online and other media.” They’ve been making regular podcasts since 2005 and they remain one of the most popular science podcasts on iTunes.
CBC radio’s “HOW TO THINK ABOUT SCIENCE”
What is science? What do scientists do? This is a 24-part series of radio interviews with anthropologists, philosophers, historians and scientists in an attempt to provide answers to these (and other) science-related questions.
Other opportunities to listen to science…
Scientific American’s 60-SECOND SCIENCE
Nova’s interesting piece on ECOLOGICAL SOUNDSCAPES
Do you have a favorite way of listening to science?
If so, then please tell Dr. M about it through the comment feature below!