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Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way to passively gain more knowledge. Rather than sifting through enormous textbooks, people interested in learning more about the world around them can listen to a science podcast while washing the dishes or driving to work.
Science teaches us how the world works and how it affects us—and vice versa. As a result, the best science podcasts challenge conspiracy theories, share the truth, and break down scientific theory in a way that’s easy to digest. These podcasts, for instance, explore topics about the world and beyond, including space, various areas of study, and human behavior.
Here are the 10 best science podcasts for 2019.
The 10 best science podcasts for 2019
1) Science Vs
Listen: Spotify and Apple Podcasts
Produced by Gimlet, Science Vs is essentially a fact-checker that takes on the latest fads and dissects their accuracy. Each episode, in other words, tackles a widely held opinion and explores whether it can be scientifically supported. For example, past episodes have covered whether placebo pills work, whether or not DNA can reveal someone’s race, and the science of being a transgender person.
Listen: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, NPR, TuneIn, and other podcast apps
Airing on Fridays, Science Friday is a podcast that explores a variety of entertaining yet educational stories related to technology and science. Episodes vary greatly in length—ranging from as short as 3 minutes to as long as a half-hour—which accommodates topics that need various levels of detail. For example, past episodes have reported on President Donald Trump’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act and whether or not electric scooters are good for the environment.
Listen: Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Player FM, PodBean, and other podcast apps
Ted Talks is known for highlighting some of the world’s brightest minds in its videos and podcasts. Likewise, the company doesn’t disappoint with its science and medicine podcast. The show features top-notch doctors, scientists, and researchers discussing their work. Though that can sound intimidating at first, the episodes are relatively short and digestible, capping around 20 minutes. Past episodes explored bacteria that eat plastic, where the moon came from, and other scientific discoveries.
Listen: Apple Podcasts, Player FM, TuneIn, Podbean, and other podcast apps
Created by Scientific American, 60-Second Science is a podcast that provides listeners with the most pertinent news in the science world each day. The show also occasionally offers commentary on what’s going on. However, one of the most helpful aspects is that 60-Second Science breaks it all down in just one or two minutes.
5) Talk Nerdy
Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Player FM, and other podcast apps
Knight Foundation Award–winning journalist Cara Santa Maria hosts Talk Nerdy, a podcast where she interviews interesting people about their work. For instance, past episodes have featured chemists, researchers, mathematicians, philosophers, and other thought-leaders in the United States.
Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Player FM, and other podcast apps
Hosted by Daytime Emmy Award winner Alie Ward, Ologies is a podcast that highlights unique and interesting “-ologists” and what they study. Consequently, you learn a lot from the bizarre stories from all kinds of people, from anthropologists to saurologists, who study lizards. The podcast recently celebrated its 100th episode, so there’s plenty of content to explore.
Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, PodBean, Spotify, and other podcast apps
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is a podcast that aims to promote critical thinking and science literacy. Hosted by Steven Novella, the show tackles topics that relate to discussions happening in media. Additionally, it covers the latest science news and conspiracy theories.
Listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Player FM, and other podcast apps
Science, culture, and comedy collide on StarTalk, a podcast hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The show explores all things related to space, including space travel, aliens, the Big Bang, and more.
9) Hidden Brain
Listen: NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and Spotify
Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain is an NPR podcast. The show says Vedantam examines “unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices, and direct our relationships.” For instance, past episodes have focused on rebels, empathy, tunnel vision, and other human behaviors.
Listen: NPR One and Apple Podcasts
Are We There Yet? is a podcast from WMFE arguing that we are on the brink of a breakthrough in human space exploration. Host Brendan Byrne, a space reporter, interviews engineers and scientists about improvements in technology and their big plans to explore space to figure out what’s coming next.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.