7 Best Science Podcasts that Make Science Greater than It Was Before

August 13, 2020

by Andreea Sterea

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Sure, you can listen to podcasts about celebrities, politics, economy, music, or movies. But, in the immortal words of Marie Curie, Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. In other words, why not try some of the best science podcasts this year?

The Best Science Podcasts and Shows that Make Science Greater than It Was Before

Mixing the real-time enjoyment of radio shows with the thrills of learning something new every time podcasts have gained plenty of popularity in the past years. Their friendly format and global availability, thanks to the Internet, make science podcasts some of the best instruments for gaining scientific knowledge. Either you want to let go of your fears or understand everything that is around us, let’s see today some of the best science podcasts to make you smarter this year!

To remind you again the words of one of the most important and famous female scientists of all time – Marie Curie -, the more we learn, the less afraid we will be. In truth, this world needs a break from all the fear it has been experiencing as of late. We know that people have little time to engage in profound scientific research to discern fact from fiction and gain profound knowledge of all things. This is what science podcasts are for: to teach, entertain, spark your curiosity, and make you thirsty for more! 

marie curie quotes

Why Should You Listen to the Best Science Podcasts in 2020?

Most science podcasts we present you with today will help you learn a host of weird science facts to spark your curiosity and thirst for more, while they keep you on your toes with their “what happens next?” suspenseful vibes. Whether you want to learn mind-blowing details about space and astronomy, animals, physics, medicine, or climate change, you will find a science podcast to serve your needs.

Today, we have ten of the best science podcasts that range from in-depth, immersive analyses on single issues to humorous takes on science topics of all types. From talks about aliens to how our bodies work, we hope the following top podcasts (in no particular order) will quench your thirst for knowledge.

7 Best Science Podcasts that Make Science Greater than It Was Before (and You Smarter)

1. Houston We Have A Podcast

Competing for the title of best science podcast abut space and the best podcast name of all times, Houston We Have A Podcast is the official podcast of NASA. As space and astronomy buffs as you know us to be, you understand why we love to listen to host Gary Jordan and his guests. You will learn plenty of NASA news right from the source, how to train to become an astronaut, how NASA tests its space modules and more. Gary Jordan brings in astrophysicists from NASA, astronauts, experts, and technicians. From Super-Earths to life on the ISS, all topics have a flair of humor and a profound understanding of each subject.

best science podcasts houstorn we have a podcast

2. Science Vs.

Truth be told, your newsfeed reeks of science-related news, from the effects of 5G, vaccines and anti-vaxxers, plastic pollution, nuclear power, genders, DNA testing, and more. Well, if you want to hear scientists talking about everything from heartbreaks to debunking coronavirus myths and fake news, Science Vs. is your go-to podcast.

Hosted by science journalist Wendy Zuckerman and being around for a handful of years, Science Vs. gives you a clear picture of where scientific research is today. Zuckerman’s infectious enthusiasm and humor make a good part of the show. We like the fact that the host tackles some of the hottest contemporary debates – from gun control to diet fads – from a scientific point of view. And, let us tell you, the research, evidence, and documentation are hands down some of the best in the industry of science podcasts.

science vs science podcast

3. The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists podcast is the golden standard when it comes to both science and podcasts. A veteran in its field and among the first to play the game of making science accessible to the masses, this podcast is a treasure trove of knowledge. Hosted by consultant virologist and Cambridge University lecturer Dr. Chris Smith, this podcast is an hour-long BBC show encouraging audience participation.

The host invites real scientists to talk about trending science news and discoveries. It is also a training ground for science communicators, students, and science buffs. If you enjoy some classic British wit and want to learn everything from how the flu spreads to why people dance or enjoy horror movies, this is one of the best science podcasts to make you smarter this year.

naked scientists best science podcasts

4. Nature

If you want to learn more about the chemical that turns locusts from Jekyll into Hyde, then Nature is the right science podcast for you. Coming from the prestigious Journal of Science, this podcast covers a wide array of science topics, from how birds see colors to what secrets Pluto hides. Presented by a handful of science journalists and scientists, the podcast also tackles science news that may not have reached the headlines (or your Facebook feed). The work is always up-to-date, powerfully engaging, and deeply researched, making it one of the best science podcasts for science students and science buffs.

nature best scienc podcasts

5. Radiolab

You cannot have the best science podcasts roundup without Radiolab, now, can you? With the tag line “investigating a strange world,” Radiolab is also a veteran in the field. NPR’s Peabody-winning podcast is a model of good practices on how people should document science, make a show, and promote a podcast. Whether you want to learn about blood, Nina Simone, atomic artifacts, the Mandela effect, or how diabetic, a cop, and a bottle of orange juice changed police procedures forever, click on that listen button. What we love most about Radiolab is that is has a Radiolab for Kids section that makes science great for the little ones with kid-friendly science stories curated by the show’s experts.

radiolab best science podcasts

6. Ologies

Many sciences are – ologies: biology, psychology, geology, etc. In each episode of Ologies, science correspondent and humorist Alie Ward and his guests tackle a different “ology,” learning all about these science areas. From established ologies, like paleontology, virology, and neurobiology to less famous areas of expertise (like philematology – the study of kissing), Ward and his invited experts talk about a bevy of strange and fun science topics. You may find your next favorite science niche if you listen about scatology (the study of poop), or wizard science, brilliantly called Potterology. In other words, prepare to go where few other people have gone before in the world of science and have epiphanies about obscure sciences and facts that you never gave a thought until now!

ologies best science podcasts

7. The Infinite Monkey Cage

This BBC Radio 4 show is a panel-style podcast hosted by famous British physicist Brian Cox and his partner, comedian Robin Ince. If you want both an informative and irreverent science podcast with a stellar cast of guests (Patrick Stewart or Jo Brand, to name a few), The Infinite Monkey Cage is the right one for you. The episodes take the shape of “science meets comedy” as the hosts usually invite two scientists to debate on a specific topic, alongside a comedian (the likes of Stephen Fry or Eric Idle) for balance and oomph. You can imagine the result, or, better yet, you can listen to them trying to learn more about conspiracy theories, figure out what is life, how our brain works, coral reefs, fire, quantum worlds, or the science of laughter.

infinite monkey cage best science podcasts

Best Science Podcasts: Bottom Line

Here you have our list of best science podcasts that we usually listen when we want to learn more about everything around us. They also help us dive deep into specific research areas and separate science from fiction, fearmongering, and fake news. As you can probably guess, there are most top podcasts on science than we presented. So, if you have a few favorites of your own and you want to share them with us, feel free to use the comment section below and tell us which podcasts make your daily doses of science and wisdom!  

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