The wonderful folks over at the Mendel’s Finches podcast recently invited me on to their show to talk about the bird flight research I’m currently engaged in for my PhD, as well as bio-inspired robotics and science communication. I really enjoyed the podcasting experience and it got me thinking about sharing some of the other great science podcasts that are out there. Here’s a list of some of my favourites, don’t hesitate to mention any others you enjoy in the comments!
1. Mendel’s Finches
As mentioned above, I was honoured to join the Mendel’s Finches team for an episode that spanned a lot of scientific topics! This podcast is hosted by postgraduate students Matt Ravenhall and Lawrence Yolland and features discussions with other postgraduate students about their work, as well as current trends and advancements in scientific research. Here is the most recent episode (as of 28th Feb 2016), featuring me and fellow blogger Michelle Reeve!
2. The Naked Scientists
The Naked Scientists is run by a group of science communicators at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. If there is a question that’s been bugging you about anything in this universe, they’re probably the ones to check with first. This recent episode spans a range of topics answering some essential questions such as ‘can animals feel guilt?’, ‘why don’t spiders get trapped in their own webs?’ and ‘what is the most asymmetrical animal?’.
3. The Infinite Monkey Cage
Comedian Robin Ince and physicist Professor Brian Cox team up in the Infinite Monkey Cage to tackle interesting trends and questions in science and mathematics. Equal parts of education and hilarity make this podcast a winner. This episode deals with the mathematics of love and they are joined by fantastic mathematician Hannah Fry and comedian Paul Foot.
Tumble is a relatively new science podcast aiming to appeal to the kids of today. With lively interviews on fascinating topics, this podcast is always a treat. This particular episode lets listeners know that the dinosaurs never really left the Earth…
5. Scientific American
If you’re looking for quick audible summaries of current scientific research, then Scientific American‘s ’60 Second Science’ podcasts are for you. They also have longer ‘Science Talk’ episodes that are more discussion-led and offer great insights into trends in scientific research. Here’s a quick report on how early humans may have driven a species of giant prehistoric bird to extinction by gobbling up their eggs.
I can’t embed the audio, but here’s a link to the episode: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/giant-bird-driven-extinct-by-egg-eating-humans/
6. Naturally Speaking
The Naturally Speaking podcast is run by a group of academics and technical staff at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow who all enjoy ecology banter and discussing modern research. This episode features a group of taxonomists, geneticists, and ecologist discussing the science of de-extinction showcased in the Jurassic Park series.
7. SciComm, hosted by Dr Mike
The SciComm podcast is hosted by frequent #scicomm tweeter Dr Mike and each episode features interviews with active researchers that often engage in science communication. This episode welcomes conservation biologist and founder of the popular Biotweeps science communication twitter account, Anthony Caravaggi.
NOTE: These last two shows are primarily comedy podcasts that discuss scientific topics, but aren’t probably the first choice if you’re looking to be educated! That said, they are both great fun and each has hundreds of episodes to dip into.
8. Probably Science
Comedians Matt Kirshen, Andy Wood & Jesse Case attempt to discuss scientific topics with their guests in Probably Science. Recently, they invited comedian and Doctor Who actress Ingrid Oliver to discuss “sniffer bees”, the Zika virus and how Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say penguins.
9. Professor Blastoff
Running from 2011 to 2015 with an impressive 217 episodes under their belt, comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger invite scientific and non-scientific guests on to their show Professor Blastoff to talk about various scientific and philosophical topics. As natural storytellers and ad-libbers, they often tend to jump off the science-tracks frequently so if you’re looking for some science talk, skip to the 10 minute mark in the episode below for the start of the evolution discussion!
If you enjoyed listening to these podcasts, I’m also hoping to also do posts about my favourite science blogs, social media heroes and YouTube channels, so keep an eye on this space!