Podcasts are becoming more and more popular. They are how we learn new knowledge, learn new skills and even get our news now. They are even becoming a huge tool for bloggers and institutions looking to reach more diverse audiences in their digital marketing strategies.
But everyone seems to have their favourites that they are listening to – you have your favourites, your friends have theirs, your colleagues, brothers, sisters and even parents have their favourites too I’m sure.
I will admit – I am a bit late to jump on the podcast wagon. I have been featured on two myself – which I absolutely loved – shout out to Science Mixtape & The Mighty Foof for inviting me!
But with my new job, I find myself spending a lot of the day travelling – whether that is on the train, tube or on foot – but if I’m not cracking on with my 2019 reading list, I’ll have headphones on listening to my favourite podcasts trying to learn something new.
I have fallen in love with podcasts over the last few months and thought I would share my favourite science podcasts with you so that you can learn the same awesome facts that I have. So, keep scrolling for some more podcast inspiration to add to your list!
One of my absolute faves is the Ologies podcast with Alie Ward. In this podcast, Alie talks to an expert in a different -ology – that could be astrology or biogerontology or oncology, and sometimes even -ologies that aren’t obviously science themed like victimology, etymology or ludology. They tackle the obvious questions, and sometimes the not so obvious ones, for each topic. Now if you are not sure about what each of those Ologies are then I highly encourage you to go to wherever you get your podcasts and find out. There are incredible things to learn in every episode and you can even support the podcast to have the chance to ask your own questions to the experts in each interview. You can also get Ologies merch which you can find out more about in this blog post here!
You are guaranteed to learn something awesome in every episode that can be re-used the next time you find yourself in an awkward silence.
Top 3 Episodes:
Somnology Part 1 & Part 2 – the study of sleep – my long-lost calling I think. But so much to learn about something we all do every night!
Selenology – the study of the moon – this one featured one of my fave IGers Raquel & her passion for the moon was infectious. I just wanted to learn more.
Cheloniology – the study of sea turtles – I listened to this one as turtles now have a place in my heart after one swam past minutes after I got engaged on our scuba dive. And I am so glad I listened to it because now I know so many cool facts about turtles.
I was gifted the Science-ish book for Christmas in 2017 and loved it! So, you can probably guess that learning there was a podcast made me happy – and yes I do realise I probably discovered them in the wrong order. But I do love a science fiction film and often find myself debating what was possible scientifically after watching it so this podcast that did the same with the research was right up my street. Each episode takes a theme from each movie and then asks one question which the hosts debate and ask world-leading experts on. Sometimes there can be some scientific jargon in this one which doesn’t make it completely accessible – but to me that’s just another opportunity for you to go and google what it is and learn some more. The perfect way to up your film review chat game with your friends!
Top 3 episodes:
Deadpool – I used Deadpool as an analogy to describe the big picture of my PhD research and who doesn’t love Ryan Reynolds so I had to learn more about regenerative medicine in this episode.
Dr Strange – can you tell I love the comic book movies? hah! but this episode explored whether meditation can change your brain!
Inside Out – I absolutely loved this film! So, I was keen to listen to this episode too which explored the world of personality testing which I was intrigued by.
If there is a question I want to learn the answer to, you will probably head to YouTube and search for whatever that question is plus the word Seeker. I love their YouTube videos so I thought I would explore the podcast version too – and as you can tell I enjoyed that too! These episodes are basically geeky conversations which I love and I get to learn something new. Big topics are broken down in a wide range of topics so there really is something for everyone.
Top 3 episodes:
Who Decided We Needed Vitamins – one of my favourite Seeker episodes that caught my eye and was about something that I had never really considered before.
Microgravity Makes the ISS a Perfect Lab – I loved this one because it – loosely – linked to my PhD research and I wanted to learn more about the surrounding areas.
WTF Are Algorithms Anyway? – after reading Hannah Fry’s book Hello World, I want to learn more about this wonderful world of coding and algorithms so this was a great option for me.
This podcast is a great way to get kids listening to and learning about science to ignite that curiosity inside them. But I also think it is great for adults too because I have learnt loads from this podcast too. While it is probably not the most challenging for me as it is aimed at kids, sometimes it is good to just find answers to some obvious questions that kids will ask you. A great option for that long family roadtrip too and lots of light hearted science fun!
Top 3 episodes:
Dreams: The Science of a Sleeping Brain – who doesn’t want to learn more about why we dream, and this is in such an accessible way that everyone can understand and will want to learn more afterwards.
Body Bonanza: Yawns, Hiccups, Goosebumps and more – the episode that made me fall in love with this podcast. Lots of simple bodily questions that we think we know the answer to – but do we really?
Memory and Deja Vu – I am also fascinated by memory too, so this one was a good starting point for me to learn about something new, and something that the whole family can enjoy too.
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry
Two of my favourite science communicators joining forces. I loved both Adam’s and Hannah’s books so when I started my podcast discovery journey, this was one of the first I jumped onto. The ability of both Adam and Hannah to break down any complex science topic into what feels like a simple conversation never ceases to amaze me and continues to inspire me to reach that level of scicomm. But every time I listen to a new episode by this amazing duo, I just feel like I’m eavesdropping on one of their conversations and learning so much cool new science and more mysteries of the universe. Can you tell I’m a big fan?
Top 3 Episodes:
The Horrible Hangover – something that most of us can relate to I’m sure, especially as we all get older! But in this episode Adam & Hannah chat to a hangover researcher! Yes that is a real thing!
The Viking Code – this episode explores the world of genetic ancestry tests and busting some myths.
The Cosmic Egg – a tale of how we discovered that the universe had a beginning and was not infinite. A great listen in my current obsession of everything to do with the universe.
A podcast from Mitch and Greg of ASAP science that debates a host of different topics. I love the section where each of them debates one side of a particular debate like whether you should eat breakfast or not. And each side of the debate is usually backed by research too. A great way to challenge you to consider things from a different perspective. Prepare to be entertained while also learning.
Top 3 Episodes:
Scary Movies: Ghosts, Sleep Paralysis and Spooky Stats – a Halloween special that completely freaked me out with my new knowledge about sleep paralysis
Influencers: Pure Trash or This Generations Treasure? – this one features the amazing Science Sam and an interesting debate that was quite close to home for me
Apple vs Android: Which Is The Smarter Choice? – as someone who uses both Apple and Android daily – don’t ask! – I know which one I prefer, but this forced me to consider both sides as any good scientist would!
What are your favourite podcasts – science related or not? What are your favourite episodes from these 6 I have mentioned if you are also a fan?
I am also looking for a really good podcast on particle physics as I have become slightly obsessed so if you know one let me know!
Also, I have been thinking about launching a Soph talks science podcast for a while now – is that something that you want to see?
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